tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN August 22, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
>> jerusalem would always be the holy city, the house of one god. the capital of two peoples and the temple of three faiths. hi, everybody, thank you for joining me. i am robyn curnow. coming up, we will talk about the u.s. troop presence in afghanistan, and cnn is learning about a change of policy at the airport that could impact many afghans trying to get out. we are live in doha with the details of that. and protests in australia, and we're live in sidney with the details on that.
>> live from cnn center, this is cnn "newsroom" with robyn curnow. >> thanks so much for joining me this hour. a week after the fall of kabul, u.s. president joe biden says changes are being made to help americans and their allies flee afghanistan, and a white house official tells cnn around 5,000 people were evacuated in a 12-hour period on sunday and some 20,000 others remain at kabul's airport. the u.s. is ramping up the pace of evacuations, more and more people are trying to get out. the u.s. is extending a safe zone around the airport and calling on civilian airlines to help evacuees once they are out of afghanistan. and it's not clear if the taliban will play ball. >> we're working diligently to
make sure we have increased the ability to get them out. we changed the gate operations and a whole range of things and that's why we have been able to significantly increase the number of people to get out. >> reporter: will the taliban -- >> we discussed a lot with the taliban and they have been cooperative in extending some of the parameter and that remains to be seen whether we ask that question. >> and some of the employees of the u.s. embassy are still trapped, and northern alliance leader and his forces have clashed with the taliban over the last week, and the militants gave him a sunday deadline to surrender. here's what he said in an earlier interview. >> we are not fighting one province, we are fighting the whole country in one providence, that's what is happening and we
want to make the taliban understand the only way forward is to talk and we do not want war to break out and to happen. >> meanwhile we are following developments at kabul's airport where a number of people trying to get out show any sign of slowing. i do understand we have new reporting on the situation there on the ground in kabul airport. >> reporter: yeah. i understand from a source close to the situation on the airport that as of today it will only be american citizens, green card holders or citizens of nato countries that are allowed on to that airport. that is to some degree not surprising, of course, given the difficulty they have had in filtering afghans who have tried to get on that base, and it's not that surprising because at this stage the gates of the airport remain closed. joe biden -- president joe biden
talked about the ultimate routes being used to get the american citizens and those eligible on base, and it appears to be no longer the gates that will let people on. the numbers on the base still remain at roughly 20,000 or so, and i'm told in the next 24 hours it could be as many as 30 c-17 cargo planes landing, which could make a significant dent in that 20,000. it should, although the source i spoke to said there's confusion as to how the shear volume of cargo planes coming in are not making a dent in the 20,000 figure. the source said possibly it could have something to do the afghans at the base, and letting their friends through the channel, and it still shows some degree of chaos on that particular base. and then an instance occurred at 4:00 a.m. this morning, and the source i spoke to said a sniper
outside the base of an unknown affiliation fired a shot into the base at afghan security forces who were helping the americans secure the force and that shot killed one of those afghans, and the afghans returned fire in the general direction where that shot came from but it was in the direction of the u.s. marines who fired back and four afghans were injured in that exchange. no american casualties. four afghan casualties and it's now considered to be in a stable condition. that tells you two things, something, it seems, outside the base wants to harass those on it, specifically the afghans and it shows how volatile change can be, and joe biden has made loose promises, not as clear as his priority of getting american citizens out of afghanistan, and
there are an unknown number still at this point and one issue does still remain for the days ahead. they have the main problem, i'm told, is scale. 20,000 people, and one of the issues among those 20,000 is that a lot of them, i understand, are military-age males with, quote, no do documentation. filtration seems to have lapsed and many afghans got on the base eventually because they were holding up a visa-type permit, and it has no name or number on it and people were showing that and allowing themselves on the base as a result, and it was chaos, and a humanitarian disaster at that particular point. the americans are left on that airport with thousands of afghan men that do not have a legitimate claim, and they would
say they do have a claim because they are afraid at this point. american nato citizens feel they are not a prioritized group in leaving. my understand is there is no plan to kick people off base, but again they are left with fundamental question, how long does it go on for? president biden did hint at the possibility of extending this, but it's unkwhclear how long th would require to get the 20,000 off, if for some reason those numbers keep going up again. and president biden did mention one key thing, the safe zone as you mentioned earlier, was being extended around the airport. the source i spoke to said the taliban now are checking documents essentially for the americans, and that may be the level of filtration, and we have
been wondering when the taliban and forces would come close to each other and that has been happening for sometime and the first level of filtration is the taliban, and that's good and bad. it's good because there is less of a risk of standoff between nato and taliban forces but it's bad because it gives taliban the first say as to who is eligible and who is not. i speculate that may be forming the line of those allowed on, and we suspect the taliban are not specifically sympathetic to the afghans who have been loyal to the americans there leaving the country. we are still dealing with a large number, and the gates are closed, and if you are an afghan it seems out there in the siv group, it doesn't seem the base is open to you. >> thank you for that comprehensive report.
