Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead.
1. President Trump called off peace talks with the Taliban, ending monthslong negotiations that had appeared to be nearing an agreement.
In a series of tweets, Mr. Trump said he had canceled a secret meeting at Camp David with Taliban leaders and the Afghan president after the Taliban admitted to carrying out a suicide bombing on Thursday, above, that killed an American soldier and 11 others in Kabul, the Afghan capital.
Separately, when Congress returns from its summer recess on Monday, Democrats plan to scrutinize whether Mr. Trump’s resort properties illegally profited from government business. Patronizing Trump hotels is an almost routine part of doing business in Washington. Hundreds of officials have done so.
2. The week of Hurricane Dorian is finally coming to an end.
The total death toll remains unknown in the Bahamas, but fears abound that it will be far higher than the 43 confirmed since Dorian struck as a Category 5 storm nearly a week ago. The tiny island nation has been overwhelmed by the catastrophic storm. And its residents are losing patience with their government’s strained response.
In North Carolina, where people rattle off the names of storms like old enemies, most residents were spared the worst from Dorian. But they haven’t all recovered from last year’s flooding.
While no longer a hurricane, Dorian still left hundreds of thousands of people without electricity in Canada.
3. State and federal officials are urgently tackling a new public health crisis in America: What’s causing a surge in vaping-related lung illnesses?
In recent months, 450 people have been sickened by a severe lung illness linked to e-cigarettes across 33 states and one U.S. territory, and five have died, according to public health officials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged people to consider refraining from vaping any products until a cause is found. Coughing, fatigue and shortness of breath are warning signs for anyone who has vaped within the last 90 days. Here’s what you need to know.
4. What does a 1987 Supreme Court confirmation battle have to do with the 2020 presidential race? For Joe Biden, it was a lesson in wielding power.
In the clash over Robert Bork’s nomination, Mr. Biden’s moderate instincts defined a winning strategy. It’s the first in a new series, Lessons in Power, that looks at how the 2020 candidates learned to wield influence.
On Saturday, most of the candidates, including Senator Kamala Harris, above, headed to the New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention, offering an early test of campaign organization and enthusiasm. Here’s what else happened in the race this week.
5. An interparty revolt is threatening Boris Johnson’s hold on power in Britain.
Members of the prime minister’s Tory party moved to block a no-deal exit from the E.U. and rejected his call for a snap election, at least until their no-deal Brexit measure becomes law. It could get a final signoff from the queen on Monday. Mr. Johnson visited a farm near Aberdeen in Scotland this week.
Britain and the U.S. have often seemed lashed together amid recent populist storms. But in one respect they have radically diverged: how their governing parties have coped with the pressure.
6. Amid the college admissions scandal, another type of cheating has been overlooked: college students who pay others to write their papers.
Cheating is nothing new, but the internet now makes it possible on a global, industrial scale, resulting in millions of essays ordered annually. The industry is so vast that it provides enough income for some writers to make it a full-time job.
Sentencing in the admissions scandal is expected to begin next week for a group of wealthy parents, including the actress Felicity Huffman, above in May. The big question: Will they serve any jail time? Prosecutors are recommending one to 15 months.
7. The 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu defeated Serena Williams to win the U.S. Open, capping a stunning rise to the top of women’s tennis.
Andreescu’s victory made her the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title. She won it in her first U.S. Open, and it was a sign of how far she has come.
This was Williams’s latest attempt to match Margaret Court’s record of 24 major singles titles. But what Williams and her older sister, Venus, have accomplished is far more important than future titles and broken records, writes historian Tera Hunter in an OpEd.
On Sunday, Rafael Nadal will go for his 19th major championship, against Daniil Medvedev, who gained infamy in the tournament for boorish behavior.
8. Patches, Bozo and Jackels make a living by insulting you at local fairs. They’re among the last of the dunk tank clowns.
The profession is fading away in a world where Americans are beginning to believe that cracking jokes about people’s skin color, size, poverty or intelligence may not be a good thing. By one estimate, there are now 10, at most, working tanks across the country.
“They’re retiring left and right,” said David Simmons, a.k.a. Patches, above. “They’re being run out of town.”
Also from our Styles desk: Is there such a thing as a perfect divorce? Ina and Bill Pinkney may have figured it out. It’s the latest from our Unhitched column.
9. For those still clinging to summer, here’s a story about the origins of the modern American bathing suit in Portland, Ore. One of our Travel writers found that a swim in the Willamette River offers a dip into history.
The river, she writes, is an example of “the beauty of a swimmable urban waterway.”
With plenty of warm days left in September and beyond, Labor Day doesn’t have to mark the end of the traditional vacation season. Here are eight ways to keep it going.
10. And finally, dig into one of our Best Weekend Reads.
We sent a reporter with an economist to Burning Man, had Wesley Morris write about his take on “Friends,” and talked to Margaret Atwood, above, about the “The Testaments,” her sequel to “Handmaid’s Tale.”
For more suggestions, check out nine new books our editors liked, a glance at the latest small-screen recommendations from Watching, and our music critics’ latest playlist. On “The Weekly,” our reporters look at Russia’s playbook for disrupting democracy; there’s also a new episode from our “1619” audio series on the birth of American music.
Have an easy week.
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