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Taliban charters flights for over 200 foreigners to leave, Americans included



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The Taliban government agreed to charter flights for roughly 200 foreigners to evacuate Afghanistan Thursday. Americans will be among the group evacuating according to a U.S. official speaking to Reuters. These will be the first international flights since the Taliban took over.

First, the U.S. military evacuated over 123,000 people in August. Then, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed there weren’t any Americans left behind. But this agreement by Afghanistan’s new interim government is the completion of a previous commitment by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar to allow travel.

U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad reportedly helped broker the agreement. When Baradar made his commitment to allow travel public, Khalilzad tweeted out the statement’s English translation. “The statement is positive,” Khalilzad tweeted. “We, our allies, and the international community will hold them to these commitments.”

While there were reports of Americans and others stranded in Mazar-i-Sharif, Reuter’s source did not confirm them. The official could not say whether the American civilians and other foreign nationals were among people reportedly stranded for days.

Read the full article here.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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Americans should brace for ‘real pain’ at the gas pump



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A spike in gas prices will likely begin in March, according to Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum at GasBuddy. De Haan says all Americans may soon be facing California-esque gas prices.

Biden’s rising inflation could push gas prices for regular unleaded fuel to above $4 a gallon. “We’ll start to see gasoline demand surge, along with refiners doing maintenance ahead of the summer driving season, creating a squeeze” De Haan told Fox Business.

Earlier this month, GasBuddy projected the national average price for a gallon of gasoline could climb to a high of $4.13 in June. California cities could have average costs of over $5. Currently the nationwide average is $3.314 per gallon according to the American Automobile Association.

The highest-priced gas averages are $4.650 in California, and Texas sits at the lowest average of $2.942. Nonetheless, U.S. drivers are being warned to expect “real pain” at the pump when the spring travel surge begins.

Inflation is currently at the highest level in almost 40 years. Last week the Labor Department said the consumer price index has risen 7 percent over the last year. President Biden has called inflation “a global challenge” and attempted to claim the latest numbers are good news, point to a monthly rate of price increases around December.

After the report came out, Biden said, “Today’s report—which shows a meaningful reduction in headline inflation over last month, with gas prices and food prices falling—demonstrates that we are making progress in slowing the rate of price increases.”

“At the same time, this report underscores that we still have more work to do, with price increases still too high and squeezing family budgets” Biden did admit.

Daily Mail reports “nationwide, gas prices did drop 2.2 percent in December from the prior month, but remained 50 percent higher than a year ago. Food prices were up 0.5 percent on the month and 6.3 percent higher than a year ago, making it unclear what falling food prices Biden was referring to.”

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