u.s. president joe biden says there's still a long way to go before all americans and afghan allies are out of the country, but pledges of evacuation will push on. we go to the white house. >> president biden once again pledged to get all americans out of afghanistan safely and said the u.s. troops may need to remain in the country past the august 31st drawdown deadline in order to make that happen. the president said discussions are under way with his team about the progress of evacuations and he said he does hope they will be able to leave by august 31st, though it will be dependant on the status of americans who are in afghanistan. the president's remarks came as he addressed the country for the third time since kabul fell to the taliban, and while the president offered these assurances about evacuating americans and afghan allies safely and in a quick manner, he also said that there is still
room for something to go wrong in this process. take a listen. >> there's no way to evacuate this many people without pain and loss of heartbreaking images you see on television. it's just a fact. my heart aches for those people you see. we are approving that we can move thousands of people a day out of kabul. we are bringing our citizens, nato allies, afghans who have helped us in the war effort. we have a long way to go and a lot could still go wrong. >> the president is facing incredible pressure, not just to get americans out of afghanistan but also to evacuate those afghan allies that worked closely with the u.s. over the course of the 20-year war in afghanistan. now the president said those siv applicants will be able to come to the united states and insisted they will be thoroughly vetted before they travel to the u.s. these evacuees are leaving the kabul airport and heading to a
third-party site or operating base where that is under way, and president biden is preparing to once again speak with foreign leaders and he will virtually attend a g7 meeting where afghanistan will be a focus as there are so many questions from allies about the u.s. response in afghanistan and what the future holds. joining me now is cnn political and national security analyst, david sang. as we look back over the past week or so we have seen a lot of miskl cuelations and a lot of misjudgments and assumptions. how is that not different from the last 20 years in afghanistan? why are people surprised that they were surprised by the failure of afghan troops to stand up to the taliban? >> i think you are right that the history of the war has been
one of over assuming the degree to which the afghan national security forces would make use of the capacity that they were given, and frequently underestimating how organized and strategic the taliban were. as we did this large reconstruction of events that appeared in the sunday "new york times," what became clear to us is that back in april when the president made his decision that he was going to drawdown to zero, the working intelligence assessment at the time was that the afghans could hold off for one to two years. by june that came down to sort of 18 months, six months, then later on, and then within a few days before kabul fell, it came
so close to we couldn't give you a warning. >> is this a political failure or intelligence failure or american interventions gone wrong, a history of naive atay, overreach, and another variety of foreign policy mistakes? >> i think president biden argued, i think accurately, the reason he wanted to get out is because he was persuaded years ago that this was overreach and we can't reform these countries, and his next point was if you are going to go and focus the united states on true big threats these days, focus on china, focus on cyberattacks, and focus on this competition in space, but the risk of another terror attack coming out of
afghan territory was pretty low, there were higher risks where we have seen terror groups active. that all made perfect sense as setting a set of priorities, but then there was a question of if you know you are going to get out by a date certain how do you prepare for that? clearly they did not get enough of the work done in advance, especially getting out the afghan interpreters and others that helped the united states, the sort of special visa applicants. >> so this is a final act or maybe this is the beginning of another act that this is not a hollywood ending. americans are feeling ashamed and there's a great sense of moral hand wringing, justifiably so perhaps maybe about abandoning people, vulnerable people who worked or gave something to the americans. how is this politically
