UN Afghanistan aid flights
The United Nations has resumed its humanitarian flights to northern and southern Afghanistan more than two weeks after the Taliban takeover. A UN spokesperson says the flights will enable scores of humanitarian organizations to continue life-saving activities in Afghanistan. The current flights link Pakistan’s capital with the city of Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan and Kandahar in the south. Three flights have already landed in Mazar-i-Sharif this week. The UN says efforts are underway to launch more flights and to more destinations. It says work is also underway to transport non-food items, such as medical supplies. The UN has previously warned of a looming humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan where half of the population depends on aid.
Japan PM resignation
The Japanese prime minister says he will not seek re-election as the head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in an election later this month. LDP officials have expressed surprise at the announcement. They, however, said Suga will continue to serve as the LDP’s president until the party-wide election is held on September 29. The winner of the vote will most probably become the next Japanese premier as the LDP holds majority in the lower house. Suga took office as the prime minister last September, after Shinzo Abe resigned over ill health. Suga's tenure has been marred by an unpopular Covid response and dwindling public support.
New Zealand stabbing spree
At least six people have been injured in what the authorities have called a terrorist attack in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. The prime minister said the attacker stabbed the victims in a supermarket and was immediately shot dead by the police. She said the attacker was a Sri Lankan national who had been in New Zealand for ten years and was known to the police. Ardern called the attack hateful and said the attacker was inspired by the Daesh terrorist group. In March 2019, New Zealand witnessed its worst ever terror attack in Christchurch. There, a white supremacist shot dead more than 50 Muslim worshipers at a mosque.