Here is a round-up of the top developments around the world today.
1. Afghan collapse rooted in Doha deal with Taliban, says US general
Senior Pentagon officials said Wednesday the collapse of the Afghan government and its security forces in August could be traced to a 2020 US agreement with the Taliban that promised a complete US troop withdrawal.
“The signing of the Doha agreement had a really pernicious effect on the government of Afghanistan and on its military — psychological more than anything else, but we set a date-certain for when we were going to leave and when they could expect all assistance to end,” Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of Central Command, said.
2. China’s Belt and Road plans losing momentum as opposition, debt mount: Study
China’s vast Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is in danger of losing momentum as opposition in targeted countries rises and debts mount, paving the way for rival schemes to squeeze Beijing out, a new study showed on Wednesday.
Xi Jinping’s “project of the century” is now facing major challenges and significant backlashes abroad, according to a study by AidData, a research lab at the College of William and Mary in the United States.
3. Canada ordered to compensate indigenous foster children for discrimination
A human rights tribunal ruling ordering the Canadian government to compensate indigenous children and families in foster care for discrimination should stand, a federal court decided on Wednesday. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled in 2016 that the federal government allocated less funds for child and family services of indigenous people compared to non-indigenous people, pushing more indigenous children into foster care.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government appealed the tribunal’s 2019 ruling, which ordered the government to pay each affected child C$40,000 ($31,496), the maximum allowed under the Canadian Human Rights Act. The tribunal’s ruling is expected to cost the federal government billions of dollars.
4. Britney Spears’ father suspended as conservator
A judge has suspended Britney Spears’ father from the conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny agreed with a petition from Spears and her attorney, Mathew Rosengart, that James Spears needs to give up his role as conservator. The move is a major victory for the singer, who pleaded in dramatic hearings in June and July that her father needed to be out.
5. Ecuador says clashes between prison gangs leave more than 100 dead
Ecuador’s penitentiary system said on Wednesday that the death toll from a prison riot that took place on Tuesday had risen to at least 100 and that authorities were still working to determine the full toll. The South American nation on Tuesday night reported clashes at the Penitenciaria del Litoral in Guayas province, which has been the scene of bloody fights between gangs for control of the prison in recent months.
“As of now we can confirm that there are more than 100 prisoners dead and 52 injured during the incidents that took place on Tuesday, Sept 28,” Ecuador’s SNAI prison service wrote on Twitter, adding that police and prosecutors were still investigating.