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US omits Macron’s ‘moral responsibility’ for Afghans plea from Biden call record

The White House’s readout of a call between Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron on the crisis in Afghanistan leaves out an impassioned plea from the French president that the US and its allies have a “moral responsibility” to evacuate Afghan allies.

The French government’s readout of the conversation was released on Friday, a day after the call took place, and indicates that Macron emphasised ensuring the safe evacuation of Afghan citizens who assisted American and European troops over the past 20 years at great risk to themselves and their families.

According to the readout, Macron described the mission to evacuate allies as a “moral responsibility” and told Biden: “We cannot abandon them.”

The Élysée said Macron “underlined the absolute need to ensure rapid and concrete coordination among allies on the ground to continue the evacuations”.

The White House version, however, made no mention of a “moral responsibility” to evacuate Afghan allies.

“They lauded the tireless efforts of their personnel working closely together in Kabul on the evacuation of their citizens, the brave Afghans who have stood by us and our Nato partners, and other vulnerable Afghan nationals,” the White House said in a brief description of the call.

“They underscored the importance of continued close coordination among allies and democratic partners on Afghanistan, including through multilateral fora, on the provision of humanitarian assistance and support for refugees.”

The Guardian has contacted the White House for comment.

Tens of thousands of international citizens and Afghans who collaborated with US and Nato forces remained stranded in Kabul on Friday, as governments grappled with an overwhelming backlog of visas and Taliban checkpoints which were preventing people safely reaching the airport.

The urgency of the evacuation of Afghans allied with US and Nato forces, and western media organizations, has been compounded by recent reports of Taliban fighters going door-to-door looking for those who had worked with the previous regime and threatening them.

The Biden administration has faced bipartisan criticism over the haste of the withdrawal and the huge backlog in processing special visas for Afghan citizens who assisted US forces.

Earlier this week, Biden set a 31 August deadline for complete US withdrawal, defending the swift exit by saying there would have been no way for the US to pull out of the country “without chaos ensuing”.

The US president said he would consider extending the deadline if American citizens still remained in need of evacuation, but did not mention Afghan allies in the calculation.

“We will determine at the time who is left and if they are not out we will stay,” he said.

The French president’s plea comes amid criticism that he pandered to the far right in a speech earlier this week, after he said France should have a robust plan to “anticipate and protect itself from a wave of migrants” from Afghanistan.

The comments, made in a televised address, came hours after desperate Afghans trying to flee the country were filmed clinging to the wheels of a plane and falling to the ground.

Macron, who is expected to seek a second term in office in next year’s presidential election, stressed that France would not abandon Afghans who had worked with its forces and with the European Union offices in Afghanistan.

But he added that “dealing with those fleeing the Taliban would need an organised and fair international effort” and that “Europe alone cannot assume the consequences of the current situation”.

Source:Theguardian

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Elon Musk and Grimes Have “Semi-Separated”

The Tesla founder confirmed the news of the split, but said they’re still on good terms and will continue to co-parent their son, X Æ A-Xii.

Grimes’s dream of one day dying on Mars just became substantially more difficult to achieve after news that she and Elon Musk have broken up.

The Tesla founder confirmed the split, telling Page Six that he and the pop star are now “semi-separated” after dating for three years. But he added that despite the breakup, they still get along and will continue to co-parent their one-year-old son, X Æ A-Xii Musk. He told the outlet, “We are semi-separated but still love each other, see each other frequently and are on great terms. It’s mostly that my work at SpaceX and Tesla requires me to be primarily in Texas or traveling overseas and her work is primarily in LA. She’s staying with me now and Baby X is in the adjacent room.”

The couple’s last public appearance together was at the Met Gala earlier this month, the fashion event where they also first confirmed their relationship in 2018. Although Grimes walked the red carpet alone, she was joined by Musk inside the dinner and he also hosted an after-party at the private members only club, Zero Bond. While Musk has been working on his businesses in Texas, the singer has started filming a new competition show for Fox called Alter Ego in which she serves as one of the judges. She also recently opened up about her life as a new mom in a video for Vogue, saying, “I think having a baby was a big, kind of like, rebirth for me, like artistically. Like, it just, like, I don’t know. Being a mother feels weird to say for some reason. I don’t, like, identify with that word. Which is also really weird because X, he says Claire, but he doesn’t say mama…maybe he can sense my distaste for the word mother.”

