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Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council meeting via video conference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Russia announced Friday that it will withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty allowing observation flights over military facilities following the U.S. exit from the pact. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Joe Biden’s burden grows as Russia moves to leave Open Skies Treaty

- The Washington Times

President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s foreign policy to-do list just got a little longer after Russia announced late last week with was following the Trump administration’s lead and withdrawing from the multinational Open Skies Treaty designed to lower suspicions and improve transparency on both sides of the old Cold War divide.

In this Nov. 30, 2017, file photo, American soldiers wait on the tarmac in Logar province, Afghanistan. Top officials in the White House were aware in early 2019 of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans, a full year earlier than has been previously reported. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

U.S. reduces troop numbers in Afghanistan to 2,500

- The Washington Times

The number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan has dropped to 2,500, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said Friday, meeting the Trump administration’s goal to steeply reduce the number of American troops in the country ahead of Inauguration Day.

In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Pentagon inspector general investigating Capitol riots

- The Washington Times

The internal watchdog of the Department of Defense on Friday launched an investigation into how the Pentagon responded to requests for help from officials during the Jan. 6 rioting by pro-Trump mobs that resulted in several deaths and a breach of the U.S. Capitol.

Sailors assigned to Naval Special Warfare Group TWO conduct military air operations in the United States. U.S. Navy SEALs engage in a continuous training cycle to improve and further specialize skills needed to conduct missions from sea, air and land. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Russell Rhodes Jr./Released) 190605-N-UJ417-1036

Military battling a hidden enemy: White supremacy

- The Washington Times

Extremism, white supremacy and white nationalism in the U.S. military have been on the rise over the past year and radical groups are actively encouraging military members to join their ranks, Pentagon officials said Thursday.

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Iranian Guard holds anti-warship ballistic missile drill

Associated Press

Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard conducted a drill Saturday launching anti-warship ballistic missiles at a simulated target in the Indian Ocean, state television reported, amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a U.S. pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.

Russia honoring remaining WWII Merchant Marine Vets Honored

- Associated Press

Winston Churchill described it as the “worst journey in the world,” and two local Merchant Marine veterans in their 90s are among the last left in the U.S. to have endured it.

Afghan security officers inspect the site of a bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. A sticky bomb attached to an armored police Land Cruiser SUV exploded Saturday in the western part of the capital, Kabul, killing few policemen and wounding another, Kabul police spokesman Ferdaws Faramarz said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Official: 2 insider attackers kill 12 Afghan militiamen

- Associated Press

At least two members of an Afghan militia opened fire on their fellow militiamen in the western Herat province, killing 12, in what provincial police on Saturday described as an insider attack.

President-elect Joe Biden leaves after speaking at an event at The Queen theater, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Trump's presidency not just a blip in US foreign policy

- Associated Press

President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to scrap President Donald Trump’s vision of “America First” in favor of “diplomacy first” will depend on whether he's able to regain the trust of allies and convince them that Trumpism is just a blip in the annals of U.S. foreign policy.

FILE - In this April 24, 2019, file photo released by the U.S. Air Force, an F-35A Lightning II fighter jet prepares to taxi and take off from Al-Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates, on April 24, 2019. The United States called Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates "major security partners" early Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, a previously unheard of designation for the two countries home to major American military operations. (Staff Sgt. Chris Drzazgowski/U.S. Air Force via AP)

US calls Bahrain, UAE 'major security partners'

- Associated Press

The United States called Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates “major security partners" early Saturday, a previously unheard of designation for the two countries home to major American military operations.

FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2016 file photo, Secretary of Defense Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda arrives for a review of the troops that will participate in the Independence Day parade, in Mexico City. Mexican prosecutors on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, declared completely unfounded the U.S. case against Cienfuegos who was arrested on drug charges in the United States and then returned under pressure from the Mexican government. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

Mexico clears general, publishes US evidence against him

- Associated Press

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has accused the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration of fabricating drug trafficking charges against the country's former defense secretary even as his government published hundreds of pages of U.S. files that purported to show detailed evidence of the man's close links with a drug gang.

FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2016 file photo, Defense Secretary Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, left, and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto, salute during the annual Independence Day military parade in Mexico City's main square. The U.S. Justice Department is dropping its drug trafficking and money laundering against former Mexican defense secretary Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

Mexico publishes US evidence on ex-defense secretary

- Associated Press

Mexico on Friday published 751 pages of evidence it received from the United States against Mexico’s former Defense Secretary, Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, whom U.S. prosecutors had charged with drug trafficking.

Lamont authorizes 200 more Guard members to Washington

Associated Press

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced Friday evening he's authorizing the deployment of an additional 200 members of the Connecticut National Guard to help with security efforts at next week's presidential inauguration in Washington.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz lifts a just-delivered box of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, to get a sense of its weight, in the Minneapolis VA Hospital's loading dock Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP, Pool)

Walz blasts feds for uncertainty over vaccine expansion

- Associated Press

Gov. Tim Walz sharply criticized the federal government on Friday for the sudden uncertainty over whether states would receive increased shipments of coronavirus vaccines from the national stockpile, accusing the Trump administration of “lying” earlier this week about speeding up the supply.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks during a media availability from the Statehouse, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Indiana Statehouse closing ahead of possible protests

- Associated Press

The Indiana Statehouse complex will be closed to the public through Wednesday and state legislative meetings next week are canceled because of possible protests related to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, the governor’s office said Friday.

In this Feb. 3, 2007 file photo, a technician works at the Uranium Conversion Facility just outside the city of Isfahan, Iran, 255 miles (410 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran.  (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)   **FILE**

Will Biden lift sanctions on Iran? Crisis Group says he should

- The Washington Times

Iran has engaged in "worrying violations" of the 2015 nuclear deal, including uranium enrichment at "a level perilously close to weapons-grade," according to a prominent international think tank, which argues the incoming Biden administration should respond not by punishing Tehran, but by moving quickly to revive the accord.

No charges in Pennsylvania discarded-ballots case

Associated Press

No criminal charges will be filed against a former temporary elections worker authorities have said mistakenly discarded nine military ballots ahead of the November presidential election, a federal prosecutor announced Friday.