Lauren Hodges

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It has been a horrific day in Afghanistan.

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ISIS suicide bombers and gunmen targeted crowds outside Kabul's Hamid Karzai Airport. At least 13 U.S. service members and dozens of Afghan civilians are dead.

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When Mark Miller's 92-year-old mother died this past Sunday, the grief he felt was complex.

As vaccinations are making it safer to leave the house, many people are considering re-entering the dating arena. Last week, the White House announced a partnership with dating apps to create a feature that allows users to sort matches by vaccination status as part of the Biden administration's July 4 vaccination goals.

Millions of people had to adjust to online dating and apps this past year.

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When Dana Tamim made the difficult decision to cancel her wedding in August, she was crushed.

"Honestly, I don't think that I'm ever going to get over it," she says.

The 24-year-old lives in Montreal and is Muslim. In her religion, she says, "you can't really live with someone unless you're married."

But Tamim and her fiancé had already signed the lease for a new apartment. They ended up having a quick ceremony to make things legal, so they could move in together.

For American families and their children, school is more than just a building. It's a social life and a community, an athletic center and a place to get meals that aren't available at home. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted — and continues to disrupt — the lives of U.S. students in profound ways.

By the end of last year, the door to a dream had begun to crack open for Lilli Rayne.

She'd spent about five years building her dog-walking and pet-sitting business into a profitable venture in Asheville, N.C.

"My whole life had been entirely where I wanted it to be at that point," she recalls.

As she built her business, Rayne also left behind her history of less-than-stellar credit.

"For the first time in my life, I had a credit score that I could have finally bought a home with," she says, a dream she'd had her entire adult life.

When Kylie Minogue was a kid growing up in Australia, her parents played a lot of disco at home. As she and her siblings danced around the house to artists like ABBA and the Bee Gees, she says, she imagined herself as one of them: "I definitely wanted to be Olivia Newton-John, or Agnetha from ABBA, or Donna Summer."

For the past six months, NPR's Audie Cornish has held a series of conversations with women navigating the male-dominated world of comedy. Here are some highlights.

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If you ask Trixie Mattel — the winner of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars in 2018 — her success as a drag queen isn't worth as much as you might think. "Being one of the most famous drag queens in the world is still only about as much fame as going home first in The Voice in like, 2010," she jokes.

With nearly 30 years in show business, Kristin Chenoweth has won an Emmy and a Tony Award for both her singing and acting. In one of her most famous roles, she sang her way through Oz in a story about sisterhood — the award-winning musical Wicked. Still, Chenoweth says some people are surprised to learn that she's a singer.

"It's so funny when people come up to me and they're like, 'Oh, I didn't know you sang.' And I'm like, 'What?!,'" Chenoweth says.

Note: An updated version of the letter, with additional signatures, was published Sept. 13.

"We blew it."

That was Forbes editor Randall Lane's assessment on Twitter after his publication released a list of America's 100 most innovative leaders that included only a single woman.

A major oil storage terminal on Grand Bahama Island was damaged by Hurricane Dorian and has leaked oil into the surrounding environment, raising concern that the oil could damage local reefs and wildlife.

The South Riding Point facility sits on the shore of the island's eastern side and is home to 10 giant storage tanks capable of holding up to 6.75 million barrels of crude, according to Equinor, the company that runs the facility.

Common is no stranger to showing emotion. With more than 20 years in the spotlight, the Chicago-hailing rapper, actor and activist has worn his heart on his sleeve publicly for years and won plenty of accolades for it. Common is one of the few distinguished artists to have won an Emmy, Grammy and Oscar award in the span of his career.

If Hannah Gadsby's name doesn't ring a bell from last year, the name Nanette should. The Netflix comedy special became a surprise hit in 2018 and made the Australian comedian a household name.

Nanette starts as conventional stand-up, with jokes about everyday indignities and hilarities growing up in Gadsby's native Tasmania as a queer woman. Then, without warning, she takes a dark turn.

Lt. Col. Bree "B" Fram left a doctor's office on April 2. Presenting that day as Bryan, the name given to them at birth, B should have been relieved.

"Overall, it's a good thing," said B. "It just didn't feel great to have to do it on someone else's timeline other than my own."

"It" was an official diagnosis of gender dysphoria. As a transgender member of the military, B had to secure the diagnosis by April 12 in order to continue serving openly.

It was just a month ago that a leaked video of Donald Trump boasting about grabbing women's genitals without their consent led House Speaker Paul Ryan to say he would not defend the Republican presidential nominee or campaign with him.

In the closing weeks of the election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had all but disappeared from public view, saying at one point last month, "I don't have any observations to make" about the presidential race.

Donald Trump is continuing his homestretch campaign strategy of trying to stay on message. As the Clinton campaign also tries to focus on issues and policy in the heat of another FBI investigation, Trump rolled out his health care plan for the country. Noticeably, Hillary Clinton was largely absent from his speech Tuesday in Valley Forge, Pa.

Donald Trump's go-to criticism of U.S. military strategy for the Iraqi city of Mosul is that it should have been a sneak attack.

The Claim

FBI Director James Comey's letter to Congress reporting a renewed look into emails that could be related to Hilary Clinton's private server rocked the presidential race on Friday.

The Clinton campaign and supporters have jumped on Comey for making such a dramatic announcement so close to an election. The question being raised now is whether the timing and style of the announcement make it illegal.

For only the third time in 157 years, the bell at London's landmark clock will not toll the hours.

Big Ben resides in Elizabeth Tower at the Houses of Parliament. Starting next year, the bell will go silent for a few months as part of a three-year repair plan.

Former Texas A&M and Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, 23, has been indicted by a Dallas County grand jury on a misdemeanor assault charge.

Manziel's ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley has accused him of hitting her and rupturing her eardrum in January.

The Dallas Morning News describes what happened:

A gay rights activist and his friend were killed Monday night in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, by a group of assailants reportedly armed with machetes and guns.

Their deaths are the latest in "a series of attacks on progressive voices that has deepened anxiety about growing fundamentalism in the tiny Muslim country, which borders India," NPR's Julie McCarthy tells our Newscast unit.

Xulhaz Mannan and a man said to be a close friend were slain by a half-dozen men posing as couriers when they forced their way inside Mannan's apartment, Julie reports.

National Intelligence Director James Clapper said Monday that he is looking at "several options" to make public the number of U.S. citizens caught up in online surveillance of foreign targets by the U.S. government.

The city of Cleveland agreed Monday to pay $6 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit brought by the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a police officer on Nov. 22, 2014.

The city did not admit any wrongdoing in the killing of Tamir, who was holding an air pellet gun and walking outside a recreation center when he was shot by Officer Timothy Loehmann.

Attorneys for Rowan County, Ky., clerk Kim Davis have filed an emergency motion with a federal court asking that Davis be immediately released from jail. The motion also reportedly requests that Davis be exempted from issuing marriage licenses.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning found Davis in contempt of court and ordered her jailed Thursday for refusing to issue marriage licenses; Davis has been protesting the legalization of same-sex marriage on religious grounds.

The Associated Press has filed a lawsuit against the DOJ related to a 2007 sting operation in which the FBI created a fake AP news story and an agent impersonated a journalist. The FBI was trying to apprehend a teenage suspect in several bomb threats in Washington state.

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