For 15 years, kids came to Amerikick, a martial arts center on a bustling corner of Brooklyn’s Park Slope, for karate lessons, learning how to kick, chop, and bow in the center’s spacious upstairs studio.
But in 2020, they come for something a little different: school.
With New York City schools operating on a hybrid model that brings kids into classrooms just two or three days a week, Amerikick was hearing from working parents — especially those who were teachers themselves — that they needed a safe place to send their kids during their remote days. So over the summer, staff decided to transform the space into a distance learning center, where students could come to work on their online classes in a supervised environment.
Turning a karate studio into a space for remote school during a pandemic required a few adjustments. “We outlined the mat with red tape in boxes” to make sure desks were 6 feet apart, Ada Vargas, Amerikick’s program director, told Vox. The studio also installed hand sanitizer stations throughout, as well as some warmer touches, like bulletin boards for each student. “They decorate it and make it their own, to kind of make them feel a little bit easier about things going on,” Vargas said.
And, naturally, each student gets their own Amerikick-branded mask.
While Amerikick’s pivot to distance learning may sound unusual, it’s not unique. Around the country, businesses and nonprofits from dance studios to summer camps are becoming what some call “supportive learning centers,” offering supervision, wifi, and sometimes extracurricular enrichment for kids whose schools are fully or partially remote due to Covid-19. These centers can offer a much-needed lifeline to parents at a time when many — especially moms — are being forced to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for their kids. Meanwhile, offering distance learning services could help some small businesses stay afloat in uncertain times.
But businesses like Amerikick can’t solve America’s child care and education crisis all on their own. For one thing, unlike schools, these centers are often entirely unregulated, which means the quality of support kids get may vary widely, Elliot Haspel, a child care policy expert and the author of Crawling Behind: America’s Child Care Crisis and How to Fix It, told Vox. And while nationwide data on the number of new learning centers is sparse, there certainly aren’t enough to fill the enormous need with millions of American kids not yet back to school full time. Nor are their fees — which range from free for some nonprofits to thousands of dollars per session for some camps — affordable for every family.
Still, for those who can access them, the centers may offer something many families have struggled to find during this time of isolation: a community to support them and their kids.
“We want our kids to look back on this time and not think, ‘That was the worst semester, doing virtual learning,’” Julia Warren, executive director of Celebrate! RVA, a nonprofit that operates a learning center in Virginia, told Vox, “but rather, ‘Wow, it was really hard, but I got to go this really special space that made it as fun as possible.’”
For some families who can’t afford pods, learning centers are filling the gaps
This fall, thousands of schools around the country began the school year either fully remote or on a hybrid schedule that had kids in school buildings only part of the day or week. Overall, about 38 percent of districts — including most of the nation’s largest — were either remote or hybrid. That left millions of parents in the same untenable position they occupied in the spring: expected to care for their kids and supervise virtual learning while also somehow doing their jobs.
Some parents have been able to form “pods” to share child care and homeschooling duties, with affluent families even hiring teachers to educate their kids at home at a cost of up to $100,000 per year. But most people can’t afford that price tag — and even less formal, parent-led pods are out of reach for many families who don’t know others in their area or whose work schedules don’t allow them to pitch in on child care.
Some cities have responded by opening their own learning hubs, often with priority given to low-income families. But there typically aren’t enough city-run sites to serve all kids who are doing remote or hybrid learning. New York City, for example, announced in summer that it would provide free child care for 100,000 students, less than 10 percent of the city’s school-age population.
And now, an increasing number of businesses and nonprofits are filling the gap, opening up their storefronts to offer socially distanced spaces where kids can log in to their online classes, with supervision and help from adults on staff. Such supportive learning centers have “sort of become a cottage industry” in recent months, Haspel said.
They include a dance studio in Islip, New York; sleepaway camps in New Hampshire and Wisconsin; and even private schools in California that have reopened as camps in order to be classified as essential businesses. Meanwhile, Amerikick, a franchise with locations around the country, is offering distance learning at its New Jersey studios as well as in Brooklyn.
“We’re trying to help the community and the parents out,” Vargas said.
At Amerikick, kids ages 5 to 12 can come in for distance learning from 8 am to 3 pm on days when they’re out of school buildings, with extended hours available if parents need them. Students each attend online classes at their own school, but Amerikick hired a teacher to make sure they log in at the right time and complete their assignments. And during breaks, staff help the kids get moving by playing socially distanced games like Simon Says — or by practicing martial arts.
