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KABUL, Afghanistan — Shugofa Nayebi recently divorced her husband, signed up for dental college and began working in a hair salon doing eyelash extensions to pay for her studies.

"I'm independent now," Nayebi, 32, says over the din of hairdryers and music in the Shabnam Salon in an upscale Kabul neighborhood.

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The National Mall in Washington, D.C., took a step closer to normalcy today. Four Smithsonian museums and the National Gallery of Art reopened to the public. Millions of people visit the free museums in a typical year to see their collections of important objects from American history and culture. NPR's Elizabeth Blair has more.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: As soon as free passes to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture were available, Allyson Carpenter was ready.

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The National Mall in Washington, D.C., took a step closer to normalcy today. Four Smithsonian museums and the National Gallery of Art reopened to the public. Millions of people visit the free museums in a typical year to see their collections of important objects from American history and culture. NPR's Elizabeth Blair has more.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: As soon as free passes to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture were available, Allyson Carpenter was ready.

Overnight, violence in the Gaza Strip and Israel accelerated to the brink of all-out war.

Israel deployed artillery and warplanes to attack the tunnel systems of Hamas. The Palestinian Health Ministry reports at least 126 dead.

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Prosecutors in Georgia announced this week that they are seeking the death penalty and hate crime charges for the suspect in the Atlanta-area shootings in March. Six of the eight people killed were women of Asian descent, but proving that these killings constitute a hate crime could be difficult. Thien Ho has seen that challenge firsthand. He's the assistant chief deputy district attorney at the Sacramento County DA's office in California. Welcome.

THIEN HO: Thank you so much for having me on your show.

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