The UK's ambassador could have fled Afghanistan but stayed behind to help other people escape
via UK Government

The Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan on Sunday as the U.S.-led coalition began withdrawing forces after 20 years of fighting. The war resulted in the deaths of at least 200,000 people on both sides of the conflict.

It's estimated that the war could end up costing U.S. taxpayers up to $6.5 trillion by 2050.

The loss of Afghanistan is heartbreaking for those who served in the war and could be devastating for the women and girls of the country who may be forced to live under strict Sharia law.


Thousands of Afghan civilians have swarmed the Kabul airport in a last-ditch effort to flee the country. Reports from the airport say that seven people have died in the chaos.

As countless people at the airport are attempting to flee while they can, one man who could have left to safety has stayed behind to help. Sir Laurie Bristow, UK's ambassador to Afghanistan, has remained at the airport in Kabul to personally sign visas to help UK and Afghan nationals flee to Britain.

A spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) told MailOnline: "We have reduced our diplomatic presence in response to the situation on the ground."

"However our Ambassador remains in Kabul and UK Government staff continue to work to provide assistance to British nationals and to our Afghan staff," the statement continued. "We are doing all we can to enable remaining British nationals, who want to leave Afghanistan, to do so."

Bristow was due to be airlifted out of the country over the weekend but instead decided to stay behind to help, risking his life in the process.

It's believed that around 4,000 British nationals and eligible Afghans are in need of evacuation from the country.

"Sir Laurie Bristow, who's the ambassador out there on the ground, has a very tough job and has a very great team with him I'm sure," former UK Ambassador to Afghanistan, Sir Nicholas Kay, told SkyNews.

"They will be working absolutely flat out with very little sleep, very little food. I imagine as they are processing, particularly the applications from Afghans who worked for us or have been closely associated with us over the years, who are now in desperate fear for their lives and desperate to leave the country."

Bristow's sacrifice comes at a time when many fear they will be left behind.

"It's a really deep part of regret for me," Defence secretary Ben Wallace said. "Look, some people won't get back. Some people won't get back and we will have to do our best in third countries to process those people," he added.

The ambassador's sacrifice is even more commendable given the fact he was only posted to Kabul in June of this year. Previously, he was the UK ambassador to the Russian Federation and the COP26 Regional Ambassador to the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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