impacting this president or is he gambling that this is really going to peter out? >> what he is gambling is that at the end of this whole process -- >> whenever it is, because at the moment it seems pretty endless. >> yeah, but whenever that moment comes, he will be given credit to the president that finally got us out. obama said he wanted to do it, but surge in troops and could never bring the numbers down. >> for those that read history, was it alexander the great said it was the graveyard of empires. there's no surprise that afghanistan is a messy, messy place by which to try and create some sort of intervention. how much of an intelligence failure is this, or is this just a political failure or military one? >> i think president biden would argue that because it is the
great graveyard of empires, this ratifies it was right to get out, but that doesn't excuse failures, some which were political and some intelligence about how quickly the taliban would take over, and without the luxury of time the u.s. finds it's not able to rescue its own citizens in the way it had in mind or get those 20,000 special interpreters and others out of the country. now, he could still pull the rabbit out of the hat here. they are clearly thinking of something as the president said on sunday that is the size and sophistication of the berlin airlift, and if they could make that work i think they will get something turned around here. >> always good to get your analysis. thank you very much, sir. >> great to be with you. i just want to bring you this information on the whole
american support the decision to leave afghanistan but believe the withdrawal was mishandled. 47% of people approve of how president biden handled the withdrawal, and 53% disapprove, and 63% approve of u.s. removing troops overall. meanwhile 59% of people believe the u.s. is not doing enough to help afghans leave. 81% want to see afghans who worked for the u.s. take refuge here. coming up, the u.s. food and drug administration could grant the covid full approval. we'll talk about what that means for the fight to end the pandemic. no more nocturnal baking. or polar ice cap air-conditioner mode. because the tempur-pedic breeze delivers superior cooling... from cover to core. helping you sleep cool, all night long.
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meanwhile the u.s. covid deaths are rising. for the first time in nearly five months deaths are once again averaging more than 1,000 a day. joining me now is dr. matthew a. primary care physician here in atlanta. it's a pretty big day on monday with the fda giving full approval. what does that mean? >> i'm really excited about this for a lot of different reasons. i think the biggest reason here would be finally we are going to be able to get the ceo's of hospitals, universities, schools, you know, my hospital system to now actually have the confidence and the leverage to mandate vaccines. this is going to absolutely drive up the number of people that will get the shot. also, believe it or not, a recent survey suggested that one-third of people unvaccinated are waiting for a full licensure
before they get the vaccine, and they want to get the vaccine that is experimental, so on all fronts this is absolutely good news. >> do you genuinely believe that those unvaccinated to this point and had so much choice to get vaccinated, and do you think this will change minds? my experience in dealing with unvaccinated people is they are using any excuse. do you think there will be something elsewhere they will say i am waiting for something else, or is this the final proof in the pudding for them? >> i think that's a good question, robyn. i would look at people who are unvaccinated in two groups, just to broadly speak about them. you have the anti-vaxxers if you will that just don't believe the pandemic is true and they don't believe the covid vaccine is
safe. i think they will be a difficult group to convince. but then i also see a lot of people that i call fence sitters. these are not necessarily people, robyn, against silence but they are scared. i talk to three or four at work every week, doctor, i am worried, will there be side effects a year from today or two years down the road? i think for them, robyn, getting a full licensure is going to help them get across the line and get vaccinated. >> what about the boosters. how demoralizing has it been there are breakthrough infections and how does that play into this conversation? >> breakthrough infections are grossly under tkpwrcounted.
