Here is a roundup of the main developments in the world today.
1) Taiwan reports biggest incursion ever led by Chinese air force
Taiwan reported the largest ever incursion by the Chinese Air Force into its air defense zone, with 38 planes flying in two waves on Friday as Beijing marked the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Taiwan, claimed by China, has been complaining for a year or more about repeated Chinese Air Force missions near the democratically ruled island, often in the southwestern part of its air defense zone near the islands Pratas controlled by Taiwan.
2) Taliban say they attacked IS hideout north of Kabul
Taliban fighters raided an ISIS hideout north of the Afghan capital on Friday, killing and arresting an unknown number of militants, a Taliban spokesperson said. Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in mid-August, there has been an increase in attacks by IS militants against members of the Taliban. The Taliban and IS are enemies, and the attacks have raised the specter of a wider conflict between longtime rivals.
Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi told The Associated Press that Friday’s raid took place in the town of Charikar, in Parwan province. The raid follows the Taliban’s arrest of two ISIS members linked to a roadside bombing that targeted their vehicle in the town, injuring four fighters, Karimi said. The two were questioned and the information they provided helped the Taliban identify the hiding place, he added.
3) US hits 700,000 COVID deaths just as cases start to drop
The United States reached its heartbreaking latest pandemic milestone on Friday, eclipsing 700,000 COVID-19 deaths just as the delta variant surge begins to slow and ease overwhelmed hospitals. It took the United States 3 months to go from 600,000 to 700,000 deaths, due to the rampant spread of the variant among unvaccinated Americans. The death toll is greater than the population of Boston.
4) A helicopter and an airplane collide in the air in Arizona; 2 killed
A helicopter and a single-engine plane collided in mid-air Friday near an airport in suburban Phoenix, sending the helicopter crashing into a field and killing both people on board. The aircraft landed safely, and the flight instructor and a student inside were not injured. The collision occurred in the town of Chandler, near its municipal airport, said the police sergeant. Jason McClimans. He said no one on the ground was injured but the airport would remain closed for several hours.
5) Japanese princess to marry commoner next month despite row
Japanese Princess Mako and her fiance are getting married next month, but no wedding ceremony is planned. Their marriage is not fully supported by the public due to a financial dispute involving her future mother-in-law, the palace said on Friday. The controversy involving the mother of Mako’s fiancé, Kei Komuro, is an embarrassment for the Imperial family and has led to public reprimands that have delayed their marriage by more than three years.