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Citizens in Afghanistan celebrate the first day of reduced violence. Photo: Javed Tanveer/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. military officially ceased offensive operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan early Saturday morning, The Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: This is the first step in the U.S.-Afghanistan peace process. If the "reduction of violence" for the next seven days is effective, the U.S. government and Taliban will likely sign a peace deal at the end of February.

  • Gen. Austin "Scott" Miller told reporters in Kabul “our operations are defensive at this point, we stopped our offensive operations as part of our obligations, but we remain committed to defend our forces," per the Post.

The big picture: The peace deal between the U.S. and Taliban is finally moving forward just as the United Nations releases a report more than 100,000 civilian casualties have been counted over the past 10 years, AP reports.

  • The United Nation's secretary-general's special representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, told AP, “Almost no civilian in Afghanistan has escaped being personally affected in some way by the ongoing violence. It is absolutely imperative for all parties to seize the moment to stop the fighting, as peace is long overdue; civilian lives must be protected and efforts for peace are underway.”

Go deeper: U.S. and Taliban announce first step in Afghanistan peace process

Go deeper

Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Top Pentagon officials contradict Biden on Afghanistan advice

Photo: Carolone Brehman/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Top military leaders confirmed in a Senate hearing Tuesday they recommended earlier this year that the U.S. keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, and that they believed withdrawing those forces would lead to the collapse of the Afghan military.

Why it matters: Biden denied last month that his top military advisers wanted troops to remain in Afghanistan, telling ABC's George Stephanopoulos: "No one said that to me that I can recall."

Poll: Latinas more likely to open their own businesses, despite pandemic setbacks

Janie Isidoro, owner of My Corazon, a Chicano business in downtown Hanford, Calif. Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Latinas in the U.S. are more likely to own, or plan to open, their own businesses than non-Hispanic women, despite the pandemic’s disproportionate burden, a recent poll found.

Why it matters: The survey, conducted by Telemundo, the Latino Victory Foundation and Hispanics Organized for Political Equality, suggests Latinas can be a driver of growth for the U.S. even though they have faced greater COVID-19-related setbacks.

Warren opposes Fed chair Powell's renomination, calls him a "dangerous man"

Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks during a hearing before Senate Armed Services Committee on Sept. 28. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) questioned Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's record on financial regulation during a hearing Tuesday, calling him a "dangerous man" and saying that she would not support his renomination for a second term.

Driving the news: While the Fed chair’s term expires in early 2022, President Biden is expected to make a decision this fall on whether to reappoint Powell or nominate another candidate.