i know people don't want to hear that, but it's true. i think that we're under counting them for a lot of different reasons. if you are vaccinated you are not thinking that a cold is a need to actually get tested. a lot of people are not getting tested. eventually, though, if you talk about breakthrough infections generally speaking, most are mild and people are recovering at home and if you are going to get a break through disease or go into the hospital, we find most of those situations are in people 65 or older with other comorbidity illnesses. i think that people over 65 and the vulnerable populations should be first in line to get that booster. >> how concerned are you about the fall? >> very concerned about the fall. it's interesting, robyn, this virus is not supposed to
misbehave during the warmer temperatures, not when it's 80 or 90 degrees out there, and we have science to prove that this virus could be deactivated in the heat, and it's misbehaving where we have surges in 99% of communities that americans live in with the delta variant, and go into the colder weather worries me, and i know people are tired about hearing about this, but you should roll up the sleeve and get vaccinated to bring the community transmission down. >> based on the delta variant and other variants that might come along, and people unvaccinated particularly here in the south where we are, and how long do you think this will be with us, an? >> i think we have to accept
that covid is here to stay. once this vaccine is fully approved tomorrow, we should look at the vaccine as just a regular vaccine, like people coming for the tetanus booster or the regular annual flu shot. if we look at covid that way, we can co habitat with this virus. i think it's important for people to realize in order for people to do more activities, go to the concert and hang out with other people, you have to get vaccinated. we can't be scared of the virus, and we have to live our lives and we have to do it with layers of protection, wearing your mask when you go into indoor grocery stores or stadiums and weddings, and always protecting our vulnerable, remember, kids under 12 and the elderly, they are the most vulnerable, and we have to protect them by getting
vaccinated and using these layers of protection. >> good to see you here on cnn. thank you. >> thank you. the son of civil rights leader jesse jackson is giving an update on his parents after they were hospitalized with covid over the weekend. jonathan jackson said doctors are continuing to monitor his parents and both were resting co comfortably. we ask you continue to pray for the full recovery of our parents. still ahead , a tiny miracl in escaping afghanistan, a baby is born in the cargo hold of a plane carrying evacuees. we'll talk about that, next. rer just for filling, at cvs pharmacy.
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31 minutes past the hour. i am robyn curnow. we are following new developments out of afghanistan where in just the last few hours a firefight broke out at kabul airport between u.s., german and unknown assailants, that coming from the joint force operations command. an unknown sniper open fire at afghan security forces, and one man was killed and then they fired back, but it was in the direction of the american marines, and those marines fired back and four were injured. meanwhile, 20,000 people remain at the airport in hopes for fleeing afghanistan, and
there's a change in policy, and special immigrant visa applicants will not be allowed in. the source said the taliban were helping check documentation. the heartbreaking images we have seen of afghans trying to flee the country, the desperation so many are feeling, and there have been small moments of joy. we share one such story. >> a baby girl born in the cargo bay of a u.s. air force c-17 carrying afghan evacuees. the medical group rushed in to safely deliver her at the air base in germany. cnn filmed some of the first flights arrived, and more than 6,000 have been evacuated here with 17 flights landing in 24
hours, air base officials say, and more to come. here there's safety, basic shelter, food and water but it's only a temporary measure. many here do not know where they will go next or how. but for the moment, there's relief and reason to celebrate new life. >> the capacity at the air base is 7,500, and even though flights are not coming in on sunday evening there are expected to continue monday morning, so it's filling up fast and it's still not clear where evacuees will go to next. cnn, at the air base in germany. australian police made hundreds of arrests after the antilockdown protests went violent. we'll have more from sidney. that's next.
australia's new south wales reported more than 800 new covid cases today, although it's a slight drop from the record daily high, and the prime minister said the lockdown will come to an end once the vaccination rate hits 70%. angus watson joins us now from sidney with what the prime minister has been saying, admitting things have not been going as well as planned. >> that's right, robyn. the lockdowns like the one here where i am in, sidney, have been going on for almost two months in sidney but the case numbers keep getting higher, and meanwhile the cap city of australia is locked down, and melbourne is locked down and there you saw the violent scenes
of protesters turning out, angry about lockdowns while the vaccination rates in australia are also very low making those lockdowns absolutely necessary to stop the spread of the delta variant. scott morrison wants to give people in australia something to look forward to, he wants to shift the focus from these high case numbers to hospitalizations instead. he says he wants to treat covid-19 sz in the next coming months or next year, at least like other infectious diseases, but the problem is with those low vaccination rates here in australia, that's not possible yet, and it goes up to 30% when you take out the young population, robyn. >> talk us through what is happening in new zealand. there's also news on lockdowns
there. what can you tell us? >> robyn, that lockdown, that nation wide lockdown in new zealand is set to last until at least friday. now that lockdown came into force last week when there was just one case of covid-19 in the community in new zealand and now it's up to 100 active cases in new zealand, so unless numbers go down dramatically quickly that lockdown could be extended. new zealand has gone for the elimination strategy, and now the government is saying with the delta variant, that will no longer be possible and the country will have its borders sealed off until the end of the year to give the government time to vaccinate its population. >> thanks so much from sidney. appreciate it. thanks for joining us here on cnn "newsroom." if you are an international news
room i will hand you over to the good folks at world sport. if you are watching us here in the u.s., i'll be back for more news. stick around for that. for people who are a little intense about hydration. neutrogena® hydro boost lightweight. fragrance-free. 48 hour hydration. for that healthy skin glow. neutrogena®. for people with skin. microban 24 doesn't just kill bacteria once, then stop. it keeps killing bacteria for 24 hours. just spray and let dry to form a shield that's proven to keep killing bacteria for 24 hours... ...touch after touch. microban 24.
