Visa, the world’s largest payment processing company, said on Thursday it was looking into creating what it called a universal payment channel (UPC) to support central bank digital currency and stablecoin transfers across the globe.
The channel would act as a hub to connect multiple blockchains to enable secure transfers of digital currencies, the report said.
Many central banks including those of the UK, US and the eurozone have been looking into launching their own digital currencies, known as CBDCs, and have questioned whether these could be used in cross-border transfers.
“While digital currencies may not be a part of your daily financial life today, it’s likely that they will play an important role in the future,” Visa said.
“The UPC solution aims to serve as a network of blockchain(s)- adding value to multiple forms of money movement, whether they originate on the Visa network, or beyond,” the company said.
Visa said it had considered using the channel for transfers of stablecoins, such as USDC, because their value is tied to an existing currency like the dollar and, as such, they can be linked to CBDCs.
The UPC will be able to process billions of transactions with reduced fees, Visa said.
It would connect different blockchain networks by creating dedicated payment channels between them. This could mean connecting CBDC networks between countries, or connecting CBDC networks with vetted private stablecoin networks Visa said.
“How about sending $500 in USDC to a friend in London, and having those funds automatically converted to digital British pounds before they arrive in her CBDC wallet. Now imagine all this happening in real-time, across multiple networks, and compatible with multiple digital wallets,” the report by Visa’s research team said.
Visa has not wasted any time engaging with the growing crypto landscape. In July it partnered with 50 crypto companies to allow clients to spend their digital currencies. The company even bought a $150,000 CryptoPunk non-fungible token which is unique, digital and tied to art in August.
After all, who doesn’t want to wake up to the sound of waves crashing right outside their back porch, or take a moonlit stroll along the sand after the sun goes down? Though, if you’d prefer to cool off in an Airbnb with a private pool instead, we have plenty of options for that, too. And if hotels are more your thing, here are the best beach hotels in the US.
If a beach vacation is on your mind, from sea to shining blue sea there’s no shortage of beautiful Airbnb beach houses across the US.
Browse all Airbnb beach houses below, or jump to a specific area here:
Set along one of the Jersey Shore’s most charming seaside towns, Cape May, this cozy bayfront cottage with one bedroom is best suited for couples and solo travelers, though it is also pet-friendly.
It’s important to note, this is a two-family home and while this space is completely private and uses a separate entrance, the other side of the house is occupied, which might not work for some guests. You are also required to bring your own linens to fit the Queen-sized bed.
The location, however, is unparalleled and you’ll love spending time on the private back deck, which includes a hammock and leads directly out to the beach. The front porch with chairs and an umbrella adds additional space for enjoying the sea breeze.
Inside, the decor is simple but includes a red leather couch, an all-white kitchen with a dining table for two, and ocean photos in the bedroom.
The charming seaside town of Gloucester, pronounced Glah-Sta, in coastal New England comes alive in the summertime. From long walks on a private beach to romantic dinners on the deck, this one-bedroom beachside retreat will make a great getaway for couples.
Not only does the property come with a beachfront location, but beach passes are included, which would otherwise run between $25 to $30 per day. You may also book add-ons like in-house massages and whale watching expeditions directly with the host.
While this is a separate guest suite with its own private entrance, the entire cottage consists of three units that are each rented separately. Though, you can combine listings to book the entire property.
Just one hour north of Boston and one hour south of Portland, Maine, the Little Sea Star Castle is tucked away along Nubble Point in York Beach, Maine. One of 12 oceanside cottages within the LightHouse Village Colony, the house is set on nearly two acres with over 175 feet of oceanfront splendor with sunny, southern exposure and rugged rocky coastlines.
The cottage offers plenty of space to lounge. A roof deck has panoramic views over the ocean, and the lawn has Adirondack chairs and a picnic table for outdoor dining. The kitchen has everything needed to make yourself at home, and beachy accents like starfish pillows and mini sailboats on the dressers keep the home on theme.
The location is stellar, among scenic walking trails along the water.
Offering uninterrupted bayfront views, this cozy townhome in Ocean City, Maryland is the ideal locale for your beach vacation. Sip morning coffee on the private balcony, enjoy steamed crabs on the large bayfront deck, or kick back with a cocktail and watch the sunset from the living room.
