The city of Zaranj in Afghanistan’s Nimroz province fell to the Taliban on Friday, provincial police said, making it the first provincial capital the insurgents have captured as they step up offensives. The insurgents have taken dozens of districts and border crossings in recent months and put pressure on several provincial capitals, including Herat in the west and Kandahar in the south, as foreign troops withdraw.
Fighters from Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region have seized control of a UN World Heritage Site in a neighboring region, Reuters and AFP reported, citing eyewitnesses. Lalibela is home to 11 medieval monolithic churches that were carved out of rock some 900 years ago. The churches are a holy site for millions of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Some residents fled the town, located in Ethiopia’s Amhara region, as the Tigrayan fighters arrived, Reuters reported on Thursday.
US news network CNN has sacked three employees for going into an office without having been vaccinated against Covid, US media say. It is one of the first examples of a US firm firing staff for breaching a company vaccination mandate. It is legal in the US for firms to require employees to be vaccinated.
Two Belarus coaches allegedly involved in attempting to force sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya to return home have had their accreditation rescinded and been asked to leave the Olympic village. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Friday it had taken the action against Artur Shumak and Yuri Moisevich, who it says also face IOC disciplinary proceedings launched two days ago.
Thousands of people fled wildfires burning out of control in Greece and Turkey on Friday, including a major blaze just north of the Greek capital of Athens that left one person dead, as a protracted heat wave turned forests into tinderboxes and flames threatened populated areas, electricity installations and historic sites. Firefighters across Greece were battling 56 active wildfires, Civil Protection chief Nikos Hardalias said.