181 Afghan refugees land in Netherlands
THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- A group of 181 Afghans has arrived in the Netherlands on a chartered flight from Pakistan, the Dutch government said Wednesday, the latest group to fly to safety in the aftermath of the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan last year.
Most of the new arrivals who landed Tuesday night at an airport in Eindhoven left Afghanistan by crossing the land border into Pakistan, where Dutch diplomats and the International Organization for Migration helped them reach Islamabad.
The Dutch government said the Afghans were unable to flee their country earlier because they did not have valid travel documents. Pakistani authorities allowed them into the country so they could travel on to the Netherlands.
Earlier this year, Pakistan's government allowed 329 people into the country so they could fly to the Netherlands. The European country pledged to evacuate Afghans who assisted Dutch diplomats and military personnel before the Taliban seized power, sparking a chaotic rush by many Afghans to escape.
The Dutch government said Wednesday that it hopes to evacuate "as many eligible people as possible" from Afghanistan who make it to Pakistan.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had brought 1,801 Afghans to the Netherlands since late August 2021 and another 942 people were awaiting transfer, including 766 who remained in Afghanistan.
U.N. votes to extend cease-fire in Yemen
UNITED NATIONS -- The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Wednesday to extend the mandate of the U.N. mission helping to implement a December 2018 cease-fire agreement between Yemen's government and Houthi rebels. The deal calls for the withdrawal of fighters from the key port of Hodeida, two smaller ports in the province and Hodeida city.
A U.N.-brokered agreement, reached in Stockholm, was vague on who would run the port of Hodeida after the withdrawals. The resolution extends the mandate of the U.N. mission, known as UNMHA, until July 14, 2023.
The resolution highlighted an "ongoing Houthi hindrance" to the U.N. mission's freedom of movement and patrols.
However, the Security Council welcomed a two-month truce between the internationally recognized government and the Iran-backed Houthis that took effect April 2. It was extended for an additional two months on June 2.
The council called "for a strengthened truce to be translated into a durable cease-fire and an inclusive, comprehensive political settlement under the auspices of the United Nations."
U.N. special envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, told the council Monday that he plans to explore the possibility of a longer and expanded truce with the country's warring parties in the coming weeks.
The resolution adopted Wednesday welcomed the Yemeni government's flexibility in enabling the entry of fuel ships into Hodeida and enabling flights between Yemen's capital, Sanaa, and the Jordanian capital, Amman, and between Sanaa and Cairo.
Flooding, extreme heat deadly in China
BEIJING -- Flooding and extreme high temperatures have caused multiple deaths in eastern China as summer heat descends earlier than usual.
Record-high temperatures have been reported in Zhejiang province, just east of the global business hub of Shanghai, topping out above 107 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday.
The neighboring coastal provinces of Jiangsu and Fujian were also suffering under high heat, while Henan, Sichuan and Heilongjiang further inland saw many hospitalized for heat stroke, with an as-yet unreported number of deaths.
Floods have also struck much of the country, with three people reported killed and five missing in Sichuan province's Pingwu county as of midday Wednesday. One person was reported dead and eight missing in Heilongjiang in the northeast.
Hundreds of thousands in south-central China have already been displaced by flooding. The flooding adds to economic woes brought on partly by stringent "zero-covid" measures restricting travel and disrupting supply chains.
Unseasonal rain and flooding kill Afghans
ISLAMABAD -- Unseasonal rains and flooding have killed at least 39 people -- including nine children -- in Afghanistan, the United Nations said Wednesday.
Fourteen other people were wounded, according to the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The rains have caused land to slide, exposing unexploded ordnance from four decades of war and conflict. The mines are being moved and exploded under controlled circumstances to prevent further casualties, the agency said.
This is the third time that the eastern region has experienced flash flooding in less than a month, with 19 people killed and 131 people injured in heavy rains over two days in June.
In eastern Nangarhar and Nuristan, some 500 families were affected. About 2,000 acres of agricultural land were destroyed, along with four mosques, two canals, five local flour mills, a bridge, 12 miles of road and three schools. As many as 500 livestock were killed.