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Secret Taliban talks, Bahamas' devastation, & Rafael Nadal's epic U.S. Open win: The Morning Rundown

The idea of the Taliban peace talks at Camp David were floated and then scrapped within a week.
Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton
National Security Adviser John Bolton, left, argued against holding a meeting with the Taliban on U.S. soil ahead of the Sept. 11 anniversary.Andrew Harnik / AP

Good morning, NBC News readers.

We're taking a look at what was behind the demise of the secret Taliban talks. Meanwhile, Bahamians are struggling to pick up the pieces after Hurricane Dorian. And Rafael Nadal secured his 19th Grand Slam title after once again winning the U.S. Open.

Here's what we're watching today.

Divisions within Trump administration ultimately doomed secret Taliban talks

President Donald Trump’s decision to hold a Camp David meeting with Taliban leaders and Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani to solidify a peace deal to end the 18-year-long war was first discussed about a week ago, according to U.S. officials and others briefed on the discussion.

But the controversial plan was scuppered because of opposing views within his administration.

On one side were national security adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence, who objected to the idea of bringing leaders of the rogue militant group to the presidential retreat, the location Trump suggested, just days before the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks that prompted the Afghan war.

On the other side, officials at the State Department argued the meeting could move the parties closer to an agreement.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the decision to invite Taliban leaders to Camp David on NBC News' "Meet the Press" and the other major political talk shows on Sunday.

"We concluded this was a perfectly appropriate place," he said. "You know the history of Camp David. Lots of bad folks have come through that place."

'Everything's gone': In the Bahamas, lives shattered by Dorian destruction

A week after Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Abaco Islands as the strongest hurricane to hit the Bahamas on record, those remaining said the storm took everything from them.

On the island of Great Abaco, wrecked boats and flipped-over cars were strewn across streets of completely flattened houses. Downed power lines and the frames of buildings lined the sides of the roads.

By Sunday, Great Abaco was becoming a ghost town, as thousands of people tried to leave by plane and boat.

"These clothes on me, that's all I have. Everything's gone," said Joseph Farine, 69.

Kerry Sanders:

Sept. 8, 201916:48

Air Force to review all layovers after crew stay at Trump's Scotland hotel comes under scrutiny

The Air Force said Sunday that it doesn't appear any regulations were broken when a military crew flying from Alaska to Kuwait stopped off in Scotland and stayed overnight at a resort owned by President Donald Trump.

But it has decided to investigate all such sleepovers anyway, it said, because of a possible perception that it's "not being good stewards of taxpayer funds."

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THINK about it

Tuesday night’s election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District could be an important bellwether for 2020, political reporter and analyst Leah Askarinam writes in an opinion piece.

Science + Tech = MACH

Strange life-forms teeming in perpetual darkness 8,000 feet deep in a Canadian mine reveal a vast "underground Galapagos."


Take advantage of juicy, in-season tomatoes by whipping up this quick and easy recipe.

Quote of the day

"We lost everything, but I'm thankful to God that I'm still alive. I feel much better now that I'm in the plane. I have nothing left."

Mailey Nord on a flight with her 8-year-old son, leaving devastated Marsh Harbour and heading to Nassau, the Bahamas' capital.

One fun thing

Rafael Nadal outlasted Daniil Medvedev to win the U.S. Open final in an epic five-set match.

Nadal, 33, beat a resilient Medvedev 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 in a match that went on for 4 hours and 49 minutes.

Medvedev, 23, proved a worthy opponent for the Spanish champion as he tried to unseat the four-time Open winner.

“A crazy match, no?” said Nadal afterwards.

Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his 19th Grand Slam singles title, one shy of Roger Federer's record. Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

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Thanks, Petra