The layout is an open-living concept with a master bedroom upstairs with a private balcony and a King-size bed. The second bedroom has a Queen bed and there’s also a beige striped sectional couch that converts to a bed in the living room. Wicker furniture and deep blue quilts give this home a subtle beach vibe.
Located on a corner lot of the bay, the owner is explicit that this is not meant for partiers or large group gatherings. If you’re looking for a chill and relaxing beach getaway, this is the place for you.
Featuring both beachfront and bay views, this spacious four-bedroom, three-bathroom home in the quiet community of Broadkill Beach in Milton, Delaware offers unobstructed water views from almost every room.
The home features a coastal design with plenty of natural light and soft tones. The well-equipped kitchen has unique tiling, a large island, and turquoise bar stools for grabbing a quick bite or enjoying a cup of coffee.
One room includes bunk beds decked out in comforters with a cute whale pattern for kids. The location is peacefully quiet and primed to enjoy beautiful sunrises over the bay.
If luxury finishes and panoramic views of the ocean sounds like your kind of vibe, then consider this oceanfront haunt in Saco, Maine. Enjoy coffee or wine from the upstairs balcony before taking a walk along Ferry Beach or Camp Ellis Pier.
Ideal for bigger groups, the listing has two bedrooms and common spaces that sleep up to eight people. Though, the standout draw is no doubt the beachfront location and gorgeous water views, along with the surrounding quiet community. The home offers the chance to catch particularly stunning sunrises and sunsets.
Other perks include a Smart TV with Netflix, beach chairs, and free parking included in the stay, as well as a digital guidebook handy for helping guests explore the area.
Chic beachfront cottage in New York’s North Fork of Long Island
Set on a secluded stretch of Long Island’s illustrious North Fork, this two-bedroom beachfront cottage is a great place to hang by the beach or go wine tasting at one of the area’s many charming vineyards.
Wander along the private beach path or open up the floor-to-ceiling glass sliders that lead to a picturesque deck to dine at the picnic-style outdoor table, or relax on the plush lounger. An Airbnb Plus listing, the cottage’s chic palette features crisp, minimalist whites and neutrals, creating a sense of serene seaside solitude for a quiet getaway. After a walk on the sand, rinse off in the outdoor shower while savoring water views.
A cute condo directly on North Topsail Beach in North Carolina, this is a great option for couples or small families looking for a low-key beach getaway. The bedroom has a Queen bed and there are also Twin bunk beds built directly into the hallway.
Completely renovated in 2020, the apartment has a nautical-beach theme with soft blue and yellow hues, and big living room windows frame beach views. You can also head out to the balcony for a closer look.
Bright colors and floral decor give this home a warm, welcoming vibe, and a seashell bed quilt and striped bar stools at the eating nook add additional beach flair.
Serenity awaits at this casual oceanfront condo in Florida’s Cape Canaveral. Set on a beautiful private beach, this Airbnb Plus stands out for its whimsical decor and thoughtful amenities, which include blues of every hue from the turquoise velvet armchair to the robin’s egg backsplash in the kitchen. A mirror made out of oars, a mermaid statue, and an octopus painting over the couch are all fun touches for a beach home.
This is also a great place to spend your time kayaking, paddle boarding, or enjoying some much-needed downtime just lounging on the beach or pool, which are both just a few steps away. Within minutes of downtown Port Canaveral and the iconic Cocoa Beach Pier, there’s plenty to do right nearby.
Located on the bayside of the Bolivar Peninsula on Texas’ Gulf Coast, this home offers one bedroom and a lofted room, plus plenty of views of both the Gulf of Mexico and East Bay. It’s also just a few miles away from popular bird-watching areas including Bolivar Flats, Anahuac national wildlife refuge, and the Smith Oak sanctuary.
Bright and airy, this house is perched on stilts, and underneath, you’ll have a grill and a private sitting area. However, the wraparound porch is likely where you’ll spend the bulk of your time, soaking in the view from the wooden Adirondack chairs.
Inside isn’t bad either, with soaring pitched ceilings, a big blue sectional sofa, and marble countertops and bar stools in the kitchen.
Relax on your own private beach or hop in a kayak and explore miles of pristine, undeveloped beaches and cypress tree-filled coves from this bungalow in Jarvisburg, North Carolina set at the confluence of the North River and the Albemarle Sound.
The home is pet-friendly, and the bedroom offers a Queen sized bed as well as a futon for extra guests if you don’t mind the squeeze.
