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Fifty-one people have died after being abandoned in a tractor-trailer on a remote back road in the sweltering Texas heat. It's the latest tragedy to claim the lives of migrants smuggled across the border from Mexico. Nearly all of the victims in San Antonio were found Monday at the scene. Five people later died after being taken to hospitals. More than a dozen people had been taken to hospitals, including four children. San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood says they were hot to the touch and dehydrated, and no water was found in the trailer. The home countries of all of the migrants were not immediately known, but officials say some were from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is certain to dominate an upcoming NATO summit in Madrid. But host nation Spain and other members are quietly pushing the Western alliance to consider how mercenaries aligned with Russian President Vladimir Putin are spreading Moscow’s influence in Africa. The allies are emphasizing their proximity to Africa while lobbying for a greater focus on Europe’s southern flank in a new document outlining NATO’s vision of its security challenges and tasks. The Strategic Concept is NATO’s most important working document after the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949, and it's updated about every 10 years. Leaders of the alliance's 30 countries are expected to adopt a new version at the summit starting Tuesday.
New relief supplies rolled into eastern Afghanistan after this week's powerful earthquake that state media said killed at least 1,150. Residents worried about how to rebuild before the harsh winter sets in, only a few months away in the mountainous region. Wednesday's quake hit one of the poorest corners of Afghanistan, a country already hollowed out by increasing poverty. Thousands were left homeless or injured. New planeloads of relief supplies arrived Saturday from Pakistan and other countries, and aid groups distributed food, medical supplies and other items.
An aftershock has taken more lives and threatened to pile even more misery on an area of eastern Afghanistan reeling from a powerful earthquake that state media said killed 1,150 people this week. Wednesday’s magnitude 6 quake killed 121 children when it struck a remote, mountainous region already grappling with staggering poverty. It comes at a time when the country as a whole is spiraling deeper into economic crisis after many countries pulled back critical financing and development aid in the wake of the Taliban takeover. Pakistan’s Meteorological Department reported a new, 4.2 magnitude quake on Friday. In Afghanistan, the state-run Bakhtar News Agency reported it took five more lives in the hard-hit Gayan district.
The head of the United Nations has warned the world faces “catastrophe” because of the growing shortage of food around the globe. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the war in Ukraine has fueled an “unprecedented global hunger crisis” already affecting hundreds of millions of people. He said there was “a real risk that multiple famines will be declared in 2022” and that "2023 could be even worse.” Guterres said U.N. negotiators have been working on a deal that would enable Ukraine to export food and let Russia bring food and fertilizer to world markets without restrictions. He spoke Friday in a video message to officials from dozens of countries who were gathered in Berlin.
Leaders of Commonwealth nations are meeting in Rwanda’s capital to tackle climate change, tropical diseases and other challenges deepened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The summit for Commonwealth heads of state in Kigali is the culmination of a series of meetings this week that officials said yielded some success in efforts to improve the lives of people in the 54-nation association that is home to 2.5 billion people. The group of nations comprises mostly former British colonies, and its titular head is Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Charles represented his 96-year-old mother at Friday's summit. The event is taking place at an uncertain time for the British monarchy as well as the Commonwealth, whose relevance is sometimes questioned.
Villagers rushed to bury the dead and dug by hand through the rubble of homes in search of survivors after a devastating earthquake in eastern Afghanistan. Residents appeared to be largely on their own Thursday to deal with the aftermath as their new Taliban-led government and the international aid community struggled to help. State media said Wednesday’s quake killed 1,000 people. An independent U.N. court said around 770 people had been killed in Paktika and Khost provinces. It's unclear how either sum was tallied given the difficulty of accessing or communicating with the affected areas, but the devastation was clear. Under a leaden sky, men dug several long trenches on a mountainside overlooking their village to bury the dead.
Scientists estimate that nearly 20 million lives were saved worldwide by COVID-19 vaccines during their first year. In a study published Thursday, they say even more deaths could have been prevented if global targets for vaccines had been reached. Scientists at Imperial College London used data from 185 countries to estimate how many deaths were prevented by the vaccination effort. They excluded China because of uncertainty around the pandemic’s effect on deaths there and its huge population. There are a lot of limitations in modeling studies, but independent experts agree that vaccines saved millions of lives.
As the World Health Organization convenes its emergency committee to consider if the spiraling outbreak of monkeypox warrants being declared a global emergency, some experts say WHO’s decision to act only after the disease spilled into the West could entrench the inequities that arose between rich and poor countries during the coronavirus pandemic. Many scientists also doubt any declaration would help to curb the epidemic, since the developed countries recording the most recent cases are already moving to shut it down. Monkeypox has sickened people for decades in central and west Africa. To date, no deaths have been seen outside Africa. The WHO said Thursday it did not expect to announce any decisions by its emergency committee before Friday.
Afghanistan's state-run news agency reported a powerful earthquake struck a rural, mountainous region of the country's east, killing 1,000 people and injuring 1,500 more. Wednesday's quake was the country's deadliest in two decades. Officials warned that the already grim toll may still rise. Information remained scarce on the magnitude 6.1 earthquake near the Pakistani border. But early footage from villages tucked among the rough mountains showed residents picking through rubble of collapsed stone and mud-brick houses. The disaster posed a major test for the Taliban-led government. The Taliban seized power last year as the U.S. and its allies were withdrawing from the country.