Steve Inskeep

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In his early months as president, Joe Biden has only rarely sat down for an interview.

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LES CAYES, Haiti — Inside the gates of the Immaculée Conception Hospital in this seaside town, family members of a woman who just died have collapsed in each others' arms.

The woman's thin body is carried out on a stretcher. Wrapped tightly in a sheet, she's loaded into the back of a battered Chevy Suburban.

Even as the dead depart, more injured come in the front gate. They come in cars, on the back of motorcycles. Children are carried to the door. A woman limps in, her foot wrapped in cloth. A famous Haitian DJ called Tony Mix arrives and tosses money to the crowd.

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So that's what a Taliban spokesman says they will do. And we'll be reporting in the weeks and months ahead on what they do. And we start right now with NPR international affairs correspondent Jackie Northam. Jackie, good morning.

The U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is a story of democracy and its shortcomings. In this piece, Steve Inskeep — host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First — analyzes how the United States inadvertently took on a mission to democratize Afghanistan, and instead undermined democracy at home, as unpopular wars tend to do.

In 2001, Americans pictured the Afghanistan war as a defense of their democracy. People didn't talk of reforming the country, just punishing the 9/11 attackers.

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Of all debates over responding to the pandemic's latest surge, the most dramatic may be in Florida.

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Gwynne Hogan of our member station WNYC joins us. Good morning.

GWYNNE HOGAN, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

INSKEEP: So how much evidence backs up these accusations by the state attorney general?

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The Delta variant is driving up the number of COVID-19 cases across the country. And in a handful of states, such as Florida, they're surging at an alarming rate.

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All the recent news of the latest covid surge raises a question - how much trouble are we in this time?

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Exactly how much can you change the United States with $3.5 trillion?

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How far will Democrats go to support what they call a fundamental priority?

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Texas Democrats for the second time this year have staged a walkout in an effort to stop Republicans from passing new voting restrictions.

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Today, the U.S. Senate takes up a plan to set federal standards for elections.

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The writer Ibram X. Kendi has been reading a lot of books to his five-year-old daughter, Imani. And when he chooses those books, he makes sure they include many kinds of people.

"I'm also really excited now because her favorite color right now is the rainbow," he says. "And so I feel like we're doing something right because I constantly emphasize this sort of human rainbow and appreciating it."

On a warm May night, the sound of footsteps and a stranger's voice in the darkness outside his home startled a man in Afghanistan. Alarmed, he went to investigate. He saw that someone had affixed something to his door.

He found a handwritten note: "You have been helping U.S. occupier forces and ... you are an ally and spy of infidels, we will never leave you alive."

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After a summit with Russia's leader yesterday, President Biden said the important thing here wasn't just what he said but who said it.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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President Biden is back at the White House this morning after his high-profile summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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President Biden is wrapping up his work in Brussels today, but he already has his eyes on Geneva.

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