While not exactly modern, the bungalow has a homey vibe with string lights along the ceiling, a bright desk and bookcase, and purple cushions on the futon. The location is tranquil and fun amenities include a charcoal grill and outdoor fire pit. The house is only 15-minutes away from unspoiled shorelines and the beaches of the Outer Banks.
Step into the backyard of this spacious home on the Albemarle Sound and you’ll find nothing but peace and tranquility. Located in a quiet neighborhood in Hertford, North Carolina, the house is nice for bigger families or groups of friends.
Start and end your day on the dock, which comes with a bench to sit and watch the sunrise. Apart from the views directly overlooking the sound, highlights include the coffee bar in the kitchen, a gas log fireplace in the living room, and a fully covered and screened-in porch for enjoying home-cooked barbecue from the grill.
The house also comes with a washer/dryer and high-speed Wi-Fi.
A brand new beach cabin on the Chesapeake Bay, this spacious home is steps from the beach.
During the warm months, watch the sailing regattas from the balcony on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, or walk to nearby Ocean View Beach Park to listen to live music.
The decor is simple but useful, with wicker furniture accents, ocean-themed artwork, wood floors, and a big kitchen. A plaid couch and floral armchair are comfy spots to relax, though they may feel a bit dated. A patio out back adds additional hangout space.
The pinewood interior and absence of electronic appliances bring an old-fashioned feel to this cottage. The cottage was originally built in 1946, but each room has been remodeled since except for the corner kitchen. The master bedroom has a plush Queen-size bed where you can fall asleep to the sounds of nearby waves crashing.
Although you won’t find a TV or phone, there are various ways to indulge in this home’s rustic charm. A large outdoor deck overlooks an uncrowded beach and has a fire pit for chilly nights. Visit in summer and you may catch a glimpse of the sea turtles that dwell by the deck.
Watch dolphins from the private balcony, walk to the beach, or laze the day away by the pool — this oceanfront condo in South Carolina offers it all.
Located in a private community just a stone’s throw from one of the state’s most beguiling beaches at Hunting Island State Park, the area offers miles of unspoiled beaches and is frequented by birders and nature lovers for some of the best animal sightings in the area.
This second-floor condo offers one Queen bedroom and a second bedroom with a Twin bed. Guests have access to the community pool, beach, and two bikes. The unit also comes with a washer and dryer and is great for families with pets looking for a low-country getaway.
Watch the waves roll in as you enjoy your morning coffee on the private terrace from this modern Isle of Palms condo in South Carolina.
Newly renovated, this third-floor condo is especially nice for families with young children since it offers a King-size bed in the master and a bunk bed in the hallway. The decor is tasteful but beachy with coral pillows, a gray sofa, velvet armchairs, and a modern kitchen has a funky blue stone backsplash.
The building has easy access to the beach and a private fishing pier, as well as a community pool and coin laundry facility.
Located on half an acre along Port Royal Sound, this three-bed, four-bath manse is capable of sleeping up to 10 people. Adjacent to a 40-acre nature preserve, staying here comes with direct views over the sound, plus private access to the beach.
With an expansive, well-groomed yard for playing or relaxing under large oak trees covered in Spanish Moss, the house is also open to those looking to host a small, picture-perfect wedding or retreat with the beach and ocean as the backdrop.
Instead of renting a regular old cottage on the beach, opt to claim your own private island here on Old House Cay. Accessible only by boat, this is as secluded and off-the-grid as it gets.
Just a 10-minute ride away from neighboring Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, the home is part of a series of private islands that you’ll have all to yourself over your stay. Experience everything from boating, fishing, and kayaking to simply lounging around the island and going for long beach walks. As far as getting around, the owners will take you and your guests back and forth from Hilton Head on their private boat as needed.
Accommodations include a large, multi-story home with gorgeous wood floors, high ceilings, a modern kitchen, and a big blue dining table with room for the whole crew. All wood walls give it a hint of a cabin feel, while bright pillows and quilts add pops of color. A wooden deck with a fire pit out front is a lovely place to relax or make s’mores into the evening.
Open your door and step directly onto the sand at this charming beachfront condo in Carlsbad, California, near San Diego.
