Afghanistan, Abortion rights in Texas, Macron in Marseille, China gaming ban


They were chased out two decades ago, but now they're back. On Tuesday at Kabul airport, the Taliban celebrated their return to power in Afghanistan, at times with seized US-built military hardware. This after the last US soldiers hopped aboard the last flight, one day earlier than announced. After 20 years, more than 2,300 US casualties US and $2 trillion spent, the US president took stock in a speech that capped the day.


For the first time since the US Supreme Court legalised abortion in 1973, a state has made it all but impossible for a woman to terminate her own pregnancy after six weeks. That's often before a heartbeat is even detected. The Texas law encourages private citizens to sue not only abortion providers but also those who help. Other conservative states aim to follow suit. Most striking is the Supreme Court with its three Trump appointees. By five justices to four, it ruled against any emergency freeze of the bill until challenges have made their way through lower courts. That move prompted a strong statement from Joe Biden.

It has all the trimmings of an unofficial re-election campaign kick-off. Incumbent French president Emmanuel Macron took seven ministers with him for a three-day visit to Marseille, a city beset by inequality, longtime mismanagement, and a drug-related turf war that has left at least 15 dead since the start of the year. It was not all cheers for Macron when he visited the northern neighbourhoods of the Mediterranean port city. The locals are fed up with crime, crumbling infrastructure and the all-too familiar sight of politicians' promises.

It was back to school in France this week, but also in China, where pupils discovered new textbooks peppered with Xi Jinping's thinking. That was not the only novelty, though. The government announced a ban on minors playing video games for more than three hours a day, a decision that has got the stamp of approval from many a parent. China can control the internet, but good luck trying to control teenagers.

Produced by Charles Wente, Juliette Laurain and Léopoldine Iribarren.

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