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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Wakil Kohsar /AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration is considering pressuring the Afghan government to postpone next year's presidential election as it seeks a peace deal with the Taliban to end the 17-year war, reports the Wall Street Journal, citing people briefed on the talks.

Why it matters: Some officials in Washington fear that voting irregularities and violence that routinely occur in Afghan elections could undermine or destroy the prospect of a peace deal. But this request “would be a contentious move that runs counter to the long-held U.S. objective of promoting democracy in Afghanistan," and it could potentially create friction between both countries, the WSJ writes. President Ashraf Ghani has already come out against such a proposal.

The details: Kabul would need financial and military support from the U.S. if the election were delayed, but Afghan leaders are reportedly skeptical of American influence.

  • Ghani, who’s expected to run for a second five-year term, recently said the April 20 vote will proceed as scheduled.
  • Ghani’s spokesman told the WSJ: “Continuity in a democratic process is a must, and any other proposal than the will of Afghans, which is outlined in our constitution, is simply not acceptable.”

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden to attempt "emergency economic relief" by executive order

President Biden. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Biden will continue his executive action blitz on Friday, issuing two more orders in an attempt to provide immediate relief to struggling families without waiting for Congress.

Why it matters: In his second full day in office, Biden is again resorting to executive actions as he tries to increase payments for nutritional assistance and protect workers' rights during the pandemic.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 mins ago - Technology

What we know about the Apple car

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Apple's moves toward breaking into the market for self-driving cars have come in fits and starts, but it has big ambitions for the space and is moving forward both with its own efforts and with potential partnerships with automakers.

Why it matters: Apple has great businesses in phones and computers, but its long-term growth potential will depend on conquering an entirely new market. Improving health care and playing a role in autonomous vehicles appear to be its two biggest bets on that front.

Banks cash in as Wall Street blows out Main Street

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

America’s big banks capped off a winning year, led by soaring Wall Street-facing business lines.

Why it matters: Banks cashed in on the white-hot IPO market, record debt issuance, and sky-high trading volume — all of which played out as economic peril softened the consumer side of their businesses.