Within walking distance to Carlsbad Village, this home is close to restaurants and boutiques, with a cozy set-up that is best suited to solo travelers and couples. The two-story condo unit is on the ground floor and features a brick fireplace, a small dining table and kitchen, a blue sofa with colorful pillows, and a private balcony with a table and chairs that overlook the ocean, which is just a few feet away.
Set on a cul-de-sac in the quiet neighborhood of Port Orford along the Oregon coast, this three-bedroom beach house is protected by old-growth forest and faces a cove where orcas are known to stay and take shelter.
With gorgeous bay windows and total privacy within the neighborhood, along with private beach access and unobstructed views of the Lighthouse at Cape Blanco, it’s tough to beat the spectacular setting. A private trail off the backyard takes you directly to Shelter Cove.
The house itself offers big windows for a light and airy feel, with neutral colors of grays and creams, huge bedrooms, and a porch with a dining table, as well as a small fire pit in the yard.
Tucked away in verdant Patrick Point State Park in northern California, this rustic two-bedroom cabin has incredible ocean views amid a lush forest.
Top-rated features include the oversized hot tub, a picnic area overlooking the ocean, and a fire pit for roasting marshmallows after a long day. The yard offers ample space and lucky guests might even spot whales from the Adirondack chairs perched atop the lawn.
The house is set on steep cliffs, which means you’ll have phenomenal views, but won’t be able to walk right out onto the beach. Instead, you will have to wind your way down to the shores below.
Overlooking the Pacific and Black Sands Beach, this one-bedroom cliffside home is lovely for a romantic trip.
Inside, you’ll find a private entrance and a wrap-around deck. The bedroom has a California King bed, plus a modern kitchen, bathroom, and a living room with a fireplace. There is even a private hot tub that directly faces the ocean.
Take the trail from the home leading to the beach or walk or bike to any of the nearby beaches, restaurants, cafes, bars, and golf courses. The owner notes that you will need a car to get around and this home has a strict no pets policy and isn’t suitable for young children.
This sweet one-bedroom Airbnb Plus listing is well-placed on the iconic shores of Malibu for sweeping, dramatic views that feel plucked from a Nicholas Sparks novel.
Light and airy, this seaside haven is impeccably decorated with pristine white fixtures that stand out against natural wood floors and beams. Unique details like a small, wire Eiffel Tower perched on an antique desk and old framed letters and clippings add whimsical charm.
Fall asleep to the sound of ocean waves after enjoying drinks on the deck as you catch a sunset. Just know that this home is incredibly popular and tends to book almost a year in advance.
Pacific Ocean beachfront home in Encinitas, California
This beach home wows right away with its stunning panoramic ocean views, available throughout the house. However, they’re especially impressive from the open plan living room thanks to its arched beam ceilings that make the space feel airy and breezy.
The unobstructed views are also sure to dazzle from the multiple patios, which come with a grill, lounge chairs, an outdoor shower, and a private stairway leading to the sand.
The amenities are also nicely appointed, with a fireplace, full kitchen with a wine fridge, and multiple bedrooms, some of which lead directly to the terrace.
Pet-friendly beach cottage with amazing views in Oregon
This modern beachfront home in beautiful, iconic Cannon Beach, Oregon has easy beach access just 100 feet from the front door.
Inside, large picture windows offer unobstructed ocean views and a gas fireplace makes for a cozy spot. The outdoor shower is a nice way to rinse away sand after a beach day and the outdoor balcony is a great place to savor the sweeping views. At night, have a bonfire with s’mores in the yard.
The pet-friendly home is located on a quiet residential street with free street parking and is within easy access of plenty of shops, grocery stores, and restaurants.
FAQ: Airbnb beach houses
Where is the best place to rent a beach house?
The best place to rent a beach house depends on the type of beach and vacation you prefer. For year-round warm weather, look to places like Florida or Southern California.
For the classic New England look of windswept beach grass, large dunes, and shingled cottages, you’ll find great homes in places like Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the Jersey Shore. For something posh, try the Hamptons.
Bluer waters and warmer temps of course will be found within the South or West Coast, and the West Coast offers stunning scenery from California up to Oregon and Washington.
How do I search for a beach house on Airbnb?
You can specifically search for a beach house on Airbnb. First, input your preferred location and dates, then select More Filters, and refine results to only show beachfront homes by selecting the box that says Beachfront under Amenities.
What should I look for in an Airbnb?