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it's been a busy day in singapore for u.s. vice president kamala harris. she met privately with the prime minister and joined him at a joint news conference and in the coming hours she will be with the service members at a base. why is this important, this trip? >> it's very important because i mean it comes at a time when really shifting sands in terms of era that we find ourselves in, and kamala harris pointing this out, and saying in this new
era, there are things like the pandemic and she said she's calling it a climate crisis given the resent u.n. report. that being the backdrop for some of the talks, they have had a bilateral meeting before the heavily delayed press conference, and enduring over and over again described the u.s.'s commitment to this part of the world and that underlines some of the importance of this, and she said we have an enduring partnership with the region and we're not going anywhere, and she talked about the reinforcement of that commitment and also about values and shared values with countries like singapore, using the words like peace and stability to describe where the u.s. is coming from, very much making a pitch to the region and also reaffirming an
ideology that the u.s. wants to stand by. with all of the issues on the table for the discussion and some experts were saying u.s./china relations were going to play into that, and you have to not ignore what is happening in afghanistan because that actually came up in the question and answer session that often comes after these press conferences, and three journ journalists straightaway came out to ask how the taliban swept through the country so fast, and the u.s.'s response, kamala harris would not be drawn on what happened. here's what she's focusing on. >> right now we are singularly focused on evacuating american citizens, and afghans that worked with us and afghans who are vulnerable, including women and children. that is our singular focus at this time.
understanding that we have a priority in making sure that the people that in particular helped america achieve its responsibilities in trerms of or priorities and the reason we went to afghanistan in the first place and we have a deep commitment to making sure the folks that helped us are safe. >> vice president kamala harris speaking earlier at the press conference. briefly i want to say so far as the efforts in afghanistan go, the prime minister of singapore promising singapore will assist with the evacuations of the refugees from afghanistan with support from various air support vehicles that belong to the republic's air force. >> thank you for the update there. thank you. devastating scenes in the state of tennessee after severe floods left at least 21 people dead over the weekend.
officials say around 20 others are still missing. the flooding was especially severe in humphrey's county which is west of nashville, and video of the aftermath shows homes destroyed and one told cnn the water rose so quickly it was like a tidal wave. on sunday an official summed up how devastating this has been for the community. take a listen. >> we have experienced a devastating loss of life over the last couple of days, we have lost four people in this event than we did in the train explosion in 1978, but we have seen the community come together. >> right now search and recovery efforts are still under way for those missing. meanwhile, also residents are just beginning to try and pick up the pieces.
nick is there and filed this will report. >> reporter: the governor of tennessee called it devastating and looking at the images you can certainly understand why. we tried to make our way in safely to the hardest hit area but encountered according to national weather service, 17 inches of rain fell in the span of 24 hours. in talking to residents, they say it felt like somebody was outside of their home with a fire hose and just relentless that water just continuing to come down. 3 inches of rain consecutive for three hours straight. the devastation is all around, and as the week begins, the clean-up will continue over the weekend. search and rescue crews went door to door trying to account for the missing. dozens of missing are still unaccounted for. according to local eyewitnesses, there was a housing project behind a dollar general store where several residents they say tried to make their way to the rooftops, but were swept away by the water.
