BBC News. Hello, this is Jerry Smit.
Taliban fighters in Afghanistan have moved even closer to the capital Kabul. Fighting is reported in Maidan Shahr, a provincial capital, just 40 kilometer southwest of the Afghan capital. The militants say they've captured more territory overnight. Anbarasan Ethirajan has the latest. They are making their intentions very clear that they want to surround and seize Kabul as early as possible. And U.S. jets are reportedly carried out airstrikes on the militant positions outside the Kabul city. So the fighting is nearing towards the city as we speak. The Taliban say they have launched another assault on the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. That's the biggest city in the region close to the border with Uzbekistan. It is a trading commercial hub, very very important city that is one of the major cities still in the government control in the northern region. So that is an interesting place to watch today.
U.S. officials say an evacuation force that has begun arriving in Afghanistan will be capable of their lifting thousands of people a day from Kabul. An additional 3,000 U.S. troops have been rushed to the country. European nations are also scrambling to get their citizens out of Kabul. Speaking to the BBC, the former U.S. commander in Afghanistan, David Petraeus, said the pullout should be reversed. "The situation obviously is just disastrous. It's truly a catastrophe. And what happens next depends very much on what the US is willing to do and actually will do, to show the Taliban that we will not allow them to take the capital, that we will carry out a withdrawal of our citizens, we should get all of the 18,000 battlefield translators who earned the special immigrant visa status out as well. I would say that we should literally reverse the decision."
More than 1 million people in Japan have been asked to leave their homes and seek shelter following torrential rain. Michael Bristow has the details. The worst affected areas are in the west of Japan. One woman died when a landslide in Nagasaki prefecture destroyed two houses. A husband and their daughter are missing. Television pictures show inundated homes, residents waiting through flooded streets, and wheels said have been washed away. People have been asked to do whatever they can to stay safe. Experts say these are unprecedented levels of rainfall. There's no let-up in sight. Bad weather is expected across many parts of Japan in the coming week.
Lebanon central bank says it's willing to continue using its reserves to in effect subsidize fuel imports as long as the law is passed that authorizes this. The bank's recent announcement that it was halting such spending was bitterly condemned by the government. The decision could bring sharp fuel price increases. Fuels of all kinds are in short supply.
World news from the BBC.