Sorting through the vast array of homes available on Airbnb can be tough. Consider using criteria similar to what we use, which includes looking at the average rating, as well as reading up on recent reviews to ensure the home is still in top shape. Look for Superhosts and consider sorting by Airbnb Plus or Airbnb Luxe if you want a higher-end stay that’s been vetted for exceptional amenities, decor, and hosting.
Of course, for a beach getaway, location will be key. Be sure to look on the map and ensure before booking that the home is actually close to the beach. You don’t want to arrive only to find out you actually need to take a 30-minute car ride before your toes can hit the sand.
Is Airbnb safe?
We strongly encourage following guidelines and advice from leading health organizations including the CDC and following local and state laws before planning a vacation of any kind. You should also be proactive when it comes to wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently, and maintaining social distancing no matter where you go.
However, the CDC now recommends domestic travel as safe for fully vaccinated individuals.
Currently, only US citizens and their immediate families, green card holders, and some travelers with special exemptions can come to the States if they’ve been in the UK or EU within 14 days before travel.
The US also bars most noncitizens coming from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, and India, who will not be affected by the upcoming policy change.
The Biden administration is set to announce the new policy on Monday, the sources told the Financial Times.
President Biden signed the proclamation suspending travel to the US from 28 European countries in January 2021, when the Alpha variant was circulating in the UK. As new variants of the coronavirus emerged, the administration kept the policy in place and added additional restrictions on travel from other countries.
The highly infectious Delta variant has become dominant in the US, the UK, and other countries around the world. The variant has been known to infect some people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, resulting in cases that are relatively mild but do pose a transmission risk.
Early data suggests vaccinated people who get COVID-19 tend to be less infectious than unvaccinated patients, and they typically clear the virus quicker. Multiple public health experts have said vaccination is the key to beating Delta and the coronavirus pandemic as a whole.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
The United States is expecting to take in at least 50,000 Afghans fleeing the Taliban, according to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Each refugee could get up to $2,275 from the federal government to support resettlement needs, Bloomberg reported.
Ahead of President Joe Biden’s initial August 31 deadline to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban swept the country, culminating in a complete takeover by mid-August. Just days before the Taliban began its takeover, Biden said in a press briefing that “the likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.”
But as the Taliban encroached on the capital city of Kabul, the situation quickly evolved into a crisis. Photos and videos showed Afghans scrambling to leave the country and packing into cargo planes. Some footage showed Afghansclinging to and falling from a moving plane at the Kabul airport.
Since the takeover, the Biden administration has been trying desperately to evacuate Americans and fearful Afghans out of the country.
As of Wednesday, more than 23,000 Afghans have arrived to the US since evacuations from Kabul began, Axios reported. The Biden administration appointed former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell to oversee Afghan resettlement in the US.
The State Department has allocated funds to support Afghan resettlement in the United States. A department official told Bloomberg each evacuee could receive up to $2,275 to be spent on food, housing, or other necessities like enrolling children in school.
“Our commitment is an enduring one,” Mayorkas told reporters on Friday. “This is not just a matter of the next several weeks. We will not rest until we have accomplished the ultimate goal.”
Once Afghans arrive, they will have up to a year to apply for a permanent visa. Some companies have made efforts to support evacuation from Afghanistan. Airbnb, for example, set aside temporary housing for 20,000 displaced Afghans.
The remarks followed a lengthy exchange about the symbolism of the Taliban ruling Afghanistan once more on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
“How will history judge the United States’ experience in Afghanistan?” asked Stephanopoulos.
“We overextended what we needed to do to deal with our national interest,” replied Biden. “Are we gonna go to war because of what’s goin’ on in Tajikistan? What do you think?”
Biden is deeply familiar with the war and enmeshed with the US’s decisions. As chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when the US invaded in 2001, Biden offered full-throated support, saying “whatever it takes.” Years later, Biden traveled to Afghanistan and began to lose faith in the effort. As vice president in the Obama administration, he recommended a focus only on countering Al Qaeda, and against adding more troops. He was overruled. And as a presidential candidate in 2020, he pledged to bring the war to a close.
In the ABC interview, he went on to invoke the long history of Afghanistan, alluding to the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the British Empire’s involvement with the country, and even the conquests of Alexander the Great.
