Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Tuesday, August 31, 2021:


The U.S. completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan late Monday, ending America’s longest war. Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, said the last planes took off at 3:29 p.m. Washington time, just before midnight in Kabul. Several hundred Americans remain, but McKenzie said he believes they will be able to leave. This comes after a harrowing final exit that took the lives of 13 U.S. troops and 180 Afghans. Taliban militants are once again in charge. AP


As tropical storm Ida lingers in Mississippi, Louisiana residents are facing intense recovery efforts. Residents are trapped by floodwaters awaiting rescue, and over 1 million people remain without power. Luckily no major flooding was reported inside the flood control system that protects New Orleans, but the total extent of damage is still unknown. Governor John Bel Edwards said search and rescue efforts are ongoing, and said that those who evacuated shouldn’t return just yet. WDSU


MASK MANDATES: The Department of Education is investigating five states whose bans on mask mandates in schools could be breaking civil rights laws designed to protect students with disabilities. The DoE’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah to determine whether their ban on mandates restricts access for students who are protected under law based on their disabilities. NY TIMES

VACCINE PROTECTION: New data presented to a CDC committee shows that all three vaccines used in the U.S. remained highly effective at preventing hospitalization from April through July of this year as the Delta variant mutated and spread. For adults under 75-years-old, shots are at least 94 percent effective at preventing hospitalization. NY TIMES

SOUTH AFRICAN VARIANT: South African scientists are researching a new variant with multiple mutations, but they haven’t yet found whether it’s more contagious or if it overcomes immunity provided by vaccines. The variant, known as C.1.2, was first identified in May and has now spread to most South African provinces and to seven other African, European, and Asian countries. Lab tests are underway to understand how the variant reacts to antibodies. REUTERS


The House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection has asked social media and tech companies to preserve phone and computer records for hundreds of people allegedly involved with events meant to “challenge, delay or interfere” the certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory. The committee did not release the list of people targeted in this search, but it does include President Donald Trump, several of his family members, and a few of his Republican allies in Congress, according to sources. AP


Digital payments giant PayPal is reportedly exploring a move into retail trading, according to inside sources. PayPal is looking at a stock trading option for U.S. customers after rolling out their cryptocurrency trading platform last year. Details of the plan are still under wraps, but PayPal has hired brokerage industry veteran Rich Hagen, whose LinkedIn page now says he is the CEO of the previously unreported “Invest at PayPal” division. CNBC


Jury selection begins today in the fraud and conspiracy trial of former Theranos CEO and disgraced Silicon Valley darling Elizabeth Holmes. She’s charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 10 counts of wire fraud after she allegedly defrauded and lied to investors and patients about Theranos blood testing technology.  Her potential defense strategy was revealed in unsealed documents over the weekend: she’s expected to blame ex-boyfriend and Theranos exec Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, saying his “abusive” and “controlling” behavior “[erased] her capacity to make decisions.” CNN


Instagram will now require you to input your birth date as a security measure if you haven’t already provided that information. As part of the platform’s efforts to make the grid safer for young people, you’ll be required to input your DOB before viewing posts marked as sensitive, unless the date is already on your profile.  THE VERGE


MEN’S: Andy Murray lost to no. 3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who won in a marathon match that lasted nearly five hours. Murray stoked a bit of controversy before the final set when he complained to the umpire about Tsitsipas’ extended bathroom break between the fourth and fifth sets. "I lost respect for [Tsitsipas],” Murray said. YAHOO SPORTS

WOMEN’S: Two-time US Open Champion Naomi Osaka is advancing to the second round after beating Marie Bouzkova. Osaka won seven straight games between the end of the first set and most of the second set. 17-year-old phenom Coco Gauff has also advanced to round two after beating Magda Linette. Gauff will next face 2017 US Open Champion Sloane Stephens. YAHOO SPORTS


… Jon Stewart’s new Apple TV+ show debuts September 30, and the comedian posted a promo on Twitter for the new biweekly, deep-dive series that will discuss current affairs.  WATCH

… the new trailer for Netflix’s “You,” showing stalker Joe Goldberg becoming a father. WATCH

… NBC News Correspondent Shaquille Brewster gets cut off during his live report by an enraged Mississippi resident who jumped out of his car and began shouting at Brewster and his camera crew. SEE IT


Eagle-eyed viewers watching “Ted Lasso” may -- or may not -- have spotted a next-gen, notchless iPhone in use. The phone in question looks like an iPhone 12 from the back, and has an iOS 14 wallpaper, but there’s no telltale notch at the top of the phone (it’s that small black space at the top of the screen that’s home to your front-facing camera and speaker). However, the show does frequently use CGI, so this could have been an unintentional post-production goof. Apple so far doesn’t plan to introduce a completely notchless display. GIZMODO

Note: The Need2Know Podcast will return Tuesday, September 7! 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!

Updated Friday, September 3, 2021 at 9:10 am ET to note the Need2Know podcast will return Tuesday, September 7, not Monday.  

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