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Best and worst celebrity beach bodies (okay mostly best)

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Best and worst celebrity beach bodies (okay mostly best)

It is very hard to find stars with bad bodies who frequent beaches. But we still try. Kind of.

http://www.foxnews.com/”>Fox News

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Iskra Lawrence: Best

Plus-size model Iskra Lawrence looked stunning in a one-piece bathing suit while visiting Tulum, Mexico.

 

(Splash)

iskra-lawrence:-best

Lais Ribeiro: Best

Victoria’s Secret Angel and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit stunner Lais Ribeiro shows off her beach body during an afternoon dip in the ocean in Miami.

 

(Splash)

lais-ribeiro:-best

Susan Lucci: Best

(MEGA)

susan-lucci:-best

Kelly Ripa: Best

(Splash)

kelly-ripa:-best

Brooke Burke-Charvet: Best

Former “Dancing with the Stars” co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet flashed her toned bikini body in Malibu to promote her new fitness app. For more photos of Burke-Charvet, visit HollywoodLife.com.

(Instagram)

brooke-burke-charvet:-best

Taylor Hill: Best

Victoria’s Secret model Taylor Hill has been getting plenty of sun while vacationing in the Eleuthera Island of the Bahamas.  The runway star made sure to pose in a teeny tiny white bikini for Instagram. For more photos of Hill, visit HollywoodLife.com.

(Instagram)

taylor-hill:-best

Charlotte McKinney: Best

GUESS Girl Charlotte McKinney was happily enjoying a sun-soaked vacation getaway during the wintry months. The model made sure to rock a white hot bikini that enhanced her famous figure. For more photos of McKinney, visit HollywoodLife.com.

(Instagram)

charlotte-mckinney:-best

Sofia Vergara: Best

Sofia Vergara has been enjoying a sun-soaked vacation getaway in Mexico with her husband, “Magic Mike” star Joe Manganiello. For more photos of the “Modern Family” actress, visit HollywoodLife.com.

(Instagram)

sofia-vergara:-best

LeAnn Rimes: Best

Country crooner LeAnn Rimes rocked a swimsuit that proudly showed off her curves while enjoying a romantic getaway in Mexico with her husband, actor Eddie Cibrian. For more photos of the 35-year-old singer, visit HollywoodLife.com.

(Instagram)

leann-rimes:-best

Tara Reid: Worst

Tara Reid (left) appeared dangerously skinny as she sported a bikini and tiny denim shorts while vacationing in Tulum, Mexico with a friend. The American actress, best known for appearing in “American Pie” and “Sharknado,” is 42. MORE: TARA REID HITS RED CARPET WITH WHOLE NEW LOOK

(Backgrid)

tara-reid:-worst

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga revealed her famous assets (and tattoos) while enjoying a beach getaway to kick off the New Year. The singer, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, is 31. MORE: SEXIEST CELEBRITY BIKINI BODIES

(Twitter)

lady-gaga

Alessandra Ambrosio: Best

There’s a reason why Alessandra Ambrosio has developed such a successful, lasting career as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. The 36-year-old mother of two was spotted having a good time in her native Brazil.

(Splash)

alessandra-ambrosio:-best

Rebecca Gayheart: Best

Rebecca Gayheart kicked off 2018 with some winter sun in Oahu Hawaii. The 46 year-old “Ugly Betty” actress looked stunning in a bikini while chatting with friends on the beach.

(Splash)

rebecca-gayheart:-best

Kelsea Ballerini: Best

Kelsea Ballerini has been happily sharing photos from her honeymoon with new hubby, fellow country singer Morgan Evans, on Instagram. The swimsuit-clad 24-year-old is relaxing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. For more photos of Ballerini, visit HollywoodLife.com.