“Where in that isolated country that has never, never, never in all of history been united, all the way back to Alexander the Great, straight through the British Empire and the Russians, what is the idea?,” Biden asked. “Are we gonna continue to lose thousands of Americans to injury and death to try to unite that country? What do you think? I think not.”
He went on, noting that the country is bordered by US adversaries. “Is that worth our national interest to continue to spend another $1 trillion and lose thousands more American lives? For what?”
Earlier in the interview, Biden reiterated that the primary goal of the US mission in Afghanistan was counterrorism, rather than nation-building.
Biden’s comments echo those made by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan earlier in the week. At a press briefing on Tuesday, Sullivan pushed back after a reporter suggested that the US had a national security interest in having troops near, among other countries, Tajikistan.
“Would you say that there is no interest for us having some presence on the borders of Iran, on the borders of Pakistan, on the borders of – near China? Would you – or Tajikistan? Would you say that we’re – that we should just give that up?” the reporter asked.
“I would say that the President does not believe that the United States should be fighting and dying in a war for the purpose of sustaining American military boots near Tajikistan or Pakistan or Iran,” said Sullivan. “We would not agree that it is right to ask American soldiers to risk their lives for the purpose of maintaining a presence near Tajikistan.”
“Taliban members, with unrecognizable faces and speaking an unidentifiable language, entered the presidential palace,” Ghani said. “They were looking from room to room to find me. The decision was this: Whatever happened 25 years ago was going to be repeated. The Afghan president was going to be hanged.”
His comments refer to former Afghan President Mohammad Najibullah, who was hanged by Taliban forces the last time they took control of the country, in 1996.
“You all know that I was never scared and I will never be scared,” Ghani said. “I did not want to put Afghanistan’s dignity on the line.”
Ghani further defended his decision to leave, saying that he wanted to prevent violence and the destruction of the capital once the Taliban entered the city.
“My wish is for Afghan people to have peace and prosperity and for bloodshed to end,” he said, adding that he hopes Afghanistan will become a “safe and advanced country.”
Ghani went on to deny reports that he allegedly fled the country with a large sum of money, insisting that he left “empty-handed.”
“I left in such a way that I didn’t even have time to remove my sandals and put on my shoes. My most valuable items – my books and hundreds of notebooks and my private laptop – unfortunately I was unable to take with me. Everything is left in the hands of other people.”
“I left with one shirt, one pants, one vest and one sandals,” he added.
Ghani’s public statement comes three days after he left the country and the Taliban seized control of Kabul, triggering a collapse of the US-backed Afghan government. Taliban forces swept major cities across the country in a little over a week amid the US’ military withdrawal.
Ghani concluded that he’s talking with Afghan officials in hopes of one day returning to the country that he, earlier this year, called “my home and grave.”
“I don’t intend to escape,” he said Wednesday. “I am in search of prosperity, governing and peace for Afghanistan.”
HIIDE – Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment – is a portable device that connects with Biometrics Automated Toolset (BAT), identification-processing software used by soldiers to scan for threats, according to a military training presentation.
HIIDE can create tracking reports of biometric encounters and warns users if a person being checked is on a watch list, Signal Magazine reported.
A Joint Special Operations Command official and three former US military personnel told The Intercept that the devices were seized during a Taliban offensive last week.
If the Taliban have not already accessed the data, an Army Special Operations veteran said that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISS), Pakistan’s spy agency that has a history of working closely with the Taliban, may provide them with the tools to do so, The Intercept reported.
Many Afghans who were not evacuated are racing to erase their past online activity as the Taliban assumes control. Although one anonymous woman who worked for the Afghan government burned every document tying her to her former employment, she still worries that biometric data she gave when she was hired will be used by the Taliban to track her down, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Insider has contacted the Department of Defense for comment.
On Sunday, Taliban forces seized Jalalabad, capital of the eastern Nangarhar province, allowing them to continue their advance toward the Afghanistan government’s last stronghold: Kabul.
“There are no clashes taking place right now in Jalalabad because the governor has surrendered to the Taliban,” a Jalalabad-based Afghan official told Reuters. “Allowing passage to the Taliban was the only way to save civilian lives.”
Journalist Tariq Ghazniwal tweeted images showing Nangarhar Governor Ziaulhaq Amarkhil handing over the province to Shikh Nida Muhammad, the shadow governor of Nangarhar for the Islamic Emirate. Taliban insurgents now control 26 of the country’s 34 provincial capitals, BBC reports.