this week we'll continue with a lot of search and recovery effort in the days ahead. nick valencia, cnn, humphreys county, tennessee. >> thanks, nick, for that. sticking with weather in the northeastern u.s., henri has weakened to a tropical depression. it is expected to produce heavy, heavy rainfall in the region and ahead. sunday is a tropical storm along the coast of rhode island. flash flood warnings and watches were issued for parts of new jersey, new york and pennsylvania as well. henri also downed trees and left more than 100,000 utility customers without power in four states. brian todd is in connecticut where he's been assessing some of the damage from the storm. brian. >> reporter: just before tropical storm henri passed through this area of new london and groton, connecticut, we talked to local officials, mayors and fire schchiefs who s they were worried about
firestorms and trees being down. i talked to the fire chief of new london. by and large they dodged a bullet in flooding and that kind of damage. downed trees came down on top of this house on montawk avenue here in new london. the tree came crashing down on this older house. i just talked to the homeowner nate hall who was home when it happened. saw the tree there, and assessed some of the damage. he saw some of the power lines down around his house. still not quite a safe situation here, even though he was uninjured. no one in the house was injured by this. no one in the town fortunately has been reported injured in the town by the storm. the house was so solidly built, it didn't seem to cause damage to the roof. you can see it didn't collapse. a large part of the tree snapped and came down here. so you've got that damage and he's assessing that and getting ready to call his insurance
company to come and try to help him out that way. again, power lines down here, we do know there are power lines down throughout the city. over here is where the homeowner told me that the power got knocked out. you see the dangling wires up there on that pole. that's where the power got knocked out in this neighborhood. so you've got that to deal with in many of these neighborhoods here in new london. again, this area was so saturated with water already with recent storms in recent weeks that you had situations like this. this is what people, the local officials were worried about here in new london and groton, connecticut. they had so much rain, the ground was saturated. any small amount of wind could pick up a tree and bring it down on a house like this one. that's what happened here, but by and large, officials here in new london and in groton are pretty thankful right now that they dodged most of what they anticipated would be major damage from this storm. brian todd, cnn, new london, connecticut. >> let's talk about all of this
with pedram javaheri. tell us what is happening now. >> still seeing periods of heavy rainfall, even in new york city, even in philadelphia at this hour. as the system essentially pushing on to the west, northwest, and gradually moving in that direction. we do expect it to make a sharp right turn and move off towards the east within the next 24 hours. but as you noted -- as brian noted in the previous story there, we were seeing winds close to hurricane force, strong enough after the historic rounds of rainfall to bring down plenty of foliage and plenty of trees across this region. we are still watching the flood watches that are prompted across this area, the flood warnings just outside of new york city as well. rainfall amounts exceeding 200 millimeters. keep in mind the month of july saw the wettest month ever observed in new york state and also the state of massachusetts. and recently we've had remnants of fred move across this region
as well, a tropical system. a lot of rainfall already observed. this round of it on monday could be just as problematic as the system slowly pulls away and finally we think on tuesday conditions begin to improve. but 3 of 4 on the threat scale for heavy rainfall in the metro northeast. this is central tennessee. we've seen incredible amounts of rainfall, robin, pushing 30 to 40 centimeters. 17 inches on saturday alone. that is a 1 in 1,000 year event taking place across the state of tennessee with the flooding there. >> thanks so much for that update there. pedram javaheri. >> thank you. haiti, a week after a devastating earthquake hit the country, we have reports of a rescue crew finding two dozen survivors trapped in a mountainous region 60 kilometers from the quake's epicenter. four children, 20 adults were
airlifted to a nearby town for treatment. on sunday we learned the death toll from that august 14th earthquake has now passed 2200. more than 12,000 people were injured, and officials say hundreds of thousands of haitians still need humanitarian aid. and in one day, the paralympics kicks off in tokyo. the torch relay is in its final stretch ahead of the opening ceremony. torch bearers from five districts of tokyo sunday as covid concerns certainly remain high in japan. the nation extended a covid emergency in tokyo as infections remain at record levels there. now, organizers say they will implement the same protocols for the paralympics that were used for the olympics. and on that note, good-bye. thanks for watching. i'm robin kerner. i'm going to hand you over to my colleague rosemary church who picks things up aftered break. the lasting cologne scent of old spice dynasty
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♪ the barnes firm injury attorneys ♪ ♪ call one eight hundred, eight million ♪ hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the united states and all around the world. i'm rosemary church. ahead on cnn newsroom. >> evacuation of thousands of people is going to be hard and painful no matter when it started, when we began. >> president biden under growing pressure as chaos unfolds at kabul's airport with about