In the chaos of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the mass evacuation, a number of unaccompanied minors ended up on flights out of the country. Now comes the difficult task of reuniting them with families or helping them find new homes. Also, if you’re in the market for a puffy vest this winter, you may need to be patient. The shipping bottlenecks occurring at California ports continue to have an outsized impact on US retailers like Eddie Bauer. And the world mourns the loss of pioneering Black filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles, who died on Tuesday at the age of 89 in his home in New York. Van Peebles was known as the “godfather of modern Black cinema” with themes of resistance and Black liberation.
China’s season of crackdowns
Over the past few months, China's regulatory crackdowns have impacted almost every corner of Chinese society, with new restrictions targeting everything from entertainment to after-school education to car-share apps and video games. Also, Haitians gathered under the Del Rio International Bridge in south Texas will be allowed to cross the Mexico-US border, but those who make it across often have to scramble for lodging and aid from volunteers. Plus, the National Theater of Somalia in Mogadishu hosted the country's first movie screening in 30 years on Wednesday. The theater opened in 1967, a gift from Mao Zedong, but shut down at the start of Somalia's civil war in 1991.
Biden’s ambitious spending plan
President Biden is proposing one of the most ambitious spending plans since the 1930s — a $3.5 trillion investment tackling everything from clean energy, to early education, to health care. A total overhaul of the American economy. The big question: How do we pay for it? Also, the cost of energy is hitting record highs in Spain. It's driven by the rising cost of gas and lower-than-usual winds (not pushing Spain's windmills). It's a problem across Europe as the continent transitions toward renewable energies. And, we look back at the legacy and impact of the classic Cuban album, "The Buena Vista Social Club,” which is now 25 years old.
Thousands of Haitians seek asylum in US
Thousands of Haitians who had hoped to seek asylum in the US are arriving at Haiti’s main airport. Haiti’s fragile government has little aid to offer the arriving deportees. And COVID-19 continues to ravage Southeast Asia, with most countries’ borders more or less closed. In Thailand, the virus has killed more than 15,000 people and anger toward the Thai government is spilling into the streets. Also, meet Zandile Ndhlovu, South Africa’s “Black Mermaid.” Ndhlovu started the Black Mermaid Foundation to share her love of free diving with communities that lack access to ocean spaces due to South Africa's racist history.
Taliban bans girls from high school
The Taliban ordered all schools in Afghanistan to reopen this weekend after months of closure because of COVID-19 and political upheaval. But the future of education for millions of high school girls remains unclear because Taliban leadership banned them from returning to their studies. And a new security pact signed between the US, Australia and the UK took Paris by surprise. It means that a big military contract signed between France and Australia several years ago will be scrapped. Also, Afghans have been welcomed in Turkey over the last few decades. But recently, life has become more difficult for new refugees fleeing the Taliban takeover of their homeland.