Greg Myre

Consider these recent steps by President Biden and his team: selling nuclear submarines to Australia, outlining their approach to trade with China and hosting a White House gathering with key U.S. partners in Asia.

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Time's running out for the U.S. evacuation effort from Afghanistan. The White House says more than 100,000 people have been evacuated, including more than 5,000 U.S. citizens. But people still continue to gather around Kabul Airport, even after this week's attacks by the group by ISIS-K. Master Sergeant Kevin Haunschild leads the team that's responsible for air traffic control at Hamid Karzai International and joins us now. Master Sergeant, thanks for being with us.

KEVIN HAUNSCHILD: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

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Updated August 24, 2021 at 10:09 AM ET

CIA Director William Burns met Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter.

The meeting between Burns and Baradar marks the highest level meeting so far between the Biden administration and the Taliban since the group took over in Afghanistan on Aug. 15.

The Afghan Girls Robotics Team made headlines in 2017 when they came to Washington for an international competition just a few blocks from the White House.

Most members of the team were born after the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001, symbolizing a new Afghanistan where girls were free to go to school and women were getting at least some opportunities that had been long denied.

But with the Taliban back, the future of these girls — some of them now young women — has turned precarious.

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And we are going to hear now from NPR's Mara Liasson. She is joining us. Hang on one second. We're having a little bit of a computer problem here. Hey, Mara, you with me?

MARIA LIASSON, BYLINE: Yes, I'm here.

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This could have been the day that finally answered the burning question: Are there aliens out there? Sadly, we'll still have to wait.

A U.S. government report on UFOs says it found no evidence of aliens but acknowledged 143 reports of "unidentified aerial phenomena" since 2004 that could not be explained.

If you want to extort millions of dollars from a large U.S. company, you can't do it alone. It takes a village. A village of hackers with advanced computer skills, who hang out on the Dark Web, and most likely live in Russia.

"Ransomware has become a huge business, and as in any business, in order to scale it, they're coming up with innovative models." said Dmitri Alperovitch, head of the technology group Silverado Policy Accelerator in Washington.

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In a day filled with shocking images, one of the most startling was a mob of President Trump's supporters surging into the U.S. Capitol with relative ease.

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So part of The New York Times report found that President Trump is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. Democrats say that debt can actually create national security risks. Here's House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking on MSNBC.

The al-Qaida attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, may now seem like a distant memory for some. But not for Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent who interrogated many al-Qaida suspects.

"For me, it has the feeling that it just happened yesterday," Soufan told NPR in an interview.

He has good reasons for feeling that way. This week, Soufan released a new version of his 2011 book, The Black Banners (Declassified): How Torture Derailed The War On Terror After 9/11, which now includes details of interrogations previously censored by the U.S. government.

A Department of Homeland Security official said in a whistleblower complaint that the head of DHS told him to stop reporting on the Russian threat to the U.S. election because it "made President Trump look bad."

The White House and DHS denied the allegations. However, the president's Democratic critics say the accusations are the latest sign that the Trump administration is attempting to politicize the intelligence community and downplay Russian attempts to interfere in this year's election, as Moscow did in 2016.

In August 2016, during the run-up to the last presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials began briefing congressional leaders on what they described as unprecedented Russian interference efforts.

The Russians had a history of meddling, but this time was different, Mike Rogers, then the director of the National Security Agency, told All Things Considered co-host Mary Louise Kelly.

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Many immigrants have inspiring stories. Then there's Janis Shinwari, who worked eight years as an Afghan interpreter with the U.S. military in some of the most dangerous parts of his homeland.

"During his service, he saved the lives of five American soldiers. That is not something many people can say," Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

John Bolton reportedly received a $2 million advance for his tell-all book about his time as President Trump's national security adviser, and if it sells well, additional royalties could follow.

But a judge's ruling has raised questions about whether Bolton will be allowed to keep the money for his work titled The Room Where It Happened.

As researchers around the globe race to develop a coronavirus vaccine, U.S. authorities are warning American firms to exercise extreme caution in safeguarding their research against China and others with a track record of stealing cutting-edge medical technology.

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President Trump said this evening that he has seen evidence that the coronavirus came from a lab in China. This would be a major development, but the president declined to give any details in the exchange with a reporter.

President Trump says the U.S. Navy should fire on Iranian boats if they continue to harass U.S. warships in the Gulf, a move that raises the prospect of open hostilities between the two rivals.

The president's Wednesday morning tweet came shortly after Iran announced it had successfully launched a military satellite into orbit for the first time.

With the U.S. and Iran both battling to control a coronavirus outbreak at home, the ongoing friction between the two countries had receded from the headlines.

So far, the coronavirus has hit hardest in wealthy countries. But the pandemic now appears poised to explode in many parts of the developing world — which has far fewer resources to combat the virus.

The virus initially traveled outward from China to places that had the most interaction with China. These are the richer parts of East Asia — South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore — along with Europe and the United States. All these places had lots of flights, business dealings and tourism with China.

The United States on Thursday evening launched a series of airstrikes in Iraq against an Iranian-backed militia group suspected of firing an earlier rocket attack that killed and wounded American and British troops.

"The United States conducted defensive precision strikes against Kata'ib Hizbollah facilities across Iraq," the Pentagon said in a statement.

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The U.S. military says it has carried out a series of airstrikes in Iraq against a militia group backed by Iran. This comes a day after rocket attacks on a military base in Iraq that killed two U.S. and one British service member.

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