US forces have steadily left Afghanistan since given an August 31 withdrawal deadline by President Joe Biden. Taliban fighters began to rapidly seize territory during the withdrawal, causing US officials to reassess how quickly the Afghan government might fall.
A 13-year-old boy was duct taped to his seat after he tried to kick out a window on an American Airlines flight from Maui to Los Angeles, CBSN Los Angeles reported.
Witnesses told the news station that the boy became physical towards his mother an hour into the flight, which was diverted to Honolulu.
In a video clip published by CBSN Los Angeles, airline staff can be seen duct taping the boy to his seat as passengers help to restrain him.
The flight took off from the Hawaiian island of Maui on Tuesday at 12:30p.m. local time and was scheduled to land in Los Angeles five hours later. Instead, it was diverted to Hawaii’s capital Honolulu.
The boy was taken into custody in Honolulu, CBSN Los Angeles reported, adding that no one was injured.
An American Airlines spokesperson said: “Customers were re-accommodated on other flights or provided hotel accommodations. Safety and security is our top priority and we apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this caused.”
The plane landed in Honolulu at 3:47 p.m. local time, the spokesperson said. The flight was diverted “due to an incident with a passenger on board,” the spokesperson said.
This isn’t the first time airline staff have resorted to strapping a passenger to their seat because of unruly behaviour.
Staff duct taped a male passenger to his seat on a Frontier Airlines flight to Miami in July. The man had punched a male flight attendant, inappropriately touched female crew members, screamed obscenities, and removed his shirt mid-flight.
US health authorities are calling it “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” In the last two weeks, average COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen more than 50%, with unvaccinated people now representing the vast majority – around 97% – of hospitalized cases, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For many of these patients, their illness was a wake-up call.
“I’m admitting young, healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections,” Dr. Brytney Cobia, a hospitalist at Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama, wrote on Facebook on Sunday. “One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late.”
“After what I went through, I would’ve much rather been sick for a couple of days and have the mild symptoms that maybe the shot causes than to go through what I went through,” Spencer said on Thursday.
“It’s like a hammer in my head all the time: ‘Why didn’t you have the vaccine? You had all the chances, the opportunities, the appointments, the letters – everything,'” Fadi said.
These stories may be resonating with unvaccinated Americans lately.
Over the last week, the five states with the highest COVID-19 case rates – Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, and Nevada – had higher vaccination rates than the national average, the CDC said. In Louisiana, the number of first doses administered daily has risen 50% in the last two weeks, from roughly 3,600 to 5,400 per day. Arkansas’s daily first doses also rose 85% during that time, from around 2,800 to 5,300 per day.
“Whether it’s seeing loved ones sick or something else, it’s having an impact,” Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown School of Public Health, wrote of COVID-19 surges in states with rising vaccination rates.
Rising cases and hospitalizations could change the minds of vaccine skeptics
It’s hard to know exactly why vaccinations have risen in some states and not others. At the national level, average daily vaccinations have actually declined 15% in the last week, even though no state has vaccinated more than 75% of its residents so far, and 16 states haven’t crossed the 50% threshold.
“We can’t really say with any certainty why we’re seeing an uptick in vaccinations,” Mindy Faciane, a public information officer for the Louisiana Department of Health, told Insider. But rising hospitalizations may be having some effect, she added.
“We think some Louisianans are also seeing the rising numbers of cases and hospitalizations among the unvaccinated, seeing the more contagious Delta variant in circulation and how it’s affecting their communities, and understanding that it is really urgent,” Faciane said. “They’re working through whatever questions they may have had about the vaccine and are now extra motivated to protect themselves and their loved ones in a way they hadn’t before.”
“Anecdotally, we are hearing from pharmacists and healthcare providers administering shots that more Arkansans are seeing the urgency in the need to get vaccinated as cases increase in the state,” Arkansas’s state health director, Dr. José Romero, told Insider.
Romero said earlier this month that his department’s vaccination strategy includes highlighting stories of unvaccinated people who became severely ill from COVID-19 – like a couple whose baby was delivered while the mother was still on a ventilator.
“Those people are becoming ambassadors and getting these public service messages out,” Romero said, adding, “This couple in particular exemplifies the view that many, many people have in the state – that is, ‘This is nothing, it’s an insignificant viral infection’ – and really shows the consequences of that type of belief.”