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Village elders speak with a U.S. Marine (L), through an interpreter in the Korengal Valley in 2008. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

A coalition of more than 20 U.S. media companies delivered letters to Congress and the Biden administration, seeking assistance with the relocation of Afghan journalists and staff who worked for American outlets.

Why it matters: Afghans who worked with the U.S. press “fear retaliation from the Taliban" as the U.S. military nears the complete withdrawal of troops in Afganistan, per the letters.

The Biden administration has already made plans to evacuate thousands of Afghans who worked with the U.S. military before the full withdrawal with the expansion of the Special Immigration Visa (SIV) program.

  • The SIV program, however, does not include individuals who worked for U.S. media organizations, and the coalition asked Congress to create a special visa program for those Afghans.
  • The letters were signed by major news organizations, including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Politico, NBC and ABC News.

What they're saying: "[T]hey and their families face the same threat of retaliation from the Taliban, which views the American press as a legitimate target. The Taliban has long conducted a campaign of threatening and killing journalists," the letter reads.

  • "Without the assistance of the U.S. Government, many of these Afghans face grievous harm and death for having done nothing more than lent their labor and skills to making certain the world knew what was going on in their country while U.S. troops were there for the past twenty years."

Go deeper

Aug 2, 2021 - World

U.S. accuses Taliban of massacring dozens of civilians in "revenge killings"

Afghan security forces at the Torkham border point. Photo: Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul accused Taliban fighters on Monday of carrying out "revenge killings" against dozens of civilians in Spin Boldak, a border district captured in a military offensive last month.

Why it matters: Reports of violence and human rights atrocities are growing ahead of the U.S. military's full withdrawal from Afghanistan. Officials have warned that the country could descend into a chaotic civil war as the Taliban continues to seize more territory on the battlefield each week.

Manhattan, Westchester prosecutors request evidence from Cuomo investigation

Gov. Cuomo during a press conference in New York City on Aug. 2. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The district attorneys for Manhattan and Westchester County on Wednesday requested evidence related to New York Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), according to a letter obtained by NBC News.

Why it matters: The district attorneys are investigating if alleged conduct highlighted in an independent report published by James' office that occurred in their jurisdictions was criminal in nature.

Scoop: Buzzy media startup Puck launches in beta

Puck.news

Puck, a splashy new digital media company, is coming out of stealth mode, Axios has learned. The company debuted its landing page, puck.news, on Wednesday, and will officially launch its website in September.

Why it matters: The company has been quietly building a roster of top talent, but hadn't confirmed its branding or exact business plans up until now.