(Instagram)

kelsea-ballerini:-best

Katharine McPhee: Best

Katharine McPhee showed off her beach-ready bikini body while out vacationing in Mexico. The singer/actress, who first found fame as an “American Idol” contestant, is 33. MORE: SEXIEST CELEBRITY BIKINI BODS

(MOVI Inc.)

katharine-mcphee:-best

Charlize Theron: Best

Charlize Theron showcased her bikini body during Thanksgiving when she enjoyed a sunny getaway in Los Cabos, Mexico, with her kids. 

(Splash)

charlize-theron:-best

Tania Marie: Best

 Italian Playboy Model Tania Marie showed off her bikini body while doing a photoshoot in Venice Beach, California.

(Splash)

tania-marie:-best

Bella Thorne: Best

Bella Thorne is ready to hit the waves! The 20-year-old wore a skimpy bikini top in a behind-the-scenes snap from Liam Payne’s “Bedroom Floor” music video. For more photos of Thorne, visit HollywoodLife.com.

(Instagram)

bella-thorne:-best

Olivia Culpo: Best

Former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo was spotted participating in photoshoot where she rocked a Beach Bunny Swimwear bikini that showed off her camera-ready body.

(Splash)

olivia-culpo:-best

Hilary Duff: Best

(MEGA The Media Agency)

hilary-duff:-best

Natalie Pack: Best

GUESS Girl Natalie Pack isn’t shy about flaunting her bikini body on Instagram with a selfie. For more photos of the model, visit HollywoodLife.com.

(Instagram)

natalie-pack:-best

Christina El Moussa: Best

(Mr Plow/Backgrid)

christina-el-moussa:-best

Lindsay Lohan: Worst

(Pacific Coast News)

lindsay-lohan:-worst

Kate Compton: Best

Model Kate Compton sizzled on the beach in a sexy, strappy black one piece. But the model’s beach day was for work — she spent the day modeling for a photo shoot with fashion photographer Malachi Banales in Malibu, California.

(Splash)

kate-compton:-best

Danica Patrick: Best

(Instagram)

danica-patrick:-best

Natalia Borges and some guy: Best

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Natalia Borges was seen teaching her puppy how to swim at Miami beach. She showered her boyfriend and dog with kisses as they frolicked in the sea together.

(Splash)

natalia-borges-and-some-guy:-best

Olivia Munn: Best

Newly-single Olivia Munn headed to the Beach Enclave North Shore Villa in Turks & Caicos to celebrate her birthday. She thanked Booking.com on her Instagram account for sending her on the vacay. During the trip, she showed off her fit figure in a low-cut one-piece. Does Aaron Rodgers know what he’s missing? 

(Courtesy of Booking.com)

olivia-munn:-best

Kristin Cavallari: Best

(Instagram)

kristin-cavallari:-best

Nicole Scherzinger: Best

(Instagram)

nicole-scherzinger:-best

CJ Franco: Best

All work, all play? Model CJ Franco looked like she was having fun while donning a white bathing suit for a Sports Illustrated shoot in Malibu.

(Splash)

cj-franco:-best

“Top Chef” Padma Lakshmi: Best

(Instagram.com/padmalakshmi)

“top-chef”-padma-lakshmi:-best

Kourtney Kardashian and Kendall Jenner: Best

Sister, sister. Kourtney Kardashian (left) and her younger sister Kendall Jenner soaked up the sun on a boat while in Cannes. “Romy and Michele Takes Cannes,” Kardashian captured the pic. The mom-of-three reportedly brought along her much younger beau on the trip. Click here for more pics of Kardashian on Hollywoodlife.com.

(Instagram)

kourtney-kardashian-and-kendall-jenner:-best

Ashley Graham: Best

Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Ashley Graham channeled Pamela Anderson with her “Baywatch”-inspired swimsuit. The piece is from the 29-year-old’s newest Swimsuits For All campaign.

(Swimsuits For All)

ashley-graham:-best

Joy Corrigan: Best

The Sports Illustrated swimsuit model flaunted her bikini-ready figure during a sizzling photoshoot in Miami.

