Steve Inskeep

President Biden has tapped Jerome Powell to serve a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve. Fed governor Lael Brainard will serve as vice chairman.

TORKHAM, Pakistan — Although the Kabul airport has opened again to international flights, many Afghans are still trying to flee overland, through major border crossings like the one in Torkham, Pakistan.

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.

Updated July 15, 2021 at 12:05 PM ET

Iranian American journalist Masih Alinejad says she is the target of an alleged kidnapping plot that was foiled by the FBI and recently laid out in a federal indictment.

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."

Suppose you're a Palestinian living in Gaza. You can't easily leave. Israel and Egypt control the borders. Your local government is dominated by Hamas. And for the past week, Hamas rockets have flown out of Gaza while Israeli bombs have been falling in.

That is the experience for Jamal al-Sharif and his family.

"For a full week now, we couldn't sleep for more than two or three hours in the 24 hours," says al-Sharif. "Children are screaming, shouting all the time. And the situation is terrifying."

This story is part of an NPR series, We Hold These Truths, on American democracy.

Stanley Martin was one of the Black Lives Matter activists who organized last year's protests in Rochester, N.Y. She pushed to change policing from outside the system.

This year, Martin is seeking change from the inside, running in the Rochester City Council primary on June 22. Her focus: "reimagining" public safety. To Martin, this means a radical new plan to abolish the police gradually.

One in 4 Americans would refuse a coronavirus vaccine if offered, a recent NPR/Marist poll found. Another 5% are "undecided" about whether they would get the shot. And some researchers are growing worried that this reluctance will be enough to prevent the nation from reaching what's known as herd immunity.

People who voted for Donald Trump were already some of the most likely to oppose getting vaccinated.

Now a poll shows the idea of a document, sometimes called a "passport," showing proof of vaccination is unpopular with that group as well. Forty-seven percent of Trump voters oppose this type of document, compared with 10% of Biden voters, the survey shows.

John Boehner says he couldn't win an election as a Republican these days.

"I think I'd have a pretty tough time," he says. "I'm a conservative Republican, but I'm not crazy. And, you know, these days crazy gets elected. On the left and the right."

Boehner has a new memoir, On the House, about his time in politics.

Later this month, Bahareh Shargi will mark an anniversary: It will be three years that her husband has been stuck in Iran.

Iranian authorities first imprisoned Emad Shargi, a U.S. citizen, on April 23, 2018. Though they eventually released him on bail, they did not allow him to leave the country and later returned him to Tehran's Evin prison. Now his family hopes that speaking out may help him.

Updated April 7, 2021 at 10:39 AM ET

The Minneapolis police chief and other members of his department have testified that former officer Derek Chauvin's restraint of George Floyd was excessive and that it violated the department's policies on use of force.

The U.S. and Iran are holding indirect talks this week in Vienna over a return to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Diplomats from the two countries won't meet face to face — representatives from Europe, Russia and China will serve as a go-between. Both the U.S. and Iran insist the other needs to make a concession first — Iran says the U.S. should lift sanctions, while the U.S. says Iran should scale back its nuclear program.

Updated March 22, 2021 at 11:48 AM ET

Georgia Republican lawmakers have backed off of a proposal that would have curtailed early voting on Sundays in the state.

Sunday voting is especially important for congregants in Black churches, which regularly hold "souls to the polls" events after Sunday services.

As hopes increase that life will soon get back to normal, there's one pandemic ritual that a lot of kids and parents are going to miss.

A year ago, as the coronavirus began to rage, fitness instructor Joe Wicks, known as The Body Coach, started a daily exercise class for kids on YouTube called "PE With Joe." The idea was to help children stay active during the lockdown.

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