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Rachel Treisman

What do the Paralympics have in common with the Olympic games? And what do either of them have to do with the Special Olympics?

Paralympic swimmer Anastasia Pagonis has the answers. The 17-year-old Long Island native has a whopping 2 million followers on TikTok, and uses her platform to educate others about visual impairment and Paralympic sport.

She breaks down some of the key differences between the Paralympics and Special Olympics here:

Singer Beyoncé and her rapper husband Jay-Z are once again turning heads. And this time, they're making history, too.

The powerhouse couple is the new face of a Tiffany & Co. ad campaign "celebrating modern love," the luxury jeweler announced today.

A school district in northeast Texas has found a creative way to get around Gov. Greg Abbott's ban on mask mandates.

The Paris Independent School District will now require students to wear masks as part of its dress code.

Updated August 18, 2021 at 12:12 PM ET

Ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is now in the United Arab Emirates, the country confirmed in a brief statement on Wednesday.

"The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation can confirm that the UAE has welcomed President Ashraf Ghani and his family into the country on humanitarian grounds," it wrote.

With all the developments in Afghanistan and Haiti, you may have missed this historic announcement out of Washington: The Biden administration has approved updates to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), giving families who currently receive food stamps the largest single increase in benefits to date.

Celebrities including tennis superstar Naomi Osaka are expressing their support for the Haitian people and calling on their fans to contribute to relief efforts.

Haiti — which is being drenched by a tropical storm — is still awaiting widespread assistance in the wake of the earthquake that killed more than 1,400 people and injured nearly 7,000.

Days after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, the death toll keep rising as do the numbers of the injured and displaced.

Destroyed buildings, blocked roads, the pandemic and now a tropical storm are making it even more difficult for humanitarian organizations to assess the damage and deliver much-needed aid.

Coronavirus news is coming fast and furious as the delta variant fuels another surge in cases across the United States.

Arkansas set a record for hospitalizations, while officials in one Florida county are urging residents to "consider other options" before calling 911. Health officials in Mississippi said the state's hospital system could collapse in five to 10 days if the current trajectory continues.

Two New York City comedy icons — and several of their famous friends — are holding a show to raise money for charities benefitting victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and their families.

Jon Stewart and Pete Davidson will host "NYC Still Rising After 20 Years: A Comedy Celebration" at Madison Square Garden on Sept. 12, a day after the attacks' 20th anniversary. The special aims to honor the city's resilience, the comedians said in a joint statement.

The United Nations just released its landmark climate report, urging countries to urgently cut their greenhouse gas emissions or else face catastrophic consequences.

So what exactly should the Biden administration do?

Controversial comedian Kathy Griffin revealed on Twitter on Monday that she will undergo surgery for stage one lung cancer.

Griffin said she has never smoked, and that doctors are optimistic because the cancer appears to be contained to her left lung — half of which she is getting removed.

"I should be up and running around as usual in a month or less," she added. "It's been a helluva 4 years, trying to get back to work, making you guys laugh and entertaining you, but I'm gonna be just fine."

In Louisiana, which now has the country's highest number of COVID-19 cases per capita, Gov. John Bel Edwards ordered an indoor mask mandate and offered a stark warning:

"Nobody should be laboring under the misapprehension that this is just another surge," Edwards said Monday. "We've already had three of these. This is the worst one we've had thus far."

As COVID-19 cases surge, the federal government and some private employers are requiring their workers to show proof of vaccination. Plus, certain cities and localities are once again requiring masks indoors.

Some states, however, are not just ordering more precautions, but already moving to stop vaccination mandates in the future.

Looking to spend money on a single piece of 40-year-old cake from someone else's wedding?

Well, what if that wedding was the royal nuptials of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer?

South African swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker stunned Olympic viewers with her historic win in the women's 200-meter breaststroke. But what happened next was equally sweet.

The 24-year-old claimed both a gold medal and a new world record Friday: 2:18.95. She's the first woman to swim the event in under 2 minutes, 19 seconds, a record set in 2013.

Heat waves. Floods. Wildfires. It's been a destructive summer so far, and forecasts for droughts, fires and hurricanes are looking downright bleak.

We know that climate change is to blame. But how exactly is global warming driving dangerous weather?

Lauren Sommer and Rebecca Hersher from NPR's climate team broke down the details in a conversation with Morning Edition's Noel King.

President Biden just signed a national security directive aimed at boosting defenses against ransomware attacks and the hacking of critical infrastructure like energy, food, water and power systems.

The directive sets performance standards for technology and systems used by private companies in those sectors — though it can't force those companies to comply.

The European Union has added a South African tea to its register of products with a protected designation of origin. Ish Mafundikwa prepared this report for NPR's Newscast unit.

Rooibos ("red bush" in Afrikaans) joins France's Champagne, Greece's feta cheese and Colombian coffee on the list. The tea is said to have numerous health benefits.

The rooibos-producing community in South Africa is justifiably excited about the certification.

Pictogram people become unlikely MVPs

One of the most striking sequences in the Tokyo Olympics' opening ceremony revolved around pictograms. Tokyo organizers have been touting their "kinetic pictograms," which show figures bursting into motion across dozens of disciplines. For Friday's ceremony, they brought all 50 of those pictograms to life.

The most anticipated part of any Olympic opening ceremony is the Parade of Nations — when athletes from each competing country enter the stadium together, marching under their flag.

Here's everything you need to enjoy this year's event, including some flag bearers to keep your eye out for.

When did the Parade of Nations begin?

The first Parade of Nations took place at the London Games in 1908.

An investigation is underway after more than 100 night vision goggles disappeared from a maintenance facility at the Fort Hood military base near Killeen, Texas, officials confirmed to NPR.

"Fort Hood is investigating missing Monocular Night Vision Devices from a maintenance facility at Fort Hood, Texas reported on July 12," spokesperson Maj. Marion Nederhoed wrote in an email. "Currently, the missing equipment has no immediate impact on unit readiness."

Updated July 17, 2021 at 11:46 AM ET

One day after a federal district judge in Texas ruled against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, President Biden said the Department of Justice intends to appeal the decision.

A commercial lobster diver says he escaped relatively unscathed after nearly being swallowed by a humpback whale, in a biblical-sounding encounter that whale experts describe as rare but plausible.

Michael Packard, 56, said in local interviews and on social media that he was diving off the coast of Provincetown, Mass., on Friday morning when the whale suddenly scooped him up.

President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin will not have a joint news conference after they meet in Geneva next week, according to a White House official.

Biden will instead hold a solo press conference after Wednesday's meeting, which will include a working session and a smaller session.

An East Texas bakery is being inundated with orders, supportive messages and donations after revealing it faced backlash over its colorful cookies celebrating Pride Month.

The owners of Lufkin-based Confections unknowingly set off the chain of bittersweet events last Wednesday, when they posted a Facebook photo advertising their heart-shaped, rainbow-iced cookies and calling for "More LOVE" and "Less hate."

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