“Our style, we do acrobatics,” Vargas said. “There’s a lot of kicking and punching and rolling and fun stuff like that.”
Amerikick’s distance learning program costs $65 per day, or a lower rate if parents pay by the month. Some nonprofits, however, are offering similar services for free to those in need.
Celebrate! RVA, for example, was established in 2013 to throw birthday parties for low-income kids in Richmond, Virginia. But when the pandemic hit and schools closed down, “We were hearing from families who were just desperate for help” with child care, Warren said. “We just decided to make a pivot because we had the space, and we knew that our kids needed it more than anything.”
Celebrate opened its space for distance learning on September 4, and today has 12 students, all attending free of charge. The nonprofit is part of a coalition of groups in the area that are trying to provide care and support to kids whose parents can’t afford to pay for it. For Celebrate, offering distance learning “was the most loving and joyful thing to do to support the kids and their families,” Warren said.
Offering distance learning could also help small businesses
While learning centers fill an important niche for families, they could also help some small businesses keep the lights on during a time when many former offerings — indoor dance classes, for example — aren’t possible.
For Amerikick, which also offers online and outdoor karate classes, distance learning wasn’t a business decision, Vargas said. But with many school buildings closed, the time is ripe for youth-oriented businesses to make their services available for students, whether it’s operating a learning center or offering enrichment classes remotely, Ty Lewis, CEO of the nonprofit Educationally Speaking Center for Learning, told Vox.
“This is the best time to tap into your gifts and offer whatever you’re offering,” Lewis said. “If you’re a dance teacher, a karate teacher, robotics, coding, this is an amazing time to do it.”
For businesses and other organizations considering opening learning centers, many say the most important consideration is safety. “Just follow the science,” advises Richard “Woody” Woodstein, owner and director of Camp Robin Hood in Freedom, New Hampshire, which operated a five-week session this fall for students doing distance learning. “Whatever you think you need to do, do more to keep everybody safe,” he told Vox. “If you can do that, then kids can be kids.”
After safety, though, the biggest question about supportive learning centers is quality. While large organizations like the YMCA have trained staff and a long track record of offering child care and supervision, smaller businesses and groups may be less prepared for the challenges, Haspel said. “Are they able to help a first grader who’s having a bad day and throwing a tantrum?” he asked. “Are they able to help a student who’s really struggling with reading or with math? That’s not as clear.”
Parents looking to enroll their kids in learning centers should come prepared with questions, experts say. First, they should ask about pandemic precautions — questions like how many children are enrolled and whether social distancing is observed, Lewis said. Beyond that, they should consider asking what’s offered beyond just supervision: “Can you assist my child with instruction during the day? What are some activities that you’re going to offer them? Will they have repeated breaks so that they can move away from the screen?”
And while some families may find centers that check all their boxes, they’re far from a full solution to the shortage of child care during the pandemic. For that, “we need a whole lot more money flowing into the system,” Haspel said. Experts agree that the child care industry needs at least $50 billion to stabilize it through the pandemic and into the future, but so far, provisions to provide the money have stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Still, some individual centers are seeing successes, especially in a time when many students around the country are struggling with remote learning. Absenteeism has been a huge problem during the pandemic, with about two in five Richmond students chronically absent from school, Warren said. But at Celebrate, “we have not seen any child absent unexcused,” she said.
And even in the short time the center has been open, the students have made big strides academically. The youngest, in pre-kindergarten, came to Celebrate not knowing many of her letters. But “she can now identify and match uppercase and lowercase letters, she can spell words, she knows sight words, she can put sentences together, she can add,” Warren said.
“We’ve just seen incredible growth in our kids,” she added, “and we’re just really proud of all that they’ve been able to accomplish.”
Millions turn to Vox each month to understand what’s happening in the news, from the coronavirus crisis to a racial reckoning to what is, quite possibly, the most consequential presidential election of our lifetimes. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. But our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources. Even when the economy and the news advertising market recovers, your support will be a critical part of sustaining our resource-intensive work. If you have already contributed, thank you. If you haven’t, please consider helping everyone make sense of an increasingly chaotic world: Contribute today from as little as $3.
All the products we found to be the best during our testing this year
Throughout the year, CNN Underscored is constantly testing products — be it coffee makers or headphones — to find the absolute best in each respective category.
