10 things you need to know today: August 31, 2021

Last U.S. military plane leaves Afghanistan, Ida downgraded but leaves 1 million without power, and more

Taliban forces
(Image credit: WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

1. Last military plane leaves Afghanistan, ending longest U.S. war

The last U.S. military plane left Kabul on Monday, ending a 20-year presence in Afghanistan and the longest war in U.S. history. The aircraft carried all U.S. troops and diplomats who remained in the country as the deadline for the U.S. withdrawal arrived. "I'm here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from Afghanistan," said Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., the head of U.S. Central Command. Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, the commander of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, and acting American ambassador Ross Wilson were among the last Americans to leave. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. diplomatic mission to Afghanistan would continue working from Doha, Qatar, on its "relentless efforts to help Americans, foreign nationals, and Afghans" who are at risk under Taliban rule to leave.

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