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Killings in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley as Taliban tightens power

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There are new reports that at least 20 civilians have died during fighting in the country’s Panjshir Valley, as the Taliban increase their stronghold over the region

The Panjshir Valley is known to be the home to anti-Taliban resistance fighters, with the region previously preventing takeovers from both the Taliban and Soviet forces.

Surrounded by large mountain peaks, the area is difficult to access and navigate, making it difficult for enemy forces to capture it.

However, despite all of this, the Taliban militant group took control of Panjshir, posting footage online of fighters raising the group’s white flag.

The resistance group has vowed to regain control of the territory, with the leader calling for a “national uprising” against the Taliban.

PANJSHIR, AFGHANISTAN – SEPTEMBER 6: Taliban members patrol after they took over Panjshir Valley, the only province the group had not seized during its sweep last month in Afghanistan on September 6, 2021. ( Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat – Anadolu Agency )

Meanwhile, a Taliban spokesperson has rejected claims of violence, urging Panjshir Valley residents should live normally… saying “we are here to protect them, their lives and their families.”

But videos from the ground show once-busy areas deserted, with reports people have been trying to flee…

William is an Executive News Producer at TICKER NEWS, responsible for the production and direction of news bulletins. William is also the presenter of the hourly Weather + Climate segment. With qualifications in Journalism and Law (LLB), William previously worked at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) before moving to TICKER NEWS. He was also an intern at the Seven Network's 'Sunrise'. A creative-minded individual, William has a passion for broadcast journalism and reporting on global politics and international affairs.

World

Ivan carves path of utter destruction

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After devastating Florida, Hurricane Ian is headed for Carolinas, Georgia

A grim picture of Hurricane Ian’s horrific wreckage emerged Thursday, as millions of people in Florida faced destroyed homes, completely flooded streets and power outages.

The storm’s power turned out to be worse than many had predicted.

Unfortunately, families who did not evacuate have been left stranded as rising water tore through their homes.

So far, hundreds have been rescued from floodwaters, and emergency crews are still struggling to reach some of the most devastated areas.

According to the National Hurricane Center, a storm surge of 12-18 feet hit as destructive waves struck the coast.

Officials say the hurricane knocked out power to more than 2.6 million customers, mainly in southwest and central Florida.

Meanwhile, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) says that the next 72 hours will certainly be the most critical when it comes to rescue missions.

President Biden said there were ‘early reports of what may be substantial loss of life’ saying, that the numbers are still unclear but there are early reports of fatalities.

The President added, “water rescue is critical—Coast Guard deployed 16 rescue helicopter, six fixed wing aircraft and 18-rescue boats and crews. That’s just one element of the many federal search and rescue teams that were pre-staged in Florida.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis detailed the state’s “monumental effort” to help aid recovery and eventually rebuild.

“Those were really difficult images to see but we’re committed to restoring the infrastructure as needed. That is not going to be an overnight task. That is going to require a lot of love and care—it’s going to require a lot of resources, but we’re going to do it because we understand how important it is.”

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Climate Change

Hurricane Ian could be Florida’s deadliest storm

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Hurricane Ian could be Florida’s deadliest storm as it continues north towards South Carolina

U.S. President Joe Biden says Hurricane Ian could be the deadliest storm in the region’s history, with early reports suggesting substantial loss of life.

Biden spoke at an afternoon briefing at the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema).

Ian made landfall on Wednesday local time near the city of Fort Myers. It has led to severe flooding, high winds and storm surges.

Several areas remain submerged, and more than 2.5 million homes are without power.

Many residents are trapped in their homes and unable to escape. Search and rescue teams are working around the clock to provide assistance where they can.

5,000 Florida National Guard troops and 2,000 Guardsman from surrounding states have been deployed.

Eight teams with 800 members are carrying out search and rescue operations.

More than 200 public shelters have now been opened, housing around 34,000 people.

The National Hurricane Centre has downgraded Ian to a tropical storm for now but warns it will likely become a hurricane again later.

The entire coast of South Carolina is just the latest region to be placed on high alert as the storm continues north on its path of destruction.

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World

Finland slams its borders shut on Russia

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Finland will officially closed its border to Russian tourists, marking the last of Moscow’s E-U neighbours to do so.

Finland will close its border with Russia as Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania also closed theirs.

The Finnish government made the decision following Vladimir Putin’s decision to call-up of 300,000 military reservists.

Queue’s at Russia’s border crossings with E-U nations were stretching for kilometres as people attempted to flee the country.

The closure of the border only applies to tourists – and Russians who are visiting family or travelling for work or study will still be granted entry.

The Finnish Foreign Minister stated that the decision was a difficult one to make, but ultimately it was in the best interest of the country.

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