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Jack Markell. Photo by Sebastián Vivallo Oñate/Agencia Makro/LatinContent via Getty Images.

President Biden on Friday appointed Jack Markell, a former governor of Delaware, to temporarily lead the Afghan resettlement effort in the United States, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The massive push to resettle Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban rule faces considerable challenges, including the screening and housing of tens of thousands of people.

Driving the news: The U.S. is preparing to bring in 50,000 Afghan refugees and has already welcomed more than 31,000 since August 17.

  • Markell will coordinate the operation called "Operation Allies Welcome" and is expected to start next week, the Post reports.

Details: Markell served as governor of Delaware from 2009 to 2017 and is a former chair of the National Governors Association.

  • He also served as a senior vice president of Comcast and Nextel Communications, and he currently runs his own consulting firm.

What they're saying: The White House believes Markell's experience in both the public and private sector will help him coordinate the resettlement, per the Post.

  • "Welcoming these families is in the best traditions of our country, and we are grateful to see the outpouring of support from people across this country who are ready to help resettle vulnerable Afghans and welcome them to their new homes,” Markell said in a statement.

Go deeper

Pentagon: About half of Afghan evacuees at U.S. bases are children

U.S. Navy soldiers helping evacuate Afghans. Photo: Cristina Quicler/AFP via Getty Images

Roughly half of the Afghan refugees housed temporarily at U.S. military bases are children under the age of 18, according to a letter from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to Sen. James Inhofe obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: This is among the many challenges when it comes to the government's Afghan resettlement effort.

Texas House probes school library books dealing with race and sexuality

Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause (R), chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, announced Wednesday that he's initiating a probe into schools' library books, according to a letter sent to the state's education agency and other superintendents.

Why it matters: The probe focuses on books that discuss race, sexuality, or "make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex," Krause wrote in the letter.

4 hours ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.