Thousands of intel officers refusing vaccine risk dismissal
Thousands of intelligence officers could soon face dismissal for failing to comply with the U.S. government’s vaccine mandate, leading to concerns from Republican lawmakers about potentially hurting agencies considered critical to national security.
Taliban takeover could drive covid crisis in Afghanistan as vaccinations plummet, U.N. warns
Taliban takeover of Afghanistan: What you need to knowLive updates: Afghans running out of money as Taliban bans taking dollars out of the countryFAQ: What you need to know about the TalibanDispