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The flag of Afghanistan is presented by volunteers at the Paralympics. Photo: Marcus Brandt/picture alliance via Getty Images

Two Afghan athletes arrived in Tokyo on Saturday to compete in the Paralympics, after initially canceling plans to compete following Afghanistan's fall to the Taliban, per a statement from the International Paralympic Committee.

Driving the news: Zakia Khudadadi, a Taekwondo athlete, and track athlete Hossain Rasouli were evacuated from Kabul a week ago and landed in Tokyo on a flight from Paris on Saturday, per the IPC.

  • Khudadadi made a video appeal for assistance to leave Kabul to compete in the Games, per Reuters.
  • "I request from you all, that I am an Afghan woman and as a representative of Afghan women ask for you to help me," Khudadadi said in her video appeal, per Reuters.

What they're saying: "Twelve days ago we were informed that the Afghan Paralympic Team could not travel to Tokyo, a move that broke the hearts of all involved in the Paralympic Movement and left both athletes devastated," IPC President Andrew Parsons said in a statement.

  • "That announcement kickstarted a major global operation that led to their safe evacuation from Afghanistan, their recuperation by France, and now their safe arrival in Tokyo."

Go deeper: Afghanistan flag displayed at Paralympics as "sign of solidarity"

Go deeper

Oct 24, 2021 - World

Former U.S. envoy to Afghanistan asked about "diplomatic malpractice"

(L to R) U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar sign a peace agreement during a ceremony in Doha on Feb. 29. Photo: KARIM JAAFAR / AFP via Getty Images

Zalmay Khalilzad, who stepped down last week as special envoy for the Afghan peace talks, shared few regrets about the deal he brokered between the United States and the Taliban, pushing back against former military brass and other critics who have described it as a "surrender agreement" that set in motion the Taliban takeover this summer.

Why it matters: The 2020 deal included a series of significant concessions to the insurgency and, in exchange, required only that the Taliban agree not to harbor or finance terrorist groups.

Republican-led Pennsylvania court deems mail-in voting law unconstitutional

Workers count ballots for the 2020 Presidential election at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo: Hannah Yoon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Republican-led Pennsylvania court on Friday ruled that the state's mail-in voting law is unconstitutional.

Driving the news: Three Republican judges sided with Republican challengers and ruled that no-excuse mail-in voting is prohibited under the state's constitution. Two Democrats on the panel dissented.

39 mins ago - World

China's ambassador warns Taiwan could spark "military conflict" with U.S.

Photo: Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images

China's ambassador to the U.S. warned in a rare interview with NPR that if Taiwanese authorities "keep going down the road for independence," it would "most likely" lead to a "military conflict" between the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Chinese officials rarely speak in such blunt terms, but veteran diplomat Qin Gang was unequivocal: "The Taiwan issue is the biggest tinderbox between China and the United States."