(Splash)

joy-corrigan:-best

Mama June: Best

(Splash)

mama-june:-best

Jessie James Decker: Best

Jessie James Decker showed off her newly-toned bikini bod thanks to the South Beach Diet. The busy mom-of-two said a balance of diet and exercise helped her get into the best shape of her life. “When I was younger, it was easier to stay in shape. But once I had children, everything changed,” she said in a press release.

(South Beach Diet)

jessie-james-decker:-best

Lisa Rinna: ‘I am 53’

(Instagram)

lisa-rinna:-‘i-am-53’

Kate Hudson: Best

Kate Hudson showed off her insane bikini body while on a vacation in with her kids in in Hawaii. 

(Splash News)

kate-hudson:-best

Porsha Williams: Best

Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Williams recently vacationed AAA Four Diamond Moon Palace Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Porsha stripped down to a revealing swimsuit while at the resort to show off her fit beach bod. 

(Dreamart/Palace Resorts)

porsha-williams:-best

Maria Menounos: Best

(Instagram)

maria-menounos:-best

Kendra Wilkinson: Best

(Instagram)

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Nina Agdal: Best

(Ruven Afanador/Sports Illustrated)

nina-agdal:-best

Bella Hadid: Best

(Instagram)

bella-hadid:-best

Adam Sandler: Worst

The ‘Happy Gilmore’ star may be helping his kids eat too many of their Happy Meals.

(X17online.com)

adam-sandler:-worst

Melissa Joan Hart: Best

Melissa Joan Hart is proud of maintaining her 40 pound weight loss using Nutrisystem and is looking forward to swimsuit season. “It’s been awesome trying on different swimsuits and feeling confident. This red suit is one of my favorites – it’s sexy and playful, but still a little reserved. Perfect for an almost 40 year old!” Hart said.

(Nutrisystem)

melissa-joan-hart:-best

Selena Gomez: Best

Selena shared a super sexy selfie of herself wearing a bikini and teased, “comin soon.” Perhaps the singer has a new photoshoot coming out or a music video. Click here for more pictures of Gomez.

(Instagram)

selena-gomez:-best

Candice Swanepoel: Best

(Splash)

candice-swanepoel:-best

Lindsey Vonn: Best

(Instagram)

lindsey-vonn:-best

Sylvie van der Vaart: Best

(Spread/X17online.com)

sylvie-van-der-vaart:-best

Kellie Pickler: Best

Pickler went from country girl to cabana girl. The singer posted a picture of herself getting some R&R on a girl’s trip with fellow country singer Jana Kramer. Click here for more pictures of Kellie.

(Instagram)

kellie-pickler:-best

Paris Hilton: Best

Paris celebrated July 4 soaking up some sun in a black, stringy one-piece. Click here to see more pictures of the hotel heiress from X17online.com.

(X17online)

paris-hilton:-best

Kate Walsh: Best

(Splash)

kate-walsh:-best

Ireland Baldwin: Best

Alec’s daughter told Galore magazine that forgoing Cup of Noodles was key to her bangin’ bikini bod. Having half Kim Basinger’s genes doesn’t hurt either.

(Jacog Dekat/Galore)

ireland-baldwin:-best

Heidi Klum: Best

Klum’s a cut above the rest. The model and mom of four showed off her bikini-ready body in a black cut-out one-piece on the cover of Us Weekly. How does she stay in shape? “I don’t eat bagels—no way!” she told the magazine. “A bagel is basically a cardboard box…Usually I’ll have a smoothie in the morning.”

(Us Weekly)

heidi-klum:-best

Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens: Best

Former Disney costars Tisdale (R) and Hudgens celebrated Tisdale’s upcoming wedding in style. The pair showed off their toned tummies in teeny bikinis on a huge yacht in Miami. Click here for more photos from Tisdale’s bachelorette party.

