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Aug 24, 2021

Axios PM

Good afternoon. Today's PM — edited by Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath — is 489 words, a 2-minute read.

🚨 Bulletin: House Democrats passed a $3.5 trillion budget resolution on Tuesday, 220-212, after a brief delay by moderates. Go deeper.

1 big thing: New rush from Kabul
Satellite image of Kabul airport shows groups of Afghans waiting to be evacuated. Photo: Maxar Technologies

The White House acknowledged today that to get U.S. troops and equipment out of Kabul by the deadline Aug. 31 — a week from today — civilian evacuations will have to wind down even earlier.

  • Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said earlier that the group would continue to allow foreign nationals to depart, but will block Afghans from leaving the country.

That's a potential challenge to Biden's promise to protect the Afghans who served alongside U.S. troops, Axios World editor Dave Lawler writes.

  • G7 and NATO allies, including the U.K., have been pressing Biden to shift the timeline back. But Mujahid said the Taliban would not accept any extension.
People who want to flee Afghanistan continue to wait around Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. Photo: Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Behind the scenes: Lawmakers expressed frustration over a classified briefing from the administration today, two sources in the room tell Axios' Alayna Treene.

  • Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Gen. Mark Milley answered only a few questions.
  • One source called it a "glorified press briefing."

⚡ The latest: Democratic lawmakers are calling on the Biden administration to push back the Aug. 31 deadline, Sarah Mucha reports.

  • "The deadline is when the mission is accomplished and we bring our people home," said Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), a former Army Ranger who served two combat tours in Afghanistan. 
2. Mapped: America's women governors
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Data: Center for American Women and Politics. Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

With Kathy Hochul as New York governor as of midnight, the U.S. has nine female governors — tying records from 2004, 2007 and 2019.

  • That's far from gender proportionality, AP notes.

Just three women of color have served as a state governor — and no Black or Native American women have held the position.

3. Catch up quick

U.S. flag bearers Melissa Stockwell and Charles Aoki lead their delegation in the parade of athletes during today's Paralympics opening ceremony. Photo: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

  1. Opening the Tokyo Paralympics, athletes from 162 countries — plus a delegation of refugees — paraded in a near-empty stadium today after a yearlong COVID delay. Go deeper: U.S. athletes to watch.
  2. Airbnb will house 20,000 Afghan refugees globally for free. "I hope this inspires other business leaders to do the same," co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky tweeted. "There's no time to waste."
4. Remembering Charlie Watts

Charlie Watts performs at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., in 2019. Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stone's legendary drummer, died today at 80, AP reports.

  • Watts was respected worldwide for his muscular, swinging style as the Stones rose from scruffy beginnings to international superstardom.

He joined the band early in 1963 and remained over the next 60 years, ranked just behind Mick Jagger and Keith Richards as the group’s longest-lasting and most essential member.

At a British concert in 1973, Watts sports a new David-Bowie-style feather cut. Photo: Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

He didn’t care for flashy solos. But with bassist Bill Wyman and Richards, Watts forged some of rock's deepest grooves on "Honky Tonk Women," "Brown Sugar" and other songs.

The Stones in 1964. From left: Bill Wyman, Brian Jones (1942-1969), Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts. Photo: Mark and Colleen Hayward/Redferns

"Every band I'd ever been in had lasted a week," Watts once said. "I always thought the Stones would last a week, then a fortnight, and then suddenly, it’s 30 years."