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Why the Taliban beheaded Sohail Pardis

Sohail Pardis was on his way to pick up his sister in Afghanistan's Khost province for the upcoming Eid celebrations marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. What was supposed to be a joyous occasion turned into a horrific nightmare as he reached a Taliban-controlled checkpoint along his route to Kabul. As CNN reported Friday, villagers witnessed Taliban militants drag Pardis out of the vehicle and behead him.

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Opinion: I used to be an elite athlete. I understand Simone Biles's struggle

Simone Biles, the greatest gymnast in history, made a life-changing choice on Tuesday: She withdrew from the finals of the team competition, putting her own wellbeing first. Her team went on without her, winning silver as the Russian team took the gold. She told members of the media: "I'd just never felt like this going into a competition before and I tried to go out there and have fun... but once I came out here, I was like: No, the mental's not there, so I just need to let the girls do it and focus on myself."

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Review: 'Jungle Cruise' navigates turning the ride into a highly enjoyable trip

Transforming theme-park attractions into movies is hardly a science, and Disney's success with "Pirates of the Caribbean" is balanced by efforts like "The Haunted Mansion." Through that lens, "Jungle Cruise" delivers about as ably as it possibly could, creating a light-hearted adventure that owes as much to "The Mummy" as anything in Disney's fleet.

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A brain injury turned my life upside down

In the middle of winter, in January 2021, I got into a car accident in Oregon. I'm a producer for CNN, so my life is divided into the stories I cover -- and this happened right after President Joe Biden's inauguration, when New York City was reaching out to vaccinate seniors who didn't know how to sign up online.

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DOJ defends 2 Texas teens in fight with school district over long locs

The Justice Department has stepped into a legal dispute on behalf of two Texas male students who say their school district discriminated against them when they were not allowed to attend classes because they refused to cut the length of their hair that they wore in locs.

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How Fox News is making a network out of race baiting

One evening earlier this month, a White rage-filled man sat behind a desk, looked into a camera, and began to rant about how something must be done to "save" the United States before "we become Rwanda," a not-so-subtle reference to the horrific genocide that occurred in the African country decades ago.

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Review: 'Woodstock 99' draws a line from the ugliness of that festival to the present

Before there was the Fyre festival -- with its absurdly comic snafus and dueling documentaries -- there was Woodstock 99. The HBO documentary "Woodstock 99: Peace, Love and Rage" examines that event -- described as morphing from a comedy into a horror film -- and finds within it a dire warning, dealing with a lot more than just botched logistics.

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Invasive, football-size goldfish found in Minnesota lake

The tiny goldfish you can pick up at pet store for a few cents might not look like an environmental threat, but they can grow into a huge problem if set free in lakes or ponds -- mainly because they can grow to be surprisingly huge.

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Parents reunite with abducted son after 24-year-search

The disappearance of Guo Xinzhen prompted a nationwide search across China by his parents that was eventually adapted into a film. Twenty-four years after Xinzhen was abducted he was finally reunited with his family.

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Opinion: Vaccine official's story reveals an ugly truth about GOP and children's rights

The Donald Trump-fueled descent of the GOP into a party of reality-rejecting, science-denying conspiracy theorists is well-documented, and a growing phenomenon, as the extreme factions of the party overtake or push out the relatively few moderate Republicans remaining. And almost nowhere is the enduring harm of the Trump years more apparent than in the American right's response to the Covid-19 vaccine. Vaccinations, long rightly heralded as miracles of modern medicine that have saved millions of lives, are suddenly ideologically divisive along party lines.

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Biden in standoff with Democratic senators over who should lead FDA

Nearly six months into a presidency fully engulfed in a battle against a global pandemic, President Joe Biden is in a standoff with senators in his own party over who should lead the US Food and Drug Administration, a key post in the fight against Covid-19 -- with no indication the White House will name a permanent commissioner anytime soon.

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How suspected attackers of Haitian president ended up in Taiwanese embassy

The hunt for the attackers was kicked off by the Haitian security forces shortly after the assassination of Haiti's president. It unfolded into a two-day battle in multiple sites in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, including the Taiwanese embassy. CNN's Matt Rivers retraces the wild chase that followed the killing of the Haitian president.

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