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WASHINGTON (AP) — Presidents and former Senate colleagues are lauding longtime Majority Leader Harry Reid for a political legacy that included an expansion of health insurance coverage for millions of Americans and helping secure an economic aid package and banking overhaul following the 2008 financial crisis.

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THE BACKGROUND: For Afghanistan, 2021 was punctuated by the chaos of a U.S. withdrawal and an uncertain next chapter. The Taliban, who were unseated as the country's rulers by a U.S.-led coalition after the 9/11 attacks 20 years ago, could not be stopped by a collapsing Afghan military and Western-backed government that fled. They quickly took power back in mid-August — asked, The Associated Press has revealed, by former President Hamid Karzai to help keep Kabul from falling into chaos and deadly violence.

Meg Dutcher, 30, and Jesse Dutcher, 33, married in 2005, one of the go-go years, and they both had jobs in the booming construction sector, making a combined $68,000 a year.

One of the culprits in the building and bursting of the nation’s housing bubble, the low-down-payment mortgage, is back in favor and readily available at a lender near you.

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