UN Afghanistan aid appeal
Concerns are mounting over the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, as funds remain frozen in the wake of the Taliban takeover of the country. The UN has warned of an economic collapse there. It says the world has a duty to extend solidarity to Afghanistan where millions risk dying of hunger.
Chinese President Xi Jinping says US policies towards Beijing have caused "serious" difficulties in their bilateral ties. Xi made the comment in a phone call with his American counterpart, Joe Biden. The Chinese president called for putting ties back on track. He said, that’s critical for the future and the destiny of the world. Biden made it clear that Washington welcomes competition, but does not want it to lead to conflict. That’s according to a senior official of his administration. The official said the goal of the phone conversation was to set out “guardrails” to ensure that relations can be managed responsibly. Ties have soured between China and the US in the past several years over a number of issues including trade and security.
UK recovery slowdown
Official data shows that Britain's economic recovery slowed sharply in July, despite further lifting of coronavirus restrictions. Britain’s Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product output grew by only 0.1 percent in July. It marked the sixth straight month of economic growth. However, the increase was much lower, compared to the one-percent growth in June. The recovery stalled amid rising Covid cases and worker shortages. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a tax rise on workers and employers to fix a health and social care funding crisis. Following the announcement, a poll showed that public support for the ruling conservative party slipped by five points to 33 percent. That’s the party’s biggest slump since 2019.