U.S. delegation arrives in Taiwan amid China tensions

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U.S. delegation arrives in Taiwan amid China tensions

Salman Rushdie's recovery and reflections on a year of Taliban rule.

A delegation of five U.S. lawmakers arrived in Taiwan yesterday. Their visit came less than two weeks after a contentious trip by Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, which infuriated Beijing and provoked Chinese military drills off Taiwan s coast. Taiwanese officials said they appreciated the U.S. show of solidarity during the escalating tensions with Beijing. The U.S. delegation planned to meet with Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's president, and consult with the foreign affairs and national defense committees of Taiwan's legislature, Taiwan said. China had no immediate response, but the presence of the five U.S. lawmakers so soon after Pelosi visited was likely to cause a sharp reaction and possibly inspire more military exercises, analysts said.

A year into Taliban rule, Afghanistan has seemed to hurtle backward in time, my colleagues wrote in an analysis. For many Afghans - particularly women in cities - the sense of loss has been devastating. Two decades of U.S. financed reforms have been reversed by mounting restrictions on daily life, enforced by police-state tactics like door-to- door searches and arbitrary arrests. The schools and jobs are again restricted for women. Music has been banned and beards are mandatory for men - an echo of the Taliban's first rule in the 1990s.

International isolation is exacerbating Afghanistan's economic and humanitarian crisis, which may worsen after U.S. officials accused the Taliban of harboring the leader of Al Qaeda this month. The country is largely in peace after decades of war that upended the lives of rural Afghans in particular. Background: Here are photos from the Taliban's offensive last year, with context and reflections from our Kabul bureau chief. Profiles: A group of Afghan employees from the Kabul bureau are adjusting their lives after their evacuation to the US. Their new lives are challenging but full of opportunities.