Afghans killed outside airport were seeking new lives abroad

KABUL, Afghanistan — Mohammed Jan Sultani had clutched his national Taekwondo championship certificates as he waded through the multitudes pushing to get into Kabul airport late last week. The 25-year-old athlete wasn't on any evacuation lists. Yet he had hoped his achievements would make him and his young family special enough to be let into the gate and onto one of the flights rescuing foreigners and Afghans fleeing the Taliban. As he forged ahead, an Islamic State suicide bomber detonated two dozen pounds of explosives in the crowd just before nightfall Thursday, killing 169 Afghans, including Sultani, and 13 U.S. service members.

Anxious tenants await assistance as evictions resume

Six months after Congress approved spending tens of billions of dollars to bail out renters facing eviction, South Carolina was just reaching its first tenants. All nine of them. Like most states, it had plenty of money to distribute — $272 million. But it had handed out just over $36,000 by June. The pace has since intensified, but South Carolina still has only distributed $15.5 million in rent and utility payments as of Aug. 20, or about 6% of its funds. “People are strangling on the red tape,” said Sandy Gillis, executive director of the Hilton Head Deep Well Project, which stopped referring tenants to the program and started paying overdue rent through its own private funds instead. The struggles in South Carolina are emblematic of a program launched at the beginning of the year with the promise of solving the pandemic eviction crisis, only to fall victim in many states to bureaucratic hurdles, political inertia and unclear guidance at the federal level. The concerns about the slow pace intensified Thursday, after the Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a temporary ban that was put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Georgia teens start program to teach Telugu, Tamil languages

CUMMING — From a young age, South Forsyth High School students Suhaas Bonkur, Krithika Kasireddy, Ritika Vemulapalli and Vinay Polaku began learning Telugu and Tamil, which are south Indian languages. When the four friends began hanging out, their speaking and comprehension skills strengthened, as well as their bonds with each other. In March, Bonkur began to develop an idea for a free tutoring service that would offer students of any age the opportunity to learn Telugu and Tamil. It wasn’t until his three friends jumped on board that the program started to take off. “With a lot of the demographic in south Forsyth County changing to (incorporate) American Asians and Indians, I just wanted to express that culture even more,” Bonkur said. The Telugu Tamil Tutor, or the TT Tutor for short, is the first free Telugu and Tamil tutoring service in Forsyth County and has over 20 students from ages 5 to 18. The co-founders also have a podcast and YouTube channel called ‘TT Talks’ where they go over lessons and speak in Telugu and Tamil.

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