Hurricane Beryl nears Jamaica and Democrats await polling after Biden debate: Morning Rundown

Why the Biden administration is considering working with the Taliban. A study finds that what you eat when you’re 40 could affect your health decades down the road. And a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter faces the possibility of jail in a defamation lawsuit. 

Here’s what to know today.

Biden admin weighs an unlikely partnership to track ISIS-K

Taliban police on patrol  (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images file)Taliban police on patrol  (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images file)

Taliban police on patrol (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images file)

Until recently, the U.S. and other Western officials believed the ISIS-K terrorist group had the intent but not the ability to orchestrate attacks abroad. But that changed with the attack on a Moscow concert venue in March that left 130 dead and injured hundreds more. Now, facing a global terrorist threat, Biden administration officials are debating expanding cooperation with Afghanistan’s Taliban regime to help track ISIS-K, two sources familiar with the matter and a former U.S. official said.

The U.S.’s military withdrawal from Afghanistan and declining Western influence in Africa have weakened Washington’s capacity to gather intelligence on the various offshoots of ISIS. ISIS-K is the branch of terrorist group active in Afghanistan and refers to the Khorasan branch of ISIS.

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Meanwhile, the Taliban sees ISIS-K as a threat to its rule and has launched a series of attack against the group.

But there’s a deep distrust between the West and the Taliban. Some members of Congress who favor a partnership argue that the U.S. would have to demand concessions from the Taliban in return. Those who oppose the move fear the Taliban would use the cooperation as a way to push the U.S. to recognize its authority in Afghanistan, which it hasn’t.

Read the full story here.

Hurricane Beryl approaches Jamaica as a Category 4 storm

Hurricane Beryl is forecast to pass near or over Jamaica today, with a storm surge that could reach 5 to 8 feet above normal tide levels. The powerful storm weakened slightly yesterday, but it is still a major Category 4 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said. Beryl is predicted to approach the Cayman Islands tomorrow and reach the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico tomorrow night. The National Weather Service also said Beryl could cause minor flooding in the U.S.

Beryl has already been blamed for seven deaths. Three people were killed in Grenada, three were killed in Venezuela and one was killed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, officials said. In Grenada, where the hurricane made landfall earlier this week, Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell said, “the situation is grim,” reporting downed power lines, impassable roads and destroyed buildings. Here’s the latest forecast.

Dems nervously await polling after Biden’s weak debate

Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas became the first Democrat in Congress to call for Joe Biden to withdraw from the presidential race, as the president’s campaign team rushes to reassure party officials that Biden still has a viable path to reelection after a poor debate performance last week against Donald Trump.

While some other Democrats have joined Doggett in encouraging Biden to withdraw, others are waiting for poll numbers to indicate whether Biden’s support has collapsed. Still, they’re unnerved. One Democratic lawmaker wrote in a newspaper op-ed that he expects Trump to win. A second lawmaker said he and others are getting pressured by donors to publicly come out against Biden. Some are beginning to game out what might happen if Biden opts to withdraw.

More 2024 election coverage:

What you eat at 40 may affect how healthy you are at 70

Eat well now, and you may feel better later. That’s what Harvard researchers concluded in a new study presented this week. According to an analysis of patients over a 30-year period, people with a higher intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and the like had greater odds of aging well. “Healthy aging” was defined as making it to at least age 70 and having good cognitive function, mental health and physical function and being free of chronic diseases.

The research adds to many other studies that link a healthy diet earlier in life to better long-term health. But in this study, which analyzed data from over 106,000 participants over 30 years, researchers were “surprised,” the study’s lead author said. Here’s why.

Mississippi reporter who exposed welfare fraud scandal might go to jail

Mississippi reporter Anna Wolfe or her editor could become, in Wolfe’s words, “the first person to go to jail in the Mississippi welfare scandal.” Her reporting on $77 million of welfare fraud in the state exposed how federal funds went to athletes, cronies and pet projects. Now, she and her editor, Adam Ganucheau are being sued by a top subject of their reporting: the state’s former governor.

They have been hit with a court order requiring them to turn over internal files, including the name of confidential sources — an order they say they will resist. Former Gov. Phil Bryant didn’t sue after the articles were published in 2022. But after the CEO of Mississippi Today mischaracterized the reporting at a journalism conference nearly a year later, he took legal action.

The most experienced U.S. women’s gymnastics team ever

Simone Biles, who has 37 Olympic and world championship medals, will be joined in Paris by reigning Olympic all-around champion Suni Lee, Olympic silver medalist Jordan Chiles, Olympic gold medalist Jade Carey and first-year senior Hezly Rivera. Biles called the upcoming Games will be a “redemption tour” for the Tokyo returners — and each teammate has a personal goal in mind.

More Olympics highlights:

Politics in Brief

Sentencing pushed: New York state Judge Juan Merchan approved a delay of Donald Trump’s sentencing in the former president’s hush money trial to Sept. 18 at the earliest after the Supreme Court’s immunity decision.

Next moves: The White House is considering its options for a response to the Supreme Court’s blockbuster ruling, such as legal guidelines, while some liberal advocates criticize Biden and Democrats for being “caught flat-footed.”

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Staff Pick: Boa constrictor who has lived alone births 14 baby snakes

Baby rainbow boa constrictors from Ronaldo.  (City of Portsmouth College)Baby rainbow boa constrictors from Ronaldo.  (City of Portsmouth College)

Baby rainbow boa constrictors from Ronaldo. (City of Portsmouth College)

It is very rare for vertebrates to give birth without ever having contact with a partner — a process called parthenogenesis. So when we heard about a boa constrictor at a school in England that had reproduced asexually, delivering 14 baby snakes, we had to learn more. NBC News intern Elysee Barakett talked to the snake’s caretaker, who revealed he had thought the snake, named Ronaldo, was male — until the offspring appeared.— Dana Varinsky, science and health editor

NBC Select: Online Shopping, Simplified

Allergies, lack of sleep, stress, aging can all wreak havoc on your under eyes. NBC Select asked the experts what really works to improve the look of your skin and rounded up the best treatments for dark circles and puffiness.

Sign up to The Selection newsletter for hands-on product reviews, expert shopping tips and a look at the best deals and sales each week.

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