Our testing process is rigorous, consisting of hours of research (consulting experts, reading editorial reviews and perusing user ratings) to find the top products in each category. Once we settle on a testing pool, we spend weeks — if not months — testing and retesting each product multiple times in real-world settings. All this in an effort to settle on the absolute best products.
So, as we enter peak gifting season, if you’re on the hunt for the perfect gift, we know you’ll find something on this list that they (or you!) will absolutely love.
Beginner baristas and coffee connoisseurs alike will be pleased with the Baratza Virtuoso+, a conical burr grinder with 40 settings for grind size, from super fine (espresso) to super coarse (French press). The best coffee grinder we tested, this sleek look and simple, intuitive controls, including a digital timer, allow for a consistent grind every time — as well as optimal convenience.
Best drip coffee maker: Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker ($79.95; amazon.com)
During our testing of drip coffee makers, we found the Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker made a consistently delicious, hot cup of coffee, brewed efficiently and cleanly, from sleek, relatively compact hardware that is turnkey to operate, and all for a reasonable price.
Best single-serve coffee maker: Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus ($165; originally $179.95; amazon.com)
Among all single-serve coffee makers we tested, the Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus, which uses pods that deliver both espresso and “regular” coffee, could simply not be beat for its convenience. Intuitive and a snap to use right out of the box, it looks sleek on the counter, contains a detached 60-ounce water reservoir so you don’t have to refill it with each use and delivers perfectly hot, delicious coffee with a simple tap of a lever and press of a button.
Best coffee subscription: Blue Bottle (starting at $11 per shipment; bluebottlecoffee.com)
Blue Bottle’s coffee subscription won us over with its balance of variety, customizability and, most importantly, taste. We sampled both the single-origin and blend assortments and loved the flavor of nearly every single cup we made. The flavors are complex and bold but unmistakably delicious. Beyond its coffee, Blue Bottle’s subscription is simple and easy to use, with tons of options to tailor to your caffeine needs.
Best cold brewer coffee maker: Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffeepot ($25; amazon.com)
This sleek, sophisticated and streamlined carafe produces 1 liter (about 4 1/4 cups) of rich, robust brew in just eight hours. It was among the simplest to assemble, it executed an exemplary brew in about the shortest time span, and it looked snazzy doing it. Plus, it rang up as the second-most affordable of our inventory.
Best nonstick pan: T-fal E76597 Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan With Lid ($39.97; amazon.com)
If you’re a minimalist and prefer to have just a single pan in your kitchen, you’d be set with the T-fal E76597. This pan’s depth gives it multipurpose functionality: It cooks standard frying-pan foods like eggs and meats, and its 2 1/2-inch sides are tall enough to prepare recipes you’d usually reserve for pots, like rices and stews. It’s a high-quality and affordable pan that outperformed some of the more expensive ones in our testing field.
Best blender: Breville Super Q ($499.95; breville.com)
With 1,800 watts of motor power, the Breville Super Q features a slew of preset buttons, comes in multiple colors, includes key accessories and is touted for being quieter than other models. At $500, it does carry a steep price tag, but for those who can’t imagine a smoothie-less morning, what breaks down to about $1.30 a day over a year seems like a bargain.
Best knife set: Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set ($119.74; amazon.com)
The Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set sets you up to easily take on almost any cutting job and is a heck of a steal at just $119.97. Not only did the core knives included (chef’s, paring, utility and serrated) perform admirably, but the set included a bevy of extras, including a full set of steak knives. We were blown away by their solid construction and reliable execution for such an incredible value. The knives stayed sharp through our multitude of tests, and we were big fans of the cushion-grip handles that kept them from slipping, as well as the classic look of the chestnut-stained wood block. If you’re looking for a complete knife set you’ll be proud of at a price that won’t put a dent in your savings account, this is the clear winner.
Best true wireless earbuds: AirPods Pro ($199, originally $249; amazon.com)
Apple’s AirPods Pro hit all the marks. They deliver a wide soundstage, thanks to on-the-fly equalizing tech that produces playback that seemingly brings you inside the studio with the artist. They have the best noise-canceling ability of all the earbuds we tested, which, aside from stiff-arming distractions, creates a truly immersive experience. To sum it up, you’re getting a comfortable design, a wide soundstage, easy connectivity and long battery life.
Best noise-canceling headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4 ($278, originally $349.99; amazon.com)
Not only do the WH-1000XM4s boast class-leading sound, but phenomenal noise-canceling ability. So much so that they ousted our former top overall pick, the Beats Solo Pros, in terms of ANC quality, as the over-ear XM4s better seal the ear from outside noise. Whether it was a noise from a dryer, loud neighbors down the hall or high-pitched sirens, the XM4s proved impenetrable. This is a feat that other headphones, notably the Solo Pros, could not compete with — which is to be expected considering their $348 price tag.
Best on-ear headphones: Beats Solo 3 ($119.95, originally $199.95; amazon.com)
The Beats Solo 3s are a phenomenal pair of on-ear headphones. Their sound quality was among the top of those we tested, pumping out particularly clear vocals and instrumentals alike. We enjoyed the control scheme too, taking the form of buttons in a circular configuration that blend seamlessly into the left ear cup design. They are also light, comfortable and are no slouch in the looks department — more than you’d expect given their reasonable $199.95 price tag.
The Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick has thousands of 5-star ratings across the internet, and it’s easy to see why. True to its name, this product clings to your lips for hours upon hours, burritos and messy breakfast sandwiches be damned. It’s also surprisingly moisturizing for such a superior stay-put formula, a combo that’s rare to come by.
The Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is a longtime customer favorite — hence its nearly 7,500 5-star reviews on Sephora — and for good reason. We found it requires little to no effort to create a precise wing, the liner has superior staying power and it didn’t irritate those of us with sensitive skin after full days of wear. As an added bonus, it’s available in a whopping 12 shades.
The Steelcase Series 1 scored among the highest overall, standing out as one of the most customizable, high-quality, comfortable office chairs on the market. At $415, the Steelcase Series 1 beat out most of its pricier competitors across testing categories, scoring less than a single point lower than our highest-rated chair, the $1,036 Steelcase Leap, easily making it the best bang for the buck and a clear winner for our best office chair overall.
Best ergonomic keyboard: Logitech Ergo K860 ($129.99; logitech.com)
We found the Logitech Ergo K860 to be a phenomenally comfortable keyboard. Its build, featuring a split keyboard (meaning there’s a triangular gap down the middle) coupled with a wave-like curvature across the body, allows both your shoulders and hands to rest in a more natural position that eases the tension that can often accompany hours spent in front of a regular keyboard. Add the cozy palm rest along the bottom edge and you’ll find yourself sitting pretty comfortably.
Best ergonomic mouse: Logitech MX Master 3 ($99.99; logitech.com)
The Logitech MX Master 3 is an unequivocally comfortable mouse. It’s shaped to perfection, with special attention to the fingers that do the clicking. Using it felt like our fingers were lounging — with a sculpted ergonomic groove for nearly every finger.
Best ring light: Emart 10-Inch Selfie Ring Light ($25.99; amazon.com)
The Emart 10-Inch Standing Ring Light comes with a tripod that’s fully adjustable — from 19 inches to 50 inches — making it a great option whether you’re setting it atop your desk for video calls or need some overhead lighting so no weird shadows creep into your photos. Its three light modes (warm, cool and a nice mix of the two), along with 11 brightness levels (among the most settings on any of the lights we tested), ensure you’re always framed in the right light. And at a relatively cheap $35.40, this light combines usability and affordability better than any of the other options we tested.
Best linen sheets: Parachute Linen Sheet Set (starting at $149; parachute.com)
Well made, luxurious to the touch and with the most versatile shopping options (six sizes, nine colors and the ability to order individual sheets), the linen sheets from Parachute were, by a narrow margin, our favorite set. From the satisfying unboxing to a sumptuous sleep, with a la carte availability, Parachute set the gold standard in linen luxury.
Best shower head: Kohler Forte Shower Head (starting at $74.44; amazon.com)
Hands down, the Kohler Forte Shower Head provides the best overall shower experience, offering three distinct settings. Backstory: Lots of shower heads out there feature myriad “settings” that, when tested, are pretty much indecipherable. The Forte’s three sprays, however, are each incredibly different and equally successful. There’s the drenching, full-coverage rain shower, the pulsating massage and the “silk spray” setting that is basically a super-dense mist. The Forte manages to achieve all of this while using only 1.75 gallons per minute (GPM), making it a great option for those looking to conserve water.
Best humidifier: TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier (starting at $49.99; amazon.com)
The TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier ramped up the humidity in a room in about an hour, which was quicker than most of the options we tested. More importantly, though, it sustained those humidity levels over the longest period of time — 24 hours, to be exact. The levels were easy to check with the built-in reader (and we cross-checked that reading with an external reader to confirm accuracy). We also loved how easy this humidifier was to clean, and the nighttime mode for the LED reader eliminated any bright lights in the bedroom.
Best TV: TCL 6-Series (starting at $579.99; bestbuy.com)
With models starting at $599.99 for a 55-inch, the TCL 6-Series might give you reverse sticker shock considering everything you get for that relatively small price tag. But can a 4K smart TV with so many specification standards really deliver a good picture for $500? The short answer: a resounding yes. The TCL 6-Series produces a vibrant picture with flexible customization options and handles both HDR and Dolby Vision, optimization standards that improve the content you’re watching by adding depth to details and expanding the color spectrum.
Best streaming device: Roku Ultra ($99.99; amazon.com)
Roku recently updated its Ultra streaming box and the 2020 version is faster, thanks to a new quad-core processor. The newest Ultra retains all of the features we loved and enjoyed about the 2019 model, like almost zero lag time between waking it up and streaming content, leading to a hiccup-free streaming experience. On top of that, the Roku Ultra can upscale content to deliver the best picture possible on your TV — even on older-model TVs that don’t offer the latest and greatest picture quality — and supports everything from HD to 4K.
Best carry-on luggage: Away Carry-On ($225; away.com)
The Away Carry-On scored high marks across all our tests and has the best combination of features for the average traveler. Compared with higher-end brands like Rimowa, which retail for hundreds more, you’re getting the same durable materials, an excellent internal compression system and eye-catching style. Add in smart charging capabilities and a lifetime warranty, and this was the bag to beat.
Best portable charger: Anker PowerCore 13000 (starting at $31.99; amazon.com)
The Anker PowerCore 13000 shone most was in terms of charging capacity. It boasts 13,000 mAh (maH is a measure of how much power a device puts out over time), which is enough to fully charge an iPhone 11 two and a half times. Plus, it has two fast-charging USB Type-A ports so you can juice a pair of devices simultaneously. While not at the peak in terms of charging capacity, at just $31.99, it’s a serious bargain for so many mAhs.
Trump’s misleading tweet about changing your vote, briefly explained
Searches for changing one’s vote did not trend following the recent presidential debate, and just a few states appear to have processes for changing an early vote. But that didn’t stop President Trump from wrongly saying otherwise on Tuesday.
In early morning posts, the president falsely claimed on Twitter and Facebook that many people had Googled “Can I change my vote?” after the second presidential debate and said those searching wanted to change their vote over to him. Trump also wrongly claimed that most states have a mechanism for changing one’s vote. Actually, just a few states appear to have the ability, and it’s rarely used.
Trump’s claim about what was trending on Google after the debate doesn’t hold up. Searches for changing one’s vote were not among Google’s top trending searches for the day of the debate (October 22) or the day after. Searches for “Can I change my vote?” did increase slightly around the time of the debate, but there is no way to know whether the bump was related to the debate or whether the people searching were doing so in support of Trump.
It was only after Trump’s posts that searches about changing your vote spiked significantly. It’s worth noting that people were also searching for “Can I change my vote?” during a similar period before the 2016 presidential election.
Google declined to comment on the accuracy of Trump’s post.
Trump also claimed that these results indicate that most of the people who were searching for how to change their vote support him. But the Google Trends tool for the searches he mentioned does not provide that specific information.
Perhaps the most egregiously false claim in Trump’s recent posts is about “most states” having processes for changing your early vote. In fact, only a few states have such processes, and they can come with certain conditions. For instance, in Michigan, voters who vote absentee can ask for a new ballot by mail or in person until the day before the election.
The Center for Election Innovation’s David Becker told the Associated Press that changing one’s vote is “extremely rare.” Becker explained, “It’s hard enough to get people to vote once — it’s highly unlikely anybody will go through this process twice.”
At the time of publication, Trump’s false claims had drawn about 84,000 and 187,000 “Likes” on Twitter and Facebook, respectively. Trump’s posts accelerated searches about changing your vote in places like the swing state of Florida, where changing one’s vote after casting it is not possible. Those numbers are a reminder of the president’s capacity to spread misinformation quickly.
On Facebook, the president’s post came with a label directing people to Facebook’s Voting Information Center, but no fact-checking label. Twitter had no annotation on the president’s post. Neither company responded to a request for comment.
That Trump is willing to spread misinformation to benefit himself and his campaign isn’t a surprise. He does that a lot. Still, just days before a presidential election in which millions have already voted, this latest episode demonstrates that the president has no qualms about using false claims about voting to cause confusion and sow doubt in the electoral process.
Open Sourced is made possible by Omidyar Network. All Open Sourced content is editorially independent and produced by our journalists.
The United States is in the middle of one of the most consequential presidential elections of our lifetimes. It’s essential that all Americans are able to access clear, concise information on what the outcome of the election could mean for their lives, and the lives of their families and communities. That is our mission at Vox. But our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources. Even when the economy and the news advertising market recovers, your support will be a critical part of sustaining our resource-intensive work. If you have already contributed, thank you. If you haven’t, please consider helping everyone understand this presidential election: Contribute today from as little as $3.
Nearly 6,000 civilian casualties in Afghanistan so far this year
From January to September, 5,939 civilians – 2,117 people killed and 3,822 wounded – were casualties of the fighting, the UN says.
Nearly 6,000 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in the first nine months of the year as heavy fighting between government forces and Taliban fighters rages on despite efforts to find peace, the United Nations has said.
From January to September, there were 5,939 civilian casualties in the fighting – 2,117 people killed and 3,822 wounded, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a quarterly report on Tuesday.
“High levels of violence continue with a devastating impact on civilians, with Afghanistan remaining among the deadliest places in the world to be a civilian,” the report said.
Civilian casualties were 30 percent lower than in the same period last year but UNAMA said violence has failed to slow since the beginning of talks between government negotiators and the Taliban that began in Qatar’s capital, Doha, last month.
The Taliban was responsible for 45 percent of civilian casualties while government troops caused 23 percent, it said. United States-led international forces were responsible for two percent.
Most of the remainder occurred in crossfire, or were caused by ISIL (ISIS) or “undetermined” anti-government or pro-government elements, according to the report.
Ground fighting caused the most casualties followed by suicide and roadside bomb attacks, targeted killings by the Taliban and air raids by Afghan troops, the UN mission said.
Fighting has sharply increased in several parts of the country in recent weeks as government negotiators and the Taliban have failed to make progress in the peace talks.
The Taliban has been fighting the Afghan government since it was toppled from power in a US-led invasion in 2001.
Washington blamed the then-Taliban rulers for harbouring al-Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden. Al-Qaeda was accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks.
Calls for urgent reduction of violence
Meanwhile, the US envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, said on Tuesday that the level of violence in the country was still too high and the Kabul government and Taliban fighters must work harder towards forging a ceasefire at the Doha talks.
Khalilzad made the comments before heading to the Qatari capital to hold meetings with the two sides.
“I return to the region disappointed that despite commitments to lower violence, it has not happened. The window to achieve a political settlement will not stay open forever,” he said in a tweet.
There needs to be “an agreement on a reduction of violence leading to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire”, added Khalilzad.
1/4 I return to the region disappointed that despite commitments to lower violence, it has not happened. The window to achieve a political settlement will not stay open forever. https://t.co/hVl4b032W6
— U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad (@US4AfghanPeace) October 27, 2020
A deal in February between the US and the Taliban paved the way for foreign forces to leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for counterterrorism guarantees from the Taliban, which agreed to sit with the Afghan government to negotiate a permanent ceasefire and a power-sharing formula.
But progress at the intra-Afghan talks has been slow since their start in mid-September and diplomats and officials have warned that rising violence back home is sapping trust.
The 10 Best Deals of January 12, 2021
Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code
The 10 Best Deals of November 23, 2020
The 10 Best Deals of November 23, 2020
Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code
The 10 Best Deals of January 12, 2021
Uncategorized2 months ago
The 10 Best Deals of November 23, 2020
Tech1 month ago
Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code
Uncategorized1 week ago
The 10 Best Deals of January 12, 2021
Sports4 months ago
Astros bash way past Athletics to reach ALCS
Tech3 months ago
Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum
Sports2 months ago
Toronto FC hoping to make MLS Cup run having spent much of 2020 far from home
Tech6 months ago
Still no first stimulus check? How to track it and report your absent payment to the IRS – CNET
Food4 months ago
Puerto Rican Piñon