taliban in Afghan City, Syria Death Toll Rises, California Weather Break, and More!!!

This is the first half of the transcript for The Morning Brew for Aug. 13, 2018. You can find the edited portion of the stream for this transcript here:


(If it doesn’t play or show, it may be still processing.)

The Latest: Scores killed fighting Taliban in Afghan city

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This was a breaking story. We will be keeping an eye on it. 

Afghanistan’s defense minister says the ongoing battle with the Taliban in the eastern city of Ghazni has killed about 100 policemen and soldiers, as well as at least 20 civilians.  This is the fourth day of fighting in Ghazni, the provincial capital of the province with the same name. The Taliban launched a massive attack on Ghazni on Friday, overwhelming the city’s defenses and capturing parts of it. The defense minister says about 1,000 additional troops have been sent to Ghazni and helped prevent the city from falling into Taliban hands. He also says 194 insurgents, including 12 leaders, were killed. They include Pakistani, Chechen and Arabs foreign fighters.

Death toll in Syria blast climbs to 69: Observatory

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The number of people killed when an explosion ripped through a building thought to be storing weapons in rebel-held northwestern Syria has climbed to 69 including 17 children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Monday. The explosion happened in a residential building in the town of Sarmada in Idlib province near the Turkish border on Sunday. Idlib forms part of the last major rebel stronghold in Syria.

Death toll from quake that hit Indonesian island passes 430

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The death toll from the earthquake that rocked the Indonesian island of Lombok a week ago has passed 400 and the government is estimating economic losses of at least several hundred million dollars. The national disaster agency said Monday the Aug. 5 quake killed 436 people, most of whom died in collapsing buildings. It said damage to homes, infrastructure and other property is at least 5 trillion rupiah ($342 million), calling that a temporary figure that will rise as more assessments are made. The agency said rebuilding will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The magnitude 7.0 quake flattened thousands of homes and according to the disaster agency’s latest estimate has displaced about 350,000 people.

With One Eye on Syria, Israel Reluctantly Seeks Gaza Truce

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As public pressure mounts on Israeli leaders to crush rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip, they’re opting to try the diplomatic route while a greater threat looms: Iran’s presence in postwar Syria. To keep his military focused on the northern front, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pursuing a long-term truce with Hamas, the militant group that rules the Gaza Strip. As President Bashar al-Assad’s war against opposition forces winds down, Iran is working to strike lasting roots in Syria, increasing its sphere of influence and giving it an arms-transport corridor stretching from Tehran to Beirut. Israeli officials fear Iran could use Syria as a forward base to threaten the Jewish state, similar to the challenge from Lebanon with Iran’s proxy militia, Hezbollah. In recent months Israel frequently has attacked Iranian bases and other military targets in Syria to pressure Tehran to retreat. To keep Gaza from becoming a distraction, Israeli officials are backing Egyptian and United Nations efforts to broker a truce with Hamas. The idea would be to trade military quiet for the easing of an Israeli and Egyptian blockade imposed more than a decade ago. If all goes well, later stages could involve international investment in Gaza and the release of Israelis held hostage there. The United States who finally pulled funding of Gaza when President Trump took office is really suffering now. Instead of focusing on Gaza, protesters have been harassing the Israeli border to keep the anger on Israel. It is nothing more but a band-aid fix. the real problem is Gaza has to stop being treated as a puppet by the other Arab nations. Who by the way has proven time and time again that they don’t care about it’s citizens. If they did, they would be pouring money in themselves to help the Gaza infrastructure. Of course, not everyone is on board with the cease-fire talks. Mahmoud Abbas’s West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, which boycotted a White House summit in January seeking aid for Gaza, has raised a number of objections to the current effort. It sees international plans to rebuild Gaza as a plot to circumvent the Palestinian Authority, divide the two Palestinian territories and let the P.A.’s two main adversaries off the hook. Paranoid much?

Break in the weather helps California firefighters battle massive blazes across state

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Cooler, calmer weather is helping firefighters get a handle on battling the largest wildfires burning across California and preventing new blazes from getting out of control. Temperatures are cooling slightly, and humidity is inching upward due to a weakened high-pressure system that forecasters say will persist through Tuesday. Though conditions remain far from ideal, they’re an improvement from just a few days ago and a welcome respite from the scorching, high-risk conditions that fueled some of the biggest, most destructive fires in California history. The favorable turn in the weather also enabled firefighters to quickly contain a new blaze, the Gulch fire in Monterey County, to only 650 acres Saturday, while reaching full containment on the 2,162-acre Nelson fire near Vacaville. As long as the weather cooperates, fire officials expect to keep ratcheting up their containment levels.

To date, the fires have burned more than 695,000 acres, an area more than twice the size of the city of Los Angeles. More than 12,000 residents remain under evacuation orders, fire officials said. In Southern California, firefighters were making headway on the Holy fire burning in the Cleveland National Forest near Lake Elsinore, raising the fire’s containment to 41 percent on Sunday. But those efforts could be complicated by the changing weather, which was also bringing a chance of thunderstorms and wind gusts in Southern California mountain areas Sunday afternoon. Firefighters also made progress on the Mendocino Complex fire, the largest recorded in California history, which had burned more than 331,000 acres as of Sunday. The blaze, which is made up of the Ranch and River fires, has destroyed 146 homes and is now 70 percent contained. In Redding, containment of the 191,000-acre Carr fire increased to 59 percent on Sunday. That fire has destroyed 1,881 structures, including 1,077 homes and other residential structures, and threatened 528 others. Meanwhile, Yosemite Valley is on schedule to reopen to the public on Tuesday after nearly a three-week closure due to the 96,000-acre Ferguson fire, which was at 83 percent containment Sunday.

Transcript written by: Merlin
Production and Show editing: Maddy
Gaming Journalist: Optimus

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