(Splash)

ashley-tisdale-and-vanessa-hudgens:-best

Shemar Moore: Best

(MrPixx/X17online.com)

shemar-moore:-best

Shauna Sand: Best

Sand wore an itsy bitsy teenie weenie teal bikini for a day of fun in the sun. For more pictures of the Playboy Playmate, visit X17online.com.

(X17online)

shauna-sand:-best

Lisa Hochstein: Best

(Splash)

lisa-hochstein:-best

Ashley Benson: Best

Summer can’t come soon enough for this “Spring Breakers” star. Benson, left, shared a sultry poolside seflie of her and a friend trying to get a tan. “Trying to look tan haha,” she wrote on InstagramClick here for more sexy “Spring Breakers” photos.

(Instagram)

ashley-benson:-best

Kim Kardashian: Best

(Instagram)

kim-kardashian:-best

Nina Agdal and Josh Henderson: Best

Op‘s Spring/Summer 2014 marketing campaign features Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model Nina Agdal, actor Josh Henderson, and model/actress Cailin Russo. This is Nina and Josh. They are quite fit.

(Op.com)

nina-agdal-and-josh-henderson:-best

Celina Jade: Best

“Arrow” star Celina Jade stripped down to a bikini for a Maxim shoot. The Hong Kong native revealed that she’s also a singer, songwriter and trained martial artist.

(Maxim)

celina-jade:-best

Kris Jenner: Best

(Instagram)

kris-jenner:-best

Marg Helgenberger: Best

(X17)

marg-helgenberger:-best

Rihanna: Best

(X17)

rihanna:-best

Kate Upton: Best

Supermodel Kate Upton showed off her clearly awesome beach body in the pages of Sports Illustrated as their swimsuit issue covergirl… twice. 

(Derek Kettela/Sports Illustrated )

kate-upton:-best

Amanda Cerny: Best

(RumoerFix/FlameFlyNet)

amanda-cerny:-best

Jaclyn Swedberg: Best

(RumorFIx)

jaclyn-swedberg:-best

Bar Refaeli: Best

(Instagram)

bar-refaeli:-best

Gabrielle Union: Best

(Instagram)

gabrielle-union:-best

Courtney Stodden: Best

(X17online.com)

courtney-stodden:-best

Karrueche Tran: Best

(X17online.com)

karrueche-tran:-best

Emmanuelle Chriqui: Best

(X17online.com)

emmanuelle-chriqui:-best

Bethenny Frankel: Best

(X17)

bethenny-frankel:-best

Holly Madison: Best

(MOVI Inc.)

holly-madison:-best

Lauren Stoner: Best

Okay, so we’re not even sure who this is, but with a body like that, does it even matter? For the record, she was on a reality show in 2010 called “The Spin Crowd.” For more pics of Lauren, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

lauren-stoner:-best

Melody Thornton: X17

The former Pussycat Dolls singer looks very hot in Miami Beach. For more pics of Melody, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

melody-thornton:-x17

Kendall Jenner: Best

The reality-star-turned-model shows off her patriotism the only way she knows how. For more pics of Kendall, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

kendall-jenner:-best

Farrah Abraham: Best

(RumorFix)

farrah-abraham:-best

Reese Witherspoon: Best

While celebrating the Fourth of July with her son and husband, Reese opted to cover up at the beach. The new mom still looks fabulous. Click here for more from X17.

(X17)

reese-witherspoon:-best

Maria Shriver: Worst

We have to say, at 57, Maria Shriver looks pretty good… from the front. But we wish she would have paired her figure-flattering one piece swimsuit with a sarong or a cover-up. Maria Shriver: WorstClick here for more photos from X17

(X17)

maria-shriver:-worst

Victoria Silvstedt: Best

(X17)

victoria-silvstedt:-best

Alison Brie: Best

(Esquire)

alison-brie:-best

Katrina Bowden: Best

Of her bikini style the “30 Rock” star says, “I love mixing and matching the brightly colored bikinis, tank tops and shorts. I like to create my own individual beach style.” You can check out more behind the scenes footage here.

