1/ The U.S. completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, effectively ending the longest war in American history and fulfilling Biden’s pledge to end what he called the “forever war.” The evacuation operation at Kabul’s international airport also ended. Control of the airport was left in the hands of the Taliban. More than 2,400 U.S. troops were killed, including 13 in the past week, during the 20-year war that George W. Bush launched to overthrow the Taliban, who had harbored the al Qaeda terrorists responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, said a number of American citizens in “the very low hundreds” were left behind, and that he believes they will still be able to leave the country. The U.S., however, is not expected to have any further diplomatic or military presence in the country. (Associated Press / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / New York Times / Washington Post / Bloomberg)
2/ The U.S. averaged more than 100,000 Covid-19 hospitalizations a day over the last week – the highest seven-day average since mid-January when nearly 140,000 people were hospitalized. (New York Times)
3/ The Education Department opened five civil rights investigations into statewide school mask bans in Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah. The department’s Office for Civil Rights will examine whether the policies in the five Republican-led states violate the rights of students with disabilities. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona accused the states of “putting politics over the health and education of the students they took an oath to serve,” calling the policies “simply unacceptable.” (Washington Post / Politico / New York Times / Associated Press)
4/ The House Select Committee investigating the January 6 riot plans to ask telecommunications companies to preserve the phone records of several Republican lawmakers who participated in the “Stop the Steal” rally, which served as a prelude to the Capitol insurrection. The list is reportedly still evolving, but currently includes Reps. Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Mo Brooks, Madison Cawthorn, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Jody Hice, and Scott Perry. Last week, the committee demanded records from federal officials and Trump allies and staffers, including some of Trump’s family members. (CNN / NBC News)
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