• Four-star general Scott Miller to resign today, reports say
  • Biden says ‘We stand with the Cuban people’ amid protests

3.31pm BST

Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, has also expressed support for the Cuban people who are protesting their country’s government and economic crisis.

Florida supports the people of Cuba as they take to the streets against the tyrannical regime in Havana. The Cuban dictatorship has repressed the people of Cuba for decades & is now trying to silence those who have the courage to speak out against its disastrous policies#SOSCuba pic.twitter.com/H71EYoKdUZ

3.23pm BST

Ed Augustin and Daniel Montero in Havana report:

The biggest mass demonstrations for three decades have rippled through Cuba, as thousands took to the streets in cities throughout the island, demonstrating against food shortages, high prices and communist rule.

Related: Thousands march in Cuba in rare mass protests amid economic crisis

3.11pm BST

Joe Biden has released a statement expressing support for the Cuban people who are protesting their country’s current economic crisis, which has resulted in widespread food shortages.

“We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime,” the US president said in a new statement.

Related: Thousands march in Cuba in rare mass protests amid economic crisis

3.00pm BST

Joe Biden will hold a meeting this afternoon with the attorney general, Merrick Garland, and several leaders of major cities to discuss reducing gun crimes.

The White House has said that DC mayor Muriel Bowser, San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo and Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams will attend the meeting.

The rise in homicides likely translated into an additional 4,000 to 5,000 people killed across the country compared with the year before, according to early estimates. …

And yet, even after an estimated 25% single-year increase in homicides, Americans overall are much less likely to be killed today than they were in the 1990s, and the homicide rate across big cities is still close to half what it was a quarter century ago. …

Related: How bad is the rise in US homicides? Factchecking the ‘crime wave’ narrative police are pushing

2.36pm BST

Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger offered a rather pessimistic opinion of the situation in Afghanistan, describing the US military’s departure amid Taliban territorial gains as a “crushing defeat”.

Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran who was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, told NBC News yesterday, “The Taliban have outlasted the will of the United States.”

WATCH: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) says the U.S. troop withdrawal in Afghanistan represents a “crushing defeat.” #MTP@RepKinzinger: “The Taliban have outlasted the will of the United States… we may have to go back now.” pic.twitter.com/u95TOnVcTG

2.22pm BST

Sixteen members of an Afghan family who fled Taliban death threats have been trapped in Istanbul airport for the past two weeks, and thousands more refugees are making their way overland seeking safety in Turkey, as the security situation in Afghanistan rapidly deteriorates after the withdrawal of US and Nato forces.

The family, from Herat city, decided to leave the country in June after a relative was shot and killed on the street by Taliban forces. Several of them work with international aid organisations on issues such as women’s rights, and have continued to face threats.

Related: Afghan family trapped in Istanbul airport after fleeing Taliban threats

2.22pm BST

Greetings from Washington, live blog readers.

General Scott Miller, the top US commander in Afghanistan, will step down today, according to multiple reports. The news comes as the US military continues its withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan, which Joe Biden has said will conclude by the end of next month.

Gen. Scott Miller was poised to transfer authority to Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, according to a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity to confirm the developments.

McKenzie, also a four-star general, will operate from Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Florida. He will assume authority to conduct possible airstrikes in defense of Afghan government forces, at least until the U.S. withdrawal concludes by Aug. 31.

Continue reading…

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/joebiden

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