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  • President Joe Biden pledged today to bring all Americans home from Afghanistan.
  • Workers at a Maine factory making Abbott Laboratories rapid COVID-19 tests were told to destroy their inventory earlier this summer amidst drops in cases: "Now, amid a new surge in infections, steps the company took to eliminate stock and wind down manufacturing are proving untimely — hobbling efforts to expand screening as the highly contagious Delta strain rages across the country."
  • A water shortage in the West is threatening wildlife, with state agencies "flying water in helicopters to remote, artificial watering holes where bears, sheep, and other thirsty animals seek relief."
  • Kathy Hochul is still deciding on who her lieutenant governor will be, but the Times reveals that her shortlist includes "State Senator Jamaal Bailey, the chairman of the Democratic Party in the Bronx; State Senator Brian Benjamin of Harlem; Rubén Díaz Jr., the outgoing Bronx borough president; and Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, the chairwoman of the Democratic Party in Brooklyn."
  • Legendary Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has announced his retirement from hockey.
  • Kendrick Lamar shared a rare update about his "final TDE album," which he says is coming soon.
  • Artist Cara Levine is digging a giant hole in Malibu as part of her project “Dig a Hole to Put Your Grief In,” inspired by the Shiva, the Jewish period of mourning.
  • Do you know how hard to go in at the gym?
  • It rained for the first time at the Summit research station in Greenland, which is "another troubling sign of a changing Arctic."
  • Here's what's on tap for new music Friday: check out Lorde's sunny, slightly underwhelming, but still enjoyable new record Solar Power; Young Thug has the incredibly fun, catchy new single "Tick Tock;" Angel Olsen slows the tempo on a bunch of '80s covers for the Aisles EP; Deafheaven pulled back the metal and added the melody on Infinite Granite; and I also really recommend two recent singles from the great songwriter Daniel Romano, "The Motions" and "Nocturne Child."
  • And finally, here's a very fluffy penguin: