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ICYMI: We lost the war in Afghanistan, Detroit population drops, Tesla tech investigated, and more 

click to enlarge The Taliban has reclaimed control of Afghanistan. - TRENT INNESS / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Trent Inness /
  • The Taliban has reclaimed control of Afghanistan.

The war in Afghanistan is over, and we lost. America’s longest war ended Sunday when the Taliban reclaimed the capital of Kabul, a defeat that comes after nearly two decades of war at a cost of more than $2 trillion and tens of thousands of lives lost, including 2,448 U.S. service members. How did the Afghan army, which the U.S. spent $83 billion building, fall so quickly? Officials say the writing was on the wall after the Trump administration negotiated a withdrawal in 2020, a move that was reiterated by President Joe Biden ahead of a pledged full withdrawal by the 20th anniversary of 9/11. “We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build,” Biden said. “It’s the right and the responsibility of Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country.” Imagine if the U.S. spent all that time and money nation-building … itself.

For the seventh straight decade, Detroit has continued to lose residents. According to the Census results, the Motor City lost 10.5% of its population during the past decade, dropping to 639,111. (Its population peaked at 1.8 million in 1950, when it was the nation’s fifth-biggest city. Now, we’re no longer even in the top 25.) The city's Black population was hit the hardest, declining from about 586,000 to 500,000, though the number of white residents grew. Despite all the downtown redevelopment, this will be Mayor Mike Duggan’s legacy, though he says he believes the city was undercounted, pointing that there are nearly 280,000 houses with current DTE Energy bills, but only 254,000 occupied houses were tallied. The mayor, who’s seeking a third term in November, says he’s pursuing “legal remedies” to make sure Detroit’s count is accurate.

Those driverless cars we were promised might not be here anytime soon. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now investigating Tesla’s “Autopilot” driver-assistance system after the federal government’s top auto-safety agency became aware of 11 Tesla crashes since 2018, seven of which resulted in a total of 17 injuries and one death. The crashes involve emergency vehicles with flashing lights, and the investigation covers 765,000 vehicles — nearly everything that Tesla has sold in the U.S. since 2014 — and could result in recalls.

Happy birthday to Madonna, whose 63rd birthday was Monday. To celebrate, indie label Italians Do It Better — which took its name from the message emblazoned on the Queen of Pop's T-shirt in the "Papa Don't Preach" video — released a covers album of Madonna songs reimagined in its dark synth-pop style. The 20-track record features Italians Do It Better artists, including Glüme, Farah, and Desire, and was executive-produced by label head Johnny Jewel. (IDIB's breakthrough act Chromatics does not appear, having announced a split last week.)

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