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In an exclusive NPR interview, CIA Director William Burns addresses Taliban advances in Afghanistan, and what U.S. intelligence can do once the U.S. military leaves the country.

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Back around the start of the year, Michael Thurmond had a problem. He's the top elected official in DeKalb County, Ga. Congress had approved about $50 billion in money to help people catch up and pay rent to avoid eviction.

But Thurmond worried that his county wouldn't get enough money to help everybody.

"What do I say to the family who is the first in line after all the money has run out?" he asks.

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Editor's note: Diane Bezucha, who co-produced this interview, works for StoryCorps and is the daughter of Gary Bezucha.

Since the beginning, their friendship has grown out of simple gestures. The best friends met when Greg Klatkiewicz, now 71, started bumming cigarettes from Gary "Zooks" Bezucha, 70, on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, where they were both physical therapy students in the 1970s.

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They may be two of the most influential notes in funk-rock history: the soaring, plaintive start to guitarist Eddie Hazel's legendary solo in Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain."

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RUTH SHERLOCK, BYLINE: The Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha is a time of prayer, gift-giving and feasting. But Lebanon is in the middle of a staggering economic crisis, and a lot of people there can't afford even simple food. Here's NPR's Ruth Sherlock in Beirut.

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After a quick trip to the edge of space, Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos is back on Earth.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JEFF BEZOS: Control, Bezos - best day ever.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Yeah.

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The CDC's director, Rochelle Walensky, testified before a Senate committee yesterday. She told the committee that the delta variant is responsible for most new COVID cases in this country.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Is a Jewish nationalist with a loyal following, a member of Israel's parliament, inciting violence between Jews and Arabs? Here's NPR's Deborah Amos from Jerusalem.

Updated July 20, 2021 at 3:02 PM ET

With the highly contagious delta variant fueling a rise in COVID-19 cases, Dr. Jerome Adams — the surgeon general under former President Donald Trump who once advised against mask-wearing — now says even the vaccinated may need to mask up.

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Good morning. I'm A Martinez. Listen to the beginning of this Bruce Springsteen song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THUNDER ROAD")

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: (Singing) The screen door slams. Mary's dress sways.

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