The Latest From Afghanistan

Evacuation flights resumed this morning from Kabul, less than a day after a suicide attack killed scores of Afghan civilians and at least 13 U.S. troops outside the airport. Our live briefing has the latest.

The bombs went off near a crowd of families at the airport gates trying to get onto evacuation flights, as these maps show.

For President Biden, the attack was just the sort of tragedy that he had pledged to avoid. Read more from Michael Shear, one of our White House correspondents.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on behalf of its Afghan affiliate, Islamic State Khorasan. Eric Schmitt — a longtime national security reporter — has written an overview of ISIS-K.

As the U.S. left Afghanistan, the C.I.A. expected to shift its focus from counterterrorism to traditional spycraft against China and Russia. The explosions upended those plans.

Many Afghans who helped U.S. forces are now in danger. One of them, an interpreter the Americans called “Mikey,” spoke to The Times about his battle to get his family out alive.

From Foreign Affairs magazine: Corruption and bureaucracy have undermined U.S. efforts to train other countries’ militaries, Rachel Tecott writes.

PHOTOS: THE WESTERN AIR CRISIS

“We have had smoke in the sky literally since the third week of July,” Amy Ginder, a 47-year-old resident of Reno, said. “We have been inhaling toxins for five weeks now. You can’t be outside. You can’t breathe. You can’t see the sun.”

In response, Ginder has stopped jogging outdoors. “If it were just this summer, you’d just suck it up and move on,” she said. “But it isn’t. It’s the realization that this is our future.”

Smoke-clogged air has become a regular part of life in the American West. Climate change has increased the frequency of droughts, extreme heat and, by extension, large wildfires. The smoke then drifts across large parts of the Pacific Coast and Mountain West. Sometimes, it even reaches the East Coast.

“This is what climate change looks like,” said Daniel Swain, a scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles.

To help document the West’s growing crisis of air quality, I want to use part of today’s newsletter to show photographs from the region. A couple of them come from the mountain resort of Lake Tahoe (and I recommend this story about the area, by my colleagues Thomas Fuller and Shawn Hubler).

One measure of the problem: In several places yesterday — including Bend, Ore.; an area north of Sacramento; and Lake Tahoe — air pollution reached levels that can damage lungs when people spend time outdoors. Phil Abernathy, a Lake Tahoe resident who decided to flee the area in search of cleaner air, told The Times that simply inhaling can feel like a “sizable man is standing on my chest.”

Jeremiah M. Bogert Jr., a Times photography editor, selected these photos.

More on extreme weather:

Tropical Storm Ida formed in the Caribbean and could reach Louisiana by the weekend. Follow its projected path on our map.

What does the Air Quality Index measure, anyway? The Times explains.

This map — updated several times a day — tracks fires across the West.

Government decisions left Tennessee exposed to deadly flooding.

The Morning is a daily email newsletter that helps make sense of the news. To get it in your inbox, sign up here.

OTHER BIG STORIES

Hundreds of thousands of people are at risk of losing their homes after the Supreme Court ended the Biden administration’s eviction moratorium.

The Capitol Police officer who fatally shot a Jan. 6 rioter revealed his identity. In an interview, Lt. Michael Byrd said pulling the trigger had been a “last resort” that prevented the mob from killing lawmakers.

The Justice Department will close the troubled Manhattan jail where Jeffrey Epstein died.

The chief executive of Time’s Up, an anti-harassment charity, resigned over her close ties to Andrew Cuomo. (Here’s the back story.)

Vaccine uptake has risen across the U.S. — most sharply in places hit hard by the Delta variant.

Spike Lee released a new final cut of his 9/11 documentary series that removes all interviews with conspiracy theorists.

Opinions

“When my new kittens look at me, what do they see?” Farhad Manjoo on the mysteries of animal consciousness.

Inadequate data on testing, contact tracing and breakthrough infections is hindering our ability to fight Covid, Zeynep Tufekci argues.

MORNING READS

Writers’ blocks: Explore New York’s legendary literary hangouts.

Stocks: This is a story of God, money and YOLO.

Spiritual: Harvard’s new chief chaplain is an atheist.

Modern Love: Why a writer’s daughter got (temporarily) married at 13.

Lives Lived: Inge Ginsberg fled the Holocaust, helped U.S. spies during World War II, wrote volumes of poetry and late in life became the frontwoman for a heavy metal rock band. She died at 99.

ARTS AND IDEAS

A new generation of dance

The world of competitive dance is more than the drama and sequins seen on reality shows like “Dance Moms.” Competitions and conventions have molded performers who went on to join elite dance programs and companies, as well as pop stars like Britney Spears and Beyoncé.

Still, the influential events have long been criticized for exclusionary costs, high-pressure environments and the sexualization of children. “I see how much my kids benefit from these events,” Siara Fuller, an artistic director, said. “But some competitions haven’t evolved at all in 15, 20 years.”

A new generation is attempting to reform the dance community, especially regarding issues of gender, predatory behavior and race, Margaret Fuhrer writes in The Times. Some are developing their own conventions to create a safer, more inclusive environment: The Embody Dance Conference, for example, features seminars for dancers on antiracism and mental health, and does not divide its students by gender in classes. Olivia Zimmerman, its founder, hopes other events can adapt such a model. “This isn’t proprietary,” she said. “We’re not trying to make money off ‘being the change.’ I want everyone to follow suit, so that in five years, we’re just another convention.” — Sanam Yar, a Morning writer

PLAY, WATCH, EAT

What to Cook

These no-bake cheesecake bars are reminiscent of creamy, honeydew-scented Korean ice cream bars.

What to Watch

“Candyman,” a new take on the 1990s cult horror film, is a “sharp, shivery redo,” Manohla Dargis writes in a review.

What to Read

The country singer Kacey Musgraves talks about her new album, divorce and transitioning to pop stardom.

Late Night

Seth Meyers scolded Fox News for promoting the use of an anti-parasitic drug commonly given to livestock as a cure for Covid.

Take the News Quiz

Test your knowledge of this week’s headlines. Take the News Quiz.

Now Time to Play

The pangram from yesterday’s Spelling Bee was handout. Here is today’s puzzle — or you can play online.

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Maine’s postal abbreviation (two letters).

If you’re in the mood to play more, find all our games here.

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you Monday. — David

P.S. “Late Night with Seth Meyers” shouted out The Times’s Spelling Bee: “Yesterday I spent 11 hours on it.”

Here’s today’s print front page.

“The Daily” is about the suicide attack in Kabul. On “The Ezra Klein Show,” Robert Wright discusses Afghanistan.

Matthew Cullen, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Tom Wright-Piersanti and Sanam Yar contributed to The Morning. You can reach the team at [email protected].

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