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The Latest From Afghanistan

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“We have had smoke in the sky literally since the third week of July,” Amy Ginder, a 47-year-old resident of Reno, said. “We have been inhaling toxins for five weeks now. You can’t be outside. You can’t breathe. You can’t see the sun.”

In response, Ginder has stopped jogging outdoors. “If it were just this summer, you’d just suck it up and move on,” she said. “But it isn’t. It’s the realization that this is our future.”

Smoke-clogged air has become a regular part of life in the American West. Climate change has increased the frequency of droughts, extreme heat and, by extension, large wildfires. The smoke then drifts across large parts of the Pacific Coast and Mountain West. Sometimes, it even reaches the East Coast.

“This is what climate change looks like,” said Daniel Swain, a scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles.

To help document the West’s growing crisis of air quality, I want to use part of today’s newsletter to show photographs from the region. A couple of them come from the mountain resort of Lake Tahoe (and I recommend this story about the area, by my colleagues Thomas Fuller and Shawn Hubler).

One measure of the problem: In several places yesterday — including Bend, Ore.; an area north of Sacramento; and Lake Tahoe — air pollution reached levels that can damage lungs when people spend time outdoors. Phil Abernathy, a Lake Tahoe resident who decided to flee the area in search of cleaner air, told The Times that simply inhaling can feel like a “sizable man is standing on my chest.”

Spiritual: Harvard’s new chief chaplain is an atheist.

Modern Love: Why a writer’s daughter got (temporarily) married at 13.

Lives Lived: Inge Ginsberg fled the Holocaust, helped U.S. spies during World War II, wrote volumes of poetry and late in life became the frontwoman for a heavy metal rock band. She died at 99.

The world of competitive dance is more than the drama and sequins seen on reality shows like “Dance Moms.” Competitions and conventions have molded performers who went on to join elite dance programs and companies, as well as pop stars like Britney Spears and Beyoncé.

Still, the influential events have long been criticized for exclusionary costs, high-pressure environments and the sexualization of children. “I see how much my kids benefit from these events,” Siara Fuller, an artistic director, said. “But some competitions haven’t evolved at all in 15, 20 years.”

A new generation is attempting to reform the dance community, especially regarding issues of gender, predatory behavior and race, Margaret Fuhrer writes in The Times. Some are developing their own conventions to create a safer, more inclusive environment: The Embody Dance Conference, for example, features seminars for dancers on antiracism and mental health, and does not divide its students by gender in classes. Olivia Zimmerman, its founder, hopes other events can adapt such a model. “This isn’t proprietary,” she said. “We’re not trying to make money off ‘being the change.’ I want everyone to follow suit, so that in five years, we’re just another convention.” — Sanam Yar, a Morning writer

The pangram from yesterday’s Spelling Bee was handout. Here is today’s puzzle — or you can play online.

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Maine’s postal abbreviation (two letters).

If you’re in the mood to play more, find all our games here.

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you Monday. — David

P.S. “Late Night with Seth Meyers” shouted out The Times’s Spelling Bee: “Yesterday I spent 11 hours on it.”

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