(Invision/AP)

katrina-bowden:-best

Kellan Lutz: Best

“One of my favorite styles is the hybrid short,” says the ripped star. “They dry quickly so you can wear them in the water, then out around town.” You can check out more behind the scenes footage here.

(Omar Vega/Invision for Iconix/AP)

kellan-lutz:-best

Nicole Richie: Best

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Nicole Richie look this good – and healthy. For more pics of Nicole, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

nicole-richie:-best

Jessica Alba: Best

Alba stripped down to her string bikini to enjoy the water in St. Barth’s with her husband Cash Warren, a former stage hand on one of her movie sets, also known as the luckiest man in the world. HOT SHOTS: Tons more pics of Alba on the beach.

(X17)

jessica-alba:-best

Jennie Garth: Best

(X17Online)

jennie-garth:-best

Jennifer Love Hewitt: Best

The actress has gone up and down in size over the years, but on the March 2013 issue of Shape, she looks quite good a bikini.

(AMI)

jennifer-love-hewitt:-best

Beyonce: Best

The singer had a baby not long before shooting this cover. Bow down.

(GQ)

beyonce:-best

Naomi Watts: Best

With a body like that, it’s hard to believe that Naomi has two kids! For more pics of Naomi, go to x17online.com.

(AlphaX/X17online.com)

naomi-watts:-best

Magdalena Frackowiak: Best

(X17)

magdalena-frackowiak:-best

Stephanie Seymour: Best

(X17)

stephanie-seymour:-best

Claudia Galanti: Best

(X17)

claudia-galanti:-best

Jennifer Aniston: Best

(RumorFix)

jennifer-aniston:-best

Jada Pinkett Smith: Best

(RumorFix.com)

jada-pinkett-smith:-best

Cindy Crawford: Best

The supermodel, born in 1966, is still super-modeling. Cindy Crawford: BestNow that’s impressive.

(Shape)

cindy-crawford:-best

Courtney Cox: Best

The “Cougar Town” star showed off her bikini body while enjoying a Corona in Miami. How does our favorite “Friend” stay in great shape? She told New Beauty magazine that she follows a light diet plan. She skips breakfast and has a coffee instead, chicken salad for lunch and meat and vegetables for dinner. Yep, that’ll do it. HOT SHOTS: Cox’s hot bikini bod.

(RumorFix.com)

courtney-cox:-best

Jennifer Lawrence: Best

(RumorFix.com)

jennifer-lawrence:-best

Katy Perry: Best

The singer often shows off her figure in form-fitting dresses, so it’s no surprise that she looks this good in a two-piece while on vacation in Miami. For more pics of Katy, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

katy-perry:-best

Demi and Rumer: Best

(X17Online.com)

demi-and-rumer:-best

Jon Favreau: Worst

(RumorFix.com )

jon-favreau:-worst

Best: Olivia Wilde

(FameFlynet)

best:-olivia-wilde

Best: Whitney Port

Her body is beach ready, but her taste in bikinis is lacking, troubling as she is a “fashion designer.” At least on TV. For more pics of Whitney, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

best:-whitney-port

Best: Maria Menounous

(X17 Online)

best:-maria-menounous

Worst: Val Kilmer

(X17 Online)

worst:-val-kilmer

Ashley Tisdale: Best

The young actress celebrated her birthday with boyfriend Scott Speer, sharing a kiss and playing in the ocean at her Malibu Birthday party. For more pics of Ashley, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

ashley-tisdale:-best

Ramona Singer: Worst

The “Real Housewives of New York” star should have done a few extra crunches before donning her itsy bitsy bikini. (They do make something called a “one piece.”) Ramona Singer: WorstFor more pics of Ramona, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

ramona-singer:-worst

Kelly Brook: Best

Kelly Brook and Cannes: a good combination. Fore more pics of Kelly, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

kelly-brook:-best

Michelle Rodriguez: Best

(X17)

michelle-rodriguez:-best

Russell Simmons: Worst

(X17)

russell-simmons:-worst

David Hasselhoff: Worst

Eek. Those late night cheeseburgers are beginning to show. For more on David go to X17Online.

