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The U.S. is planning to withdraw nearly half of the number of U.S. troops deployed to Iraq, according to a senior U.S. military official.

CENTCOM Commander Gen. Frank McKenzie, who is responsible for U.S. forces in the Middle East, says that the U.S. will reduce its troop levels in Iraq from 5,200 to 3,000 and that the cuts will be made this month.

He said the decision reflects confidence in Iraqi security forces.

Here's a beaut of a sentence, one of many, from Lisa Donovan's new memoir, Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger: "[I]f someone values you only when you're about to walk out the door, you should definitely keep walking."

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Sigrid Nunez is on a roll. She's tapped into a smart, wry voice which feels right for our times, as do her concerns with friendship, empathy, loss, and loneliness.

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Updated at 5 p.m. ET

A police officer in Salt Lake City shot a 13-year-old boy with an autism spectrum disorder on Friday after his mother called 911 seeking help for her son, who was experiencing a mental health crisis.

Golda Barton told CBS affiliate KUTV that she called police to request that a crisis intervention team transport her son, Linden Cameron, to a hospital for treatment as he was having a "mental breakdown."

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Hal Willner was known as "the man with the golden Rolodex," a music producer who could call Lou Reed, Sting or Marianne Faithful and persuade them on a moment's notice to participate in any number of offbeat projects: tribute albums and concerts of Kurt Weill songs, Disney music and sea chanteys. Willner, who was also a music coordinator for Saturday Night Live, died from COVID-19 in April while working on his final project, a tribute to the songwriting of T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan.

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In Washington state, fires burned more land in a day than they normally burn in entire fire seasons. Here's Anna King from Northwest News Network.

Copyright 2020 Jefferson Public Radio. To see more, visit Jefferson Public Radio.

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Starting in 2024, would-be Oscar nominees must meet specific representation and inclusion standards in order to be eligible for the Best Picture category.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveiled the requirements on Tuesday, saying they are intended to "encourage equitable representation on and off screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience."

Three firefighters battling the growing Dolan Fire in central California on Tuesday were injured and airlifted to a hospital, where one remains in critical condition.

The U.S. Forest Service said 14 firefighters deployed portable fire shelters — a last resort survival tactic — around 8:30 a.m. as fire overtook their station at the Los Padres National Forest.

The CEO appointed by President Trump to lead the federal agency that oversees the Voice of America and other U.S.-funded international broadcasters has made strict protocols for scrutinizing job candidates a hallmark of his brief tenure there. CEO Michael Pack suspended a slew of senior executives at the U.S. Agency for Global Media and stopped routinely renewing visas for foreign employees over hiring protocols, claiming the executives' lapses threatened national security.

Drugmaker AstraZeneca has announced that it is pausing its COVID-19 vaccine trial because of a "potentially unexplained illness" in one of the trial volunteers.

The vaccine was developed by the University of Oxford in partnership with AstraZeneca. It's being studied in thousands of patients in the United States and the United Kingdom. The illness apparently occurred in a U.K. volunteer.

Scientists and engineers in California are building a unique camera for a unique telescope.

The Rubin Observatory telescope going up on Cerro Pachón in north-central Chile can capture an unusually large swath of sky in a single image.

The camera capable of capturing those images has to be enormous. The one researchers are building at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, Calif., certainly is.

Updated at 5:29 p.m. ET

Georgia's top election official sounded the alarm Tuesday because he said 1,000 people voted twice in the state's elections so far this year — although when pressed, he acknowledged he didn't know whether any of them did so intentionally.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, made the announcement in a news conference on Tuesday. He said the thousand voters turned in absentee ballots and then voted in person in the state's June primary, but he provided few details apart from that.

Updated at 5:58 p.m. ET

La'Ron Singletary is resigning as police chief in Rochester, N.Y., as protests continue over the March death of a Black man, Daniel Prude, by asphyxiation after being restrained by police. Much of the encounter was caught on video.

Other senior police leaders are joining Singletary in leaving the department, Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rolled out a new proposal for a smaller version of a pandemic relief aid bill, but it's unclear how much support the measure could garner even in his own party. And top Democrats opposed the plan, arguing it was "emaciated" even before it was officially released.

It's been four long years, but Colin Kaepernick is finally getting the chance to take the field again — this time for any team of your choosing.

Developers at EA Sports, the maker of the ubiquitous Madden NFL franchise, announced Tuesday that gamers will now have the opportunity to add the former superstar quarterback to both its Play Now and Franchise modes. It's the latest update for Madden NFL 21, which was released last month.

Updated Sept. 9 at 4 p.m. ET

Congress is launching an investigation into a series of deaths at Fort Hood in Texas.

The trippy new Hulu comedy Woke is what you might get if you mixed the satire in the movie Get Out with a psychedelic Sesame Street for adults. An African American cartoonist, played by Lamorne Morris, is deeply conflicted over just how engaged with social issues his art should be. Talking objects like a malt malt liquor bottles voiced by Nicole Byer and Eddie Griffin mess with his head. Punctuating the show's brainy humor is a soundtrack that includes hip hop, R&B, punk and folk.

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Updated at 5:02 p.m. ET

Stocks slid for the third session in a row as technology shares lost more ground and a steep drop in oil prices hit energy shares.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 632 points, or 2.25%, while the S&P 500 fell 2.8%.

The Nasdaq composite index retreated 4.1% and entered correction territory after falling more than 10% from last week's high.

Last fall, we spoke to Cameroonian filmmaker Rosine Mbakam about the U.S. premiere of her documentaries The Two Faces of A Bamileke Woman and Chez Jolie Coiffure. Now, we catch up to hear how the pandemic has upended — and reinvented — her new projects.

While it's still unknown when musicians and touring artists will again be able to perform in venues, those based abroad and hoping to tour the U.S. will face increased costs to do so legally.

The killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the subsequent demonstrations have led some musicians to create protest songs.

WHYY’s Peter Crimmins profiles two Philadelphians who are speaking out against police brutality and systemic racism with their music.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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