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

The Afghanistan national flag was displayed during Tuesday's Paralympics opening ceremony as a "sign of solidarity" after the team was forced to cancel its trip due to the Taliban's takeover of the country.

Driving the news: The flag of Afghanistan was carried into the parade of athletes by a Paralympic volunteer, alongside a representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The two Afghan athletes who were not able to travel to Tokyo were para-taekwondo athlete Zakia Khudadadi and discus thrower Hossain Rasouli, per AP.

  • Khudadadi would have been the first woman to represent Afghanistan at a Paralympic Games, per Reuters.

Go deeper: Tokyo Paralympics kick off amid COVID state of emergency

Go deeper

Sep 17, 2021 - World

Taliban replaces women's ministry with ministry of virtue and vice

Protesters march through the Dashti-E-Barchi neighborhood in Kabul, a day after the Taliban announced its new all-men interim government with no representation for women and ethnic minority groups. Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Taliban on Friday rebranded Afghanistan's women's ministry with the "Ministries of Prayer and Guidance and the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice," Reuters reports.

Why it matters: When the Taliban was last in power, it maintained severe rules limiting girls' and women's autonomy, and barred them from education and work.

Sep 17, 2021 - World

UN Security Council extends Afghan mission by six months

UN Secretary-General António Guterres attends a press conference on Afghanistan in Geneva on Sept. 13, 2021. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The United Nations Security Council on Friday authorized a six-month extension of the UN's political mission in Afghanistan.

Why it matters: The move will allow Secretary-General António Guterres to compile the necessary information to determine "strategic and operational recommendations" in light of the Taliban's takeover.

DOJ sues American Airlines, JetBlue to block "unprecedented" alliance

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Justice Department on Tuesday sued American Airlines and JetBlue to block an "unprecedented series of agreements" that will consolidate the two airlines' operations in Boston and New York City.

Why it matters: The civil antitrust complaint alleges that the planned Northeast Alliance (NEA) "will cause hundreds of millions of dollars in harm to air passengers across the country through higher fares and reduced choice," the DOJ said in a release.

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