Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Tuesday, August 17, 2021:


POTUS SPEAKS: President Biden cut short a long weekend at Camp David to address the nation about the chaotic end to the war in Afghanistan, strongly defending the U.S. withdrawal despite its “hard and messy” final days, and acknowledging that the Taliban’s victory came faster than expected. Biden said he had no regrets about ending the war, only that the U.S. gave two decades of support to a military that did not have the “will” to fight for its own country. AXIOS

KABUL AIRPORT: The dramatic images that seem likely to define the end of America’s longest war came from the tarmac at the international airport in Kabul, where hundreds of desperate Afghans rushed the runway and ran alongside a military transport plane evacuating U.S. personnel. Footage showed people clinging to the fuselage of the C-17 as it took off before falling from the sky to their deaths. One plane was able to take off with 650 Afghans crammed inside. The Pentagon says the airport has now been secured and evacuation flights are resuming. CNN


Get ready for your third shot. The White House has reportedly decided that most Americans should get a COVID vaccine booster about eight months after their last dose to offer better protection against the Delta variant. The plan in the works, pending FDA approval, would start offering Pfizer and Moderna boosters to nursing home residents and frontline workers in September, followed by older people who got vaccinated early, followed by the rest of the general population. The new urgency for boosters follows data out of Israel that suggests the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine is starting to wane for those who got it back in January and February. NY TIMES


The federal government has declared the first-ever water shortage on the Colorado River. The declaration -- which had been expected -- triggers mandatory water cuts for states in the Southwest that depend on Lake Mead for their water supply. Farmers in Arizona are going to be particularly hard hit when the cutbacks start in January. Lake Mead is at its lowest levels since the Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s, due to an ongoing “megadrought” worsened by climate change. AZCENTRAL


Tropical Storm Fred made landfall along the Florida panhandle with 65 mph winds, and is now headed inland over the Southeast and up into Appalachia, where heavy rains are expected through the middle of the week. Fred is one of three tropical systems in the Atlantic. Tropical Depression Grace is passing directly over the epicenter of Saturday’s 7.2 earthquake in Haiti before it tracks south of Cuba and over the Yucatán. Tropical Storm Henri has also formed near Bermuda and is forecast to circle the island before heading out to sea. ACCUWEATHER


If you invested in the S&P 500 at its COVID-era low on March 23 of last year, you would have just doubled your money. It took the stock market 354 trading days to double from its trough, the fastest bull-market rally since WWII. It typically takes more than 1,000 trading days for a bull market to reach that milestone. CNBC


The U.S. has opened a formal investigation into Tesla’s self-driving system known as Autopilot after a series of crashes. Federal safety regulators are investigating at least 11 instances of Teslas crashing into emergency vehicles that were stopped on the side of the road. In all of those accidents, the Tesla drivers had Autopilot or other autonomous-driving features engaged. The investigation covers Tesla’s entire lineup for model years 2014 through 2021. CHEDDAR


Carli Lloyd, one of the stars of the U.S. women’s soccer team, is retiring. Lloyd says she plans to finish her season with F.C. Gotham, then play in a few exhibition games for the U.S. team before hanging up her jersey this fall. She’s the first of the USWNT’s veterans to retire, but likely not the last. Both Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn said in Tokyo that they were considering their futures. ESPN


Hot on the heels of the MLB’s ultra-successful 'Field of Dreams Game' (the highest-rated regular-season baseball game in 16 years), NBCUniversal is rushing a series adaptation of the iconic 1989 movie for Peacock. Field of Dreams is not the only beloved baseball movie being mined for content by the streamers: Amazon is prepping a series based on A League of Their Own and Disney+ is working on a series based on The Sandlot. VARIETY


...the Washington Monument, getting struck by a spectacular bolt of lightning. The strike caused damage to the monument’s electrical system: SEE IT

…Madonna, alongside her boyfriend, children and close friends, on her 63rd birthday: SEE PICS


Those old video games collecting dust in the attic could be worth big money. An unopened copy of Super Mario Bros. recently sold for $2 million on the collectibles site Rally. That broke the record for world’s most expensive video game, reached just a few weeks earlier when a copy of Super Mario 64 sold for $1.5 million. And that happened just two days after a copy of The Legend of Zelda sold for a then-record $870,000. Like other collectibles, vintage video games have seen a surge in popularity during the pandemic. But it’s not just any old game that’s fetching six or seven figure sums at auction. The “holy grails” are unopened editions of well-known titles. As soon as the box has been opened, the value drops by half. CNN

Listen to the N2K Podcast! Looking for more context and analysis on the big stories of the day? Check out our podcast! Hosts Jill and Carlo break down the headlines, every weekday morning Listen on Apple or Spotify, or watch on YouTube, and send us your feedback!

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