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September 1, 2021


United States (Security threat level – 2): As of 1 September 2021, local officials continue to assess the damage from Hurricane Ida in cities, towns and parishes across southern Louisiana and Mississippi. Authorities estimate that approximately 1 million customers may remain without electricity for several weeks as electrical technicians work around the clock to restore electricity to critical infrastructure, hospitals and nursing homes. The latest reports indicate that more than 988,000 homes and businesses remain without power in Louisiana, although electricity was restored to some homes and businesses in eastern New Orleans on the morning of 1 September. Meanwhile, more than 36,000 customers in Mississippi are currently without electricity.

The Louisiana island of Grand Isle, located in southern Jefferson Parish, has been declared uninhabitable due to extensive damage, several breaks in the levee system and a suspected natural gas leak. On 31 August the mayor of New Orleans enacted a citywide curfew — with exceptions for emergency relief personnel — from 2000-0600 local time (0100-1100 UTC) amid widespread power outages and instances of looting. In Lafourche Parish, located south of New Orleans, residents were allowed to return home as of 1200 local time on 31 August; however, authorities have set up checkpoints and are asking individuals to show proof of residency, such as a driver’s license, to pass through the checkpoints. A parish-wide curfew from 1900-0600 local time is in effect. All commercial flights scheduled to operate through Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (KMSY/MSY) on 1 September have been canceled; widespread flight cancellations are expected until at least 3 September. The governor of Louisiana has advised evacuees not to return to their homes until officials deem it is safe to do so.

In Mississippi, emergency response personnel have conducted at least 20 water rescues in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties — located on the southern coast — since 29 August, according to the state’s governor. Authorities have warned residents to shelter in place due to debris, flooded roadways and downed power lines in the area. As of 31 August, 94% of oil and natural gas production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico remains suspended.


Afghanistan (Security threat level – 5): On 31 August 2021, the Taliban leadership announced that Hibatullah Akhundzada, an early member of the group, has been appointed as Afghanistan’s supreme leader. The group plans to govern with a president and a Cabinet, but the supreme leader is the highest religious authority in the country. Akhundzada will be able to overrule the president and have the final say on all matters of state. Akhundzada is expected to govern from the southern city of Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban.


Ireland (Security threat level – 2): On 31 August 2021, Ireland’s Prime Minister Micheál Martin announced that beginning on 22 October, requirements for COVID-19 vaccine certificates to enter restaurants and bars will be annulled following one of Europe’s longest COVID-19 lockdowns. Restrictions on capacity limits for indoor and outdoor events will also end, and officials are recommending that nonessential workers return to their offices as of 20 September. Approximately 90% of adults in the country have been vaccinated against COVID-19.


Belgium (Security threat level – 3): On 1 September 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Belgium, which reads in parts as follows: “Most restrictions in Flanders and Wallonia, including limits on social gatherings and in the hospitality sector, have been removed. Nightclubs will be able to reopen on 1 October. Events can take place without restrictions with up to 200 people indoors and 400 people outdoors. Over these limits, an event can take place without restrictions if facilitated by the CovidSafe.be app as proof of vaccination. Those vaccinated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland only will be able to present their certificate with QR code as proof of vaccination in order to gain access.”

Slovakia (Security threat level – 2): On 31 August 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava issued a Security Alert regarding a planned protest, which reads in part as follows:

“Date and Time: Wednesday, September 1, 2021 from 11:00 to 20:00

“Large protests against the government of Slovakia are scheduled to occur in the city centers of Bratislava and Kosice. Although organizers intend for the demonstrations to be peaceful, outside organizations including neo-Nazi and opposition groups, could take advantage of any protest to promote their own agendas.

“Protest Locations: Bratislava: Hodzovo námestie, Námestie Slobody, Námestie SNP, Hlavné námestie, Námestie Alexandra Dubceka, Presidential Palace, Freedom Square, SNP Square, Main Square, Parliament Building, major GOS government and Zámocká street at the castle wall. Kosice: Around the Constitutional Court.”