If you think this is an unusually fulfilling (heartbreaking) news week, then you are not alone. From the suffering of Afghanistan to the devastation of the earthquake in Haiti, to the rise of variants of the coronavirus delta in many parts of the world, there are many things to absorb.

Al Jazeera’s editors and reporters are dedicated to reporting on all angles and developments since the Taliban took over Afghanistan. In addition, we have been paying close attention to the pulse of the global economy to let you know the most important stories that affect the global market and affect people’s lives.

We collected the biggest business and economic news headlines this week—from $2 trillion to $1 trillion.

2.26 trillion US dollars

According to the War Cost Project of Brown University, this is an unimaginable amount of money the United States has spent in Afghanistan since its invasion of Central Asian countries in 2001.

First, the largest portion of taxpayers—nearly $1 trillion—was consumed by the U.S. Department of Defense’s overseas emergency response budget. The second largest—$530 billion—is the estimated interest expense on funds borrowed by the U.S. government for the war.

During the evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan, a US Marine Corps soldier checks the evacuees before takeoff [File: US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl Nicholas Guevara via Reuters]

However, despite the trillions of dollars spent by the United States, Afghanistan is still one of the smallest formal economies on the planet. President Ashraf Ghani, now in exile, said last year that about 90% of the population lived on less than US$2 a day.

Al Jazeera’s managing business editor Patricia Sabga breaks down the cost of war here.

US$460 million

When Afghanistan’s largest grant ever, Afghanistan will receive from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Special Drawing Rights (SDR) Effective Monday.

But the International Monetary Fund has suspended allowing the Taliban to convert these special drawing rights into hard currency. This means that Afghanistan will receive funding, but very similar to Myanmar and Venezuela, it will not have access to the resources of the International Monetary Fund.

Assets held by the Central Bank of Afghanistan in the United States have also been frozen. So what sources of cash does the Taliban have?Kaelyn Forde, Business Editor for the Americas at Al Jazeera, has what you need to know here.


The U.S. Department of Labor reported on Thursday that this was the number of people applying for state unemployment benefits in the U.S. in the week ending August 14.

Despite the surge in COVID-19 cases in some states, recruitment in the U.S. continues to increase [File: Andrew Kelly/Reuters]

This is a decrease of 29,000 people from the previous week and is the lowest since the March 2020 coronavirus pandemic. This may indicate that the U.S. job market is recovering, even with a surge in Delta variant cases in some states.

The Fed stated in its July meeting minutes that it may also be preparing to gradually reduce some asset purchases before the end of 2021.We have a snapshot of the current state of the U.S. economy here.

$10 billion

This is the money that Mexico has demanded from the US gun manufacturer after it filed a lawsuit in the US Federal Court to demand that several gun manufacturers and distributors be responsible for the high level of gun violence in Mexico.

The complaint stated that 70% to 90% of the guns found at crime scenes in Mexico were trafficked from the United States, most of which were made by six American manufacturers.

The complaint stated that “Mexico has a gun shop across the country, which issues less than 50 Mexican citizens and not American citizens every year with gun licenses”.

Al Jazeera’s Ann Deslanders reports on the stakes in this unprecedented lawsuit here.


This is the number of years that Hezbollah and Israel have maintained tension and peace.

The Iran-backed war between Hezbollah and Israel, commonly known as the July War, began on July 12, 2006—a few days later, Hezbollah agents captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border attack.

Hezbollah members hold a flag commemorating the Day of Resistance and Liberation in Kfar Kila, near the Israeli border in southern Lebanon [File: Aziz Taher/Reuters]

Israel responded militarily to retrieve the two soldiers and intends to destroy Hezbollah, the only faction that kept its arsenal during the Lebanese civil war.

The conflict lasted until August 14, 2006. During the month of the fighting, Israeli airstrikes, artillery fires and naval attacks killed at least 1,109 Lebanese, most of whom were civilians, more than 4,000 were injured, and nearly a million people were displaced. Approximately 250 Hezbollah fighters were killed in the war. The rocket attack by Hezbollah killed 43 Israeli civilians and 12 soldiers.

Kareem Chehayeb from Al Jazeera has more here.


Only one is needed-a village, that’s it. Baba Wayil, located in the Indian-controlled Kashmir region, is turning the tide of luxury weddings by banning dowries.

The 21-year-old Saima Shah, who is about to get married, plans to continue her studies after marriage and said that her prospective husband and his family fully support this [Sharafat Ali/Al Jazeera]

The dowry-paid by the bride’s family to the groom-has long been an important part of Indian culture, but it has also plunged some families into heavy debts.

It is not uncommon for middle-class families to spend about 1 million rupees (US$13,340) on the bride’s dowry to reach an agreement for their daughter’s marriage.

But some people say that the dowry system turns women into objects and may lead to “barbaric” abuse of them.

Al Jazeera’s Sarafat Ali has a fascinating view on this issue here.


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