Source: Vanityfair

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UFC star Jon Jones arrested on misdemeanor domestic violence charge in Las Vegas

UFC star Jon Jones was arrested Friday morning by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, just hours after a past UFC fight of his was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.

Jones is being charged with misdemeanor battery domestic violence and injuring or tampering with a vehicle, a felony, Officer Larry Hadfield of the Las Vegas Metro PD told ESPN. He is currently being held at Clark County Detention Center, per online inmate records. His total bail is $8,000, but Jones is on a 12-hour hold, per records. He is scheduled to have his first appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Jones was arrested at 5:45 a.m. Friday at a resort near Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road, Hadfield said. The UFC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jones adviser Richard Schaefer told ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, “The facts are still developing, we really don’t know yet the full story so I’m not going to make any comment until I have a chance to talk to Jon and until we see see how this plays out.”

Jones, 34, is regarded as perhaps the best UFC fighter of all time. He held the UFC title for the better part of nine years and has never truly been beaten in the cage. His only career loss was via controversial disqualification. But the Albuquerque, New Mexico, native has been in trouble several times outside of the Octagon, including a felony hit-and-run arrest and two failed drug tests.

Jones has been bulking up for a return at heavyweight, wanting to add that title to his collection. He told ESPN on Thursday night before the UFC Hall of Fame ceremony that he weighed 255 pounds and was looking to bulk to 270 for his heavyweight debut. Jones’ 2013 fight with Alexander Gustafsson was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Thursday night during a ceremony at Park MGM.

Source: espn

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The sexism that led to the Elizabeth Holmes trialBreakout

Elizabeth Holmes’ biotech company was once considered the hottest startup in Silicon Valley. But for lab techs working in Theranos’ blood lab, it didn’t exactly feel like a dream job.

Holmes claimed to the world that she had invented mini blood testing machines that could revolutionize healthcare.

But the blood test machines failed so frequently that staff had to work around-the-clock recalibrating, lab tech Erika Cheung testified in court Friday.

“We had people sleeping in their cars because it took so long,” Cheung told the jury.

Blood lab results were supposed to take two hours to complete. But Theranos’ machines often produced false blood lab results, and recalibrating the machines took two or three days, Cheung said.

After a federal investigation into the lab, Holmes was charged with defrauding investors and patients.

Her defense attorneys are trying to convince the jury that Holmes had no idea her invention gave bogus blood test results.

In court Friday, prosecutors chipped away at the defense by calling ex-Theranos employees to testify.

Senior scientist Surekha Gangakhedkar testified that Holmes was in fact aware of problems in the blood lab. Gangakhedkar said she met with Holmes directly on a regular basis. When she found out that Theranos was moving forward with accepting patients, she left the company.

“It made me uncomfortable. I didn’t think that was the right decision,” Gangakhedkar testified.

Cheung testified that she was afraid of the company’s executives. When Theranos’ human resources director called her, even the HR director sounded scared, she said.

“When I heard (the HR director’s) voice and how scared she sounded, it just reminded me of how scared I was working for that company. I had a right to not speak to them.”

After she left the company, Cheung received an email from the company’s legal team threatening her with a lawsuit for defamation. The letter also accused her of leaking confidential information, including trade secrets.

Text messages made public record recently by prosecutors expose private exchanges between Holmes and Theranos COO, Sunny Balwani, when their company was coming under fire.

There are texts about seeking to silence medical professionals and Theranos employees who were raising red flags to federal authorities and journalists.

“We’ll get them,” Holmes texted Balwani on May 13, 2015 after a lab gave her company a bad review.

In one text exchange, the duo was trying to figure out which of employees were leaking information.

Balwani wrote to Holmes, “I am narrowing this down in CLIA. Down to 5 people. Will nail this mr fr.”

Source: Kron4

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