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Afghan evacuees land in Philly | Morning Newsletter

And, Bucks County parents sue for a school mask mandate.

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

Happy last Sunday of August, readers of the Inquirer Morning Newsletter. Here’s what you should know today.

Afghan refugees have landed in Philadelphia. Hundreds are expected to come here over the weekend as they flee the Taliban takeover of their country. Officials in the region said they would do everything possible to ensure a “safe haven” for the evacuees. “My heart, my mind, everything is out there in Kabul,” one evacuee said, whose name is withheld for safety reasons. “The Taliban are searching every home. What’s going to happen to my family?”

A New Jersey military base is set to shelter thousands of Afghan evacuees. It’s one of four across the country designated for this purpose.

— Lauren Aguirre (@laurencaguirre,

The week ahead

  1. President Joe Biden is warning of more attacks in Afghanistan as the U.S. military works toward its final pullout by Aug. 31.

  2. Demand for COVID-19 tests is increasing across the region, driven by the delta variant spreading among unvaccinated people, the possibility of infection in the vaccinated, and employers requiring regular testing.

  3. Parents in Bucks County are suing their school district after the board voted against a mask mandate.

  4. Dangling the chance to win cash prizes does not boost COVID-19 vaccination rates, a University of Pennsylvania study has found.

  5. Concerns about asbestos in the Masterman School in Philly are continuing while parents at another school are also sounding the alarm.

  6. As Gopuff expands, its delivery drivers are demanding better pay and working conditions from the Philly-based company.

  7. A nursing home manager in Pennsylvania said criticism of a new staffing proposal was “insulting and dumb.” Advocates say more staffing is desperately needed. But nursing home executives say Medicaid rates won’t support it.

  8. Philly runners are racing again at last, pandemic be darned. First up: today’s Philly 10k.

This week’s most popular stories

Behind the story with Jenn Ladd

Each week we go behind the scenes with one of our reporters or editors to discuss their work and the challenges they face along the way. This week we chat with reporter Jenn Ladd about her work covering the food community in the Philly region.

What is your favorite part about covering food?

“Food” as a topic can be a springboard to anything: It can lead you to a recipe, sure, but it also threads through business stories, profiles, reflections on culture, even love stories. Sometimes food is just about food, but more often than not, it’s really about people. P.S. My mom is always hoping I’ll write about something other than food, but it really is my métier.

What’s something you learned through your reporting?

What a labor of love most restaurants and bars are to their owners and the people who work in them. It’s such a tough, low-margin business, and both physically and mentally demanding — after some interviews, it feels like most people in hospitality really stick with it almost in spite of themselves. Usually it’s because they really love transporting people through the experience of good food, drink, and conversation.

What are some things you’re keeping an eye on for your coverage in the coming weeks?

I’m curious to see how, if at all, the end of much-talked-about federal unemployment benefits this week affects the labor shortage, particularly in the restaurant industry. We’ll see what develops over September. Also, not for my own coverage, per se, but I’ll be paying attention to football season (looking forward to eating wings)!

What are a few recently published stories of yours that you’re proud of?

I was very happy with how my story on restaurant workers’ thoughts about the labor shortage and changes needed in the industry turned out. It took a long time to report and write, but I think it captured almost everything I wanted it to. For lighter pieces, my profile of South Jersey’s foraging/gardening bartender Danny Childs or a look inside York, Pa.’s 150-year-old animal cracker factory.

What’s your favorite cooking show or channel? Or what else might you do in your free time?

Not too many cooking shows in my queue, though I’ve binged on Great British Baking Show. I’m more inclined to dramas — at the moment, we’re hooked on the PBS Masterpiece detective series Endeavour.

Email Jenn Ladd at and follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @jrladd.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

There’s always the next sunrise to look forward to. Thanks for sharing!

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

What to do after a flood in the Philly area

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the U.S. And the Philly region was under a flash flood watch this weekend. If your house floods, no matter when it happens, you can rest assured you’re not the only one dealing with this. You’ll want to start with documenting, disinfecting and preventing mold. Here are the steps to take.

What we’re…

  1. Eating: The owners of Blue Bell Inn owners have opened The Copper Crow in Montgomery County. Here’s a look inside.

  2. Cooking: Easy back-to-school lunch recipes for kids — and for parents, too.

  3. Anticipating: Made in America is in Philly next weekend. Here’s what to know about the musical performances and COVID-19 precautions.

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