KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Scott Neuman

A band of Afghan resistance fighters holed up in Afghanistan's rugged Panjshir province northeast of Kabul has repelled repeated attacks by Taliban fighters in recent days, a representative for the group tells NPR.

Lawyers for Remington Arms, the now-bankrupt gun-maker being sued by nine families of those killed in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., have subpoenaed the academic, attendance and disciplinary records for five slain students.

Updated September 2, 2021 at 1:58 PM ET

The Tom Cruise Top Gun character 'Maverick' might "feel the need for speed," but Paramount is once again putting the brakes on the sequel to the 1986 film.

If you're not vaccinated, you shouldn't travel over the long Labor Day weekend.

That's the bottom line, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

"First and foremost, if you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling," Walensky said at a White House COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday.

In Afghanistan, history has a way of repeating itself: Today, much like when the Taliban last seized power in 1996, the rugged Panjshir province is the final redoubt standing in the way of their complete domination of the country — and once again, the name of the leader opposing them is Massoud.

Updated August 31, 2021 at 10:21 AM ET

On Tuesday, for the first time in nearly two decades, Afghans awoke to a country absent U.S. forces, after the last American soldier boarded the last military transport to leave the country just before a Aug. 31 deadline.

Updated August 30, 2021 at 8:45 PM ET

Latest updates at a glance:

  • Pentagon officials have announced the last U.S. military plane has left Afghanistan, marking the end of America's longest war.
  • President Biden praised the military for "their execution of the dangerous retrograde from Afghanistan as scheduled."

The Tokyo Paralympic Games are going to be more visible and have more participants than ever before, even in the face of the pandemic.

Here's a look at the records and other "firsts" happening in this year's Games, which officially opened on Tuesday and run through Sept. 5.

Journalist Hollie McKay was in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif when Afghan security forces fled ahead of advancing Taliban fighters last weekend. In the aftermath, the road out of town was littered with U.S.-made armored vehicles that the Afghan military had left behind.

Updated August 19, 2021 at 7:29 AM ET

The biographies of top Taliban leaders are vague for a reason: secrecy has often been the key to survival.

Take the one-eyed cleric who founded the movement, Mullah Mohammad Omar. After a U.S.-led invasion toppled his government, he was on the run for years, hunted relentlessly by American forces. Omar reportedly died in 2013 in either Afghanistan or in neighboring Pakistan, but his death was not even publicly confirmed for another two years.

Updated August 18, 2021 at 3:27 PM ET

COVID-19 booster shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are set to become available for all U.S. adults beginning next month, the country's top health officials announced Wednesday.

"Kabul was a bit better compared to yesterday," said a journalist based in Afghanistan's capital city who sent a message to NPR on Tuesday.

For the person's protection, we are not naming the journalist, who said there were signs suggesting a gradual return to some semblance of normalcy two days after the Taliban launched a lightning assault on Kabul, forcing out the U.S.-backed Afghan government.

Updated August 16, 2021 at 5:08 PM ET

Search and rescue teams are pulling people from collapsed buildings in Haiti as international aid efforts ramped up in the hardest hit areas in the Caribbean nation's southwest after a devastating earthquake.

As of late Monday afternoon, officials said the death toll had risen to 1,419 and some 6,000 reportedly are injured. The magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck early Saturday is the deadliest one to hit the country, the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, since January 2010.

Updated August 15, 2021 at 5:51 PM ET

Twenty years after being removed from power in a U.S.-led invasion, Taliban militiamen swept to into Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, on Sunday, facing little resistance from Afghan government forces.

Within hours, Afghanistan's Washington-backed president had left the country and the flag at the U.S. Embassy had been lowered amid a hasty evacuation of diplomatic personnel.

Updated August 15, 2021 at 12:39 PM ET

Helicopters evacuating Americans from Kabul as the Taliban closed in was a scene being likened to the 1975 fall of Saigon in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam.

The first live Asian giant "murder hornet" of 2021 has been spotted in Washington state — and it was caught in the act of living up to its name, attacking a wasp nest.

Tropical Depression Fred, currently off the coast of Cuba, is forecast to slowly regain tropical storm status before bringing strong winds and potentially heavy rainfall to Florida this weekend.

Fred is expected to move through the southeastern Bahamas on Thursday, pass over central Cuba on Friday and make landfall as a tropical storm in the vicinity of the Florida Keys by Saturday. Another landfall is likely in Florida's Big Bend region, south of Tallahassee, or the Panhandle over the weekend or early next week, forecasters say.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Biden, says an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose is needed for people who have compromised immune systems.

China doesn't want patrons at tens of thousands of karaoke venues across the country to belt out subversive lyrics — and they are cracking down to make sure that it stops.

The country's Ministry of Culture and Tourism says it will create a blacklist of songs containing "illegal content" at karaoke establishments starting Oct. 1, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

West Virginia Wesleyan College won't require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 when they arrive for classes this month — but the small Christian liberal arts school says it will charge a hefty $750 fee for anyone who hasn't received at least a first shot.

The private college, which has about 1,500 students, says that about 90% of faculty and staff and "a large percentage of students" have already been vaccinated.

Arkansas, among the states hardest-hit by a new wave of coronavirus cases linked to the highly contagious delta variant, says it is down to eight unoccupied ICU beds statewide with which to care for COVID-19 patients.

Gov. Asa Hutchison, in a tweet on Monday, said the latest report highlighted "startling numbers."

It seems there's no way to escape advertising these days — and at first blush, news that a Canadian company has contracted SpaceX to put a billboard into low-Earth orbit would appear to end any debate to the contrary.

Speedskater-turned-baseball infielder Eddie Alvarez is about to do what only two other Americans have ever accomplished — win medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

At the Sochi Winter Games in 2014, the Cuban-American athlete won silver as part of the U.S. 5,000-meter relay team. Following Thursday's U.S. 7-2 victory in baseball over defending Olympic champions South Korea, he'll medal again when the U.S. faces Japan on Saturday. The only question is whether his new medal will be silver or gold.

United Airlines has told its 67,000 U.S.-based employees that they will need to be inoculated against COVID-19 by late October to stay on the job.

Citing "incredibly compelling" evidence that the vaccines are safe and effective, United CEO Scott Kirby announced the policy change on Friday. He said he understood that some employees would disagree with the mandate, according to The Associated Press.

Two coaches from the Belarus team have been dismissed by the International Olympic Committee four days after they ordered sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya back home for publicly criticizing them.

The IOC revoked credentials for Artur Shimak and Yury Maisevich. They "were requested to leave the Olympic Village immediately and have done so," the IOC said.

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