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President Joe Biden accompanied by Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Biden hosts NATO hopefuls Sweden, Finland at White House

- The Washington Times

President Biden on Thursday doubled down on offering U.S. security assurances to Finland and Sweden in his meeting with the two countries’ leaders at the White House, just one day after both nations submitted their formal bids to join NATO.

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President Joe Biden, accompanied by Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, right, hugs Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena, center, after she speaks during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

U.S., allies step up aid for embattled Ukraine

- The Washington Times 1 minute ago

The Biden administration and its allies put their aid push for Ukraine into overdrive Thursday. President Biden approved a $40 billion package of economic, security and humanitarian assistance and a second $100 million shipment of lethal military equipment. The Group of Seven financial ministers agreed on a reported $18.4 billion budget in support of Kyiv.

President Joe Biden speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 17, 2022, during a reception to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Biden's burdens grow: Sagging global economy adds to U.S. woes

- Associated Press

As President Joe Biden embarks for Asia on Thursday, he's facing a new risk at home for the economy and his Democratic Party: a global slowdown caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the pandemic shutting down Chinese cities and factories.

This image from a video released by the Department of Defense shows U.S. Marines at Abbey Gate before a suicide bomber struck outside Hamid Karzai International Airport on Aug. 26, 2021, in Kabul Afghanistan. A new report says decisions by Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan were the key factors in the collapse of that nation's military, leading to the Taliban takeover last year. (Department of Defense via AP, File)

Watchdog: U.S. pullout 'most important factor' in Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan

- The Washington Times

The pullout of American forces begun by President Trump and accelerated under President Biden was the "single most important factor" in the rapid collapse of the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan and the takeover of the country by the radical Islamist Taliban movement last summer, according to a new report by the chief U.S. watchdog over the failed 20-year American mission in Kabul.