What the papers say – August 19

The nation’s papers are led by political finger-pointing over the Taliban-takeover of Afghanistan.

The Guardian, Daily Mirror and Metro report MPs have “lambasted” Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the “humiliating” failures in Britain’s “intelligence and preparation” for the unfolding situation in Afghanistan.

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The Daily Express says the PM backed his handling of the crisis, insisting the withdrawal of US troops made it impossible for the UK to maintain a military presence in the country.

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The Daily Telegraph and The Times lead with MPs and peers uniting in condemnation of US President Joe Biden’s handling of the withdrawal.

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Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab failed to make a “crucial phone call” to seek urgent help airlifting translators out of Afghanistan, according to the Daily Mail.

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The Daily Star asks what Afghan civilians “did to deserve this?”

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The i describes the scene in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul as “Hell on Earth”, while The Independent uses its front page to call for refugees from the country to be brought to the UK.

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Elsewhere, the Financial Times leads with futures exchange operator CME making a 16 billion dollar (£11.68 billion) offer for rival Cboe.

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