US Embassy directive reflects Kabul airport chaos, uncertainty: 'Leave immediately'

Americans at Kabul airport gates urged by US Embassy in Afghanistan to ‘leave immediately’
The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan warned Americans trapped in the country not to travel to the Kabul airport due to security threats, and urged those at specific airport gates to get out immediately, in a startling statement early Thursday.

“Because of security threats outside the gates of Kabul airport, we are advising U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative to do so,” the statement from the embassy read.

“U.S. citizens who are at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately,” the embassy added.

The warning underscored the chaos and uncertainty on the ground outside the Kabul airport, where hundreds of Americans still have been attempting to get out of the country. U.S. troops have been stationed at the airport, though a heavy Taliban presence has been reported outside the grounds, with persistent concerns about potential terrorism.

President Biden has aimed to stick to an Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw U.S. troops from the country, though the White House has said contingency plans were being discussed, amid criticism from lawmakers in both parties that it would be too unsafe not to extend the deadline. Concerns have also been raised about Special Immigrant Visa holders reportedly being blocked by the Taliban from accessing the airport.

The Biden administration has said it didn’t trust the Taliban, but repeatedly has called on the Islamic militant group to allow people to safely access the airport and to refrain from violence. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON OUR TOP STORY.

In other developments:
– Former Afghan translator warns Taliban is hunting down, executing US allies
– Sen. Tom Cotton slams Biden’s ‘ill advised’ decision to keep Afghanistan withdrawal deadline
– Biden hears from Reps. Slotkin, Sherrill about Aug. 31 Afghanistan deadline extension: report
– Erik Prince to Tucker: America has ‘shattered confidence’ of global allies amid Afghanistan disaster
– NY Mag piece complains the media ‘manufactured’ Biden’s Afghanistan crisis

Texas’ Greg Abbott reasserts ban on vaccine mandates as judge rules against mask mandate ban
The same day Texas Gov. Greg Abbott reissued his ban on vaccine mandates and passports a judge ruled against his ban on mask mandates, issuing a temporary injunction, according to reports. 

District Court Judge Tonya Parker said in her ruling the mask ban violates Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins’ authority to prioritize public health during the coronavirus pandemic, FOX 4 in Dallas reported. (In Texas, county judges are equivalent to county executives.)

Abbott’s executive order bans a requirement for the shot even if it is fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration, as the Pfizer vaccine was this week, according to the Texas Tribune.

The governor’s previous order banned vaccine mandates only for those products under emergency approval. 

Parker’s injunction will likely be appealed to the court of appeals and the Texas Supreme Court.

“It’s a victory for humans who live in Dallas County against the virus,” Jenkins said of the ruling, according to the Dallas Morning News. “I hope we’ll all take off our red hat and our blue hat and put on our human hat and listen to doctors.” CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
– Arkansas runs out of intensive care beds for COVID patients: ‘critical’
– Woman carried by cops while seated from Texas school board meeting for refusing to wear mask, district says
– Tucker Carlson: Leaders need to explain their COVID mandates, not just tell us to obey
– Harris, Newsom require rally goers get vaccine or negative test despite staying in cars

Florida tourist shot dead while protecting his baby at restaurant; suspect arrested
A young father died after a gunman walked into a Miami Beach restaurant and pointed a gun at the father’s 1-year-old son, police said. 

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