(X17online.com)

david-hasselhoff:-worst

Janice Dickinson: Worst

(celebbuzz.com)

janice-dickinson:-worst

Jordana Brewster: Best

(X17online.com)

jordana-brewster:-best

Cameron Diaz: Best

(x17online.com)

cameron-diaz:-best

Keira Knightly: Best

(X17)

keira-knightly:-best

Mario Lopez: Best

(X17online.com)

mario-lopez:-best

Kristen Bell: Best

(x17online.com)

kristen-bell:-best

Kathy Griffin: Worst

(celebbuzz.com)

kathy-griffin:-worst

Deena Cortese: Worst

The “Jersey Shore” gal should consider trading in all those fruity cocktails for some Muscle Milk. For more pics of Deena go to Celebuzz.

(celebbuzz.com)

deena-cortese:-worst

Serena Williams: Best

The tennis star looks hot in a bikini that looks like lingerie. For more pics of Serena go to Celebuzz.

(celebbuzz.com)

serena-williams:-best



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Afghanistan: Next few weeks pivotal as humanitarian crisis and fight for power looms | World News

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The next few weeks will be pivotal for the future of Afghanistan with ominous implications for its people who face a looming humanitarian disaster, but also for the prestige, power and influence of the West.

The Taliban has advanced faster than many had expected, seizing swathes of territory, key border crossings and now threatening three provincial capitals.

Ben Barry, senior fellow for land warfare at the International Institute for Strategic Studies said all eyes are now on Herat in the west and Kandahar and Lashkar Gah in the south.

Since the withdrawal of western forces, violence in the country has increased
Image:
Since the withdrawal of Western forces, violence in the country has increased

“If these provincial capitals fall then the Afghan government is in a very difficult position,” he said.

“If most or all of these provincial capitals hold then the chances are the Afghan government itself can continue to hold and the longer the Afghan government holds, then the weaker is the negotiating position of the Taliban.”

The immediate fear is of an impending humanitarian disaster. Terror of the Taliban and a looming civil war is forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes.

Former UN Special Representative to the Secretary General on Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto has years of experience in the country. He told Sky News the situation is deeply alarming, with so many people on the move and far worse than anything he witnessed there until now.

“It’s very serious, very very serious,” he said.

“It is an extremely large number, much much larger than acceptable. And I think the international community has to step up its commitment to aid. The international community has to speak out with unequivocal voice together.”

Two decades after the invasion of Afghanistan and the toppling of the Taliban, US president Joe Biden ordered the withdrawal of forces. Talks between the Taliban and Afghan government are continuing in Qatar. Those talks are stalled while the fighting intensifies.

Tadimichi Yamamoto urged international powers to put their weight behind reinvigorating the diplomatic process: “We are seeing a real tragic situation where civilians and others are going to be sacrificed and that is totally unnecessary because the talks would bring the political forces to compromise and create a new future for Afghanistan.”

This week former US commander in the country, General David Petraeus, criticised the decision to withdraw saying America had abandoned Afghanistan to a “bloody and brutal civil war”.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the pace of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccinations in the United States during remarks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 29, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
Image:
Joe Biden has ordered the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan

He condemned the decision to announce withdrawal before talks were complete.

Britain lost more than 450 lives in two decades of fighting in Afghanistan, America more than two thousand, tens of thousands of Afghan civilians have died. More than two-and-a-quarter trillion dollars was spent there.

If the Taliban prevails and is able to wind the clock back to 2001, those sacrifices will have been in vain.

The next few weeks will test the Taliban’s ability to mount a sustained military campaign. In the past it has suffered severe losses in attempts to take provincial capitals. But the Afghan forces holding them now have less access to US airpower and US advisers are no longer able to deploy on the ground.

Afghan security personnel inspect a damaged vehicle which was carrying and shooting rockets, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, July 20, 2021.
Image:
Afghan security personnel inspect a damaged vehicle that was carrying rockets in Kabul

Either way, the failure of America and its allies to win the war in Afghanistan has long-lasting implications for the West.

The history of the country and the military failures of Britain and Russia there may have made the recent debacle seem inevitable but there was a chance, say observers, to succeed there – an opportunity squandered by the temptation to invade Iraq.

Mr Barry told Sky News the decision to attack Iraq “was as disastrous as Napoleon’s decision to attack Russia, or Hitler’s decision to attack the Soviet Union. And that’s the biggest single reason why the war in Afghanistan sailed into so much difficulty”.

Resources, attention and diplomatic bandwidth were diverted from Afghanistan to Iraq. And the occupation and its abuses undermined the credibility and legitimacy of the US.

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Afghanistan’s Ghani blames US withdrawal for violence

The decision to launch, then lose, two wars at such cost will surely be seen by historians as monumental hubris.

In the nemesis that’s followed, the West’s rivals – Russia, China and Iran – have watched and learned, Mr Barry said: “They will be saying to themselves we’ve seen the weaknesses of the West and the western way of war and we’re more confident in our own military capabilities than they are in theirs.”

Russia and Iran have applied those lessons already to the war in Syria. China has adjusted its tactics and hardware as it has modernised its military over the past twenty years. And other countries looking on will have drawn their own conclusions about the West’s ability to prevail and protect its interests and those of its allies.

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“There will be countries who are allies of the US and UK who will wonder if they are threatened, will the US and UK come to their aid or will they be scared off by the prospect of casualties,” said Mr Barry.

$2.26 trillion later, the West has seen the strategic confidence of allies undermined by its record in Afghanistan, and the confidence of rivals grow.

And the country where so much blood and treasure was spilled is heading back towards civil war, chaos and the possible supremacy of an ultraconservative Islamist theocracy.

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Beirut explosion: Officials knew risks of storing explosive materials but failed to protect public, says rights group | World News

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A year on from the massive explosion which hit Beirut, an international human rights group has said senior Lebanese officials failed to protect the public from the risks posed by highly explosive material stored at the capital’s port.

In a report on the explosion, Human Rights Watch (HRW) claimed those same officials were trying to thwart an investigation into the incident.

It comes as the country prepares to mark the one year anniversary of the blast on Wednesday.

At least 214 people were killed and more than 6,000 others were injured in the explosion at Beirut’s port.

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Moment of explosion in Beirut

The blast was preceded by a huge fire at a warehouse after hundreds of tonnes of improperly stored ammonium nitrate, a compound used as fertiliser but which has been used to make bombs, detonated.

Protesters are expected to gather in front of the port on Wednesday to hold a moment of silence before heading to the city centre.

Lebanon’s most senior Christian cleric, Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al Rai, is also due to hold a mass with the families of victims at the port.

An investigation into the explosion is yet to reveal who ordered the shipment of chemicals and why officials ignored repeated internal warnings of the dangers they posed.

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Inside the Beirut blast site

The chemicals arrived in the country on a ship called the Rhosus in 2013, after it made a stop while on its way from Georgia to Mozambique, in Beirut to try to earn extra money by taking on several pieces of heavy machinery.

However, the additional cargo proved too heavy for the ship and the crew refused to take it on.

It was then impounded by Lebanese authorities for failing to pay port fees, and never left the port again.

The HRW’s 650-page report details documents and exchanges between Lebanese officials about the ammonium nitrates, which had been stored at the port since then.

It concluded that “the actions and omissions of Lebanese authorities created an unreasonable risk of life”, adding that under international human rights law, a state’s failure to act to prevent foreseeable risks to life is a violation of the right to life.

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Beirut’s deadly explosion explained

In addition, HRW said evidence strongly suggested some government officials foresaw the possible devastation from the nitrates’ presence and tacitly accepted the risk.

“Under domestic law, this could amount to the crime of homicide with probable intent, and/or unintentional homicide,” it added.

The report names senior leaders, including President Michel Aoun, prime minister at the time Hassan Diab, and several ministers among others who were informed of risks posed by the nitrates but failed to take any action.

Lebanese officials have acknowledged they knew about the chemicals and either claim they pursued the matter after learning about it, or it was not within their jurisdiction to do so.

HRW said a lack of judicial independence, constitution-imposed immunity for high-level officials, and a range of procedural and systemic flaws in the domestic investigation rendered it “incapable of credibly delivering justice”.

Survivors of the blast and families of the victims have called for an international investigation to take place due to their lack faith in the Lebanese judicial system.

HRW says the case for an “international investigation has only strengthened”.

Last month, Lebanon’s lead investigating judge in the case, Tarek Bitar, announced he intends to pursue senior politicians and former and current security chiefs in the case, and requested permission for their prosecution.

However, those named in the probe have failed to appear at the prosecutor’s office, citing either immunity as members of parliament or needing special permission from the prime minister or the interior minister to appear.

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COVID-19: China orders testing of 12 million Wuhan residents as more Delta variant cases identified | World News

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China is conducting mass testing in Wuhan after it identified its first domestic cases of the Delta variant in the city where coronavirus was first detected in late 2019.

Wuhan, which gave the world its first glimpses of lockdowns and mass testing, had reported no local COVID-19 cases since mid-May last year.

But on Monday, authorities confirmed three new cases of the more transmissible variant in the Chinese city.

People scan health check codes with their smartphones to show to a security guard at a tourist shopping street in Beijing. Pic: AP
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People scan health check codes to show a security guard at a shopping street in Beijing. Pic: AP

All of its 12 million residents will be tested for coronavirus.

“To ensure that everyone in the city is safe, city-wide nucleic acid testing will be quickly launched for all people to fully screen out positive results and asymptomatic infections,” said Li Qiang, an official in the city, the capital of central Hubei province.

The new cases in Wuhan, along with infections in the nearby cities of Jingzhou and Huanggang since Saturday, were linked to cases found in Huaian city in Jiangsu province, said Li Yang, vice director of Hubei’s provincial disease control centre.

The outbreak in Jiangsu is believed to have begun in the provincial capital of Nanjing, with the Delta variant mostly likely introduced on a flight from Russia, officials have said.

Since then numerous cities in southern China and a few in the north including Beijing have reported infections.

The number of locally transmitted cases in China since 20 July, when the first Nanjing infections were found, stood at 414 on Monday.

However, it is not clear if all of those cases were of the Delta variant, or if they were all linked to Nanjing, as some authorities have not disclosed conclusive results of their virus-tracing efforts.

Authorities in numerous cities have launched mass testing to identify and isolate carriers. Pic: AP
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Authorities in numerous cities have launched mass testing to identify and isolate carriers. Pic: AP

The Delta variant poses new risks to the world’s second-largest economy as it spreads from the coast to inland cities.

On Tuesday, the National Health Commission said 90 new cases had been confirmed the previous day, 61 locally spread ones and 29 among people who had recently arrived from abroad.

Most of the local cases were in Jiangsu province, where an outbreak started at the airport in Nanjing, the provincial capital, and has spread to the city of Yangzhou, 65 miles away.

Authorities reported 45 new cases, five in Nanjing and 40 in the city of Yangzhou, which was conducting a second round of mass testing.

Five other provinces and the cities of Beijing and Shanghai reported new local cases in the single digits.

In Shanghai, the nation’s largest city, a driver working at one of its two main airports tested positive. Beijing has reported a total of five cases in recent days.

Government-affiliated scientists have said Chinese vaccines are less effective against the new strains of the coronavirus but still offer some protection.

Only Chinese vaccines are currently being given in China, where authorities say more than 1.6 billion doses have been administered.

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