Franco Ordoñez

Franco Ordoñez is a White House Correspondent for NPR's Washington Desk. Before he came to NPR in 2019, Ordoñez covered the White House for McClatchy. He has also written about diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and immigration, and has been a correspondent in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Haiti.

Ordoñez has received several state and national awards for his work, including the Casey Medal, the Gerald Loeb Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism. He is a two-time reporting fellow with the International Center for Journalists, and is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and the University of Georgia.

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President Biden is asking Congress for billions in additional funding to help with natural disasters and aid for Afghan evacuees.

The White House wants $24 billion in additional funding to help recovery efforts for the California wildfires and several hurricanes, including Hurricane Ida. Biden administration officials are also asking for $6.4 billion to help with resettling vulnerable Afghans in the United States.

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After 20 years, the U.S. war in Afghanistan has ended. President Biden today spoke about this milestone and defended himself against criticism for the chaotic exit.

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DOVER, Del. — As white-gloved officers carried the flag-draped case of their fellow Marine from the C-17 military plane, the quiet of their gentle footsteps was broken by the soft cries of a loved one's anguish.

It was just one of several emotional moments during the heart-wrenching ritual as the remains of 13 U.S. service members killed in Kabul were brought back home to their families.

President Biden lifted his right hand over his heart as, one-by-one, the remains of the fallen service members were delicately carried across the tarmac to awaiting vehicles.

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Updated August 16, 2021 at 6:38 PM ET

President Biden on Monday defended his decision to withdraw the U.S. military from Afghanistan despite the swift Taliban takeover of the country and chaotic scenes unfolding in its capital of Kabul as people crowd the airport in an effort to flee.

"I am president of the United States of America, and the buck stops with me," he said. "I am deeply saddened by the facts we now face, but I do not regret my decision."

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The scenes at the airport in Kabul today have been harrowing, as Afghans sought to flee their country fearing retribution from the Taliban. President Biden addressed the nation this afternoon and said that he is committed to helping evacuate Afghan allies to safety. And he brushed aside criticism that the U.S. waited too long to help, pinning the blame instead on the former president of Afghanistan, who fled over the weekend.

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