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VPM Daily Newscast: August 17, 2021

VPM's daily newscast contains all your Central Virginia news in just 5 to 10 minutes. Episodes are recorded the night before so you can wake up prepared.           

Listeners can subscribe through NPR One, Apple Podcasts, Megaphone, Spotify and wherever you get your podcasts.       

Here’s a recap of the top stories on the morning of Tuesday, August 17, 2021: 

  • The Virginia Redistricting Commission will begin drawing new legislative maps in less than two weeks. As Ben Paviour reports, delays at the Census Bureau complicated even that decision in their meeting yesterday. 

  • As the U.S. government scrambles to evacuate allies from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, a Prince George County army garrison serves as temporary housing for many fleeing the country. Fort Lee welcomed hundreds of Afghan immigrants last month for a week-long stay on the way to resettlement. They all held special immigrant visas - reserved for allies of the U.S. Only a limited number of those visas are available - about 4 and a half thousand yearly since 2014. A few thousand more were requested by the State Department in response to the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan. It’s unknown how many would-be refugees remain in the country.  

  • Sarina Faizy grew up in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. While there, she advocated for women’s rights - now, Faizy studies law at William and Mary. Our partner station WHRV spoke with Faizy on the outlook for Afghan women, who were denied essential rights when the Taliban last held power. Faizy called on other countries to help. She’s particularly worried about young people being targeted by the Taliban. President Joe Biden defended the drawdown of troops today, laying blame for the nation’s collapse at the feet of Afghan politicians and military. 

  • Tonight, the task force creating a civilian review board to investigate complaints against Richmond police will release a draft of its recommendations. Virginia law now allows citizen panels to have the power to investigate police misconduct,  including the ability to subpoena records and witnesses. A Richmond task force has been meeting for months to develop the board’s scope. City Council will have the final say on its specific role. The meeting starts at 6 Diversity Thrift in Richmond on Sherwood Ave. It will be streamed on VPM's YouTube Channel

  • Richmond-area music venues that recently reopened now have to guard against shutting back down due to the highly contagious Delta variant. As a result, several venues will be requiring proof of vaccines or, in some cases, a recent negative COVID-19 test, to attend shows. These include The Broadberry, The Nationaland the Camel. The Camel, where the new restrictions started Monday, wrote on its Facebook page, “We love concerts too much to let them go away again. We need to protect our artists, our staff, and most importantly you.” Safety rules vary among venues and are in flux, patrons are encouraged to view the individual concert websites for the latest information. 

  • The Virginia Department of Health is  urging caution as Tropical Storm Fred passes through the commonwealth. Heavy rain increases the risk of animal waste, bacteria, debris and other pollutants in runoff that could end up in rivers and lakes. Health officials advise Virginians to avoid swimming if they have any cuts or broken skin, to prevent infections. They also suggest not getting water in your mouth if it’s untreated. Also, be cautious if you come across covered roads or fast-moving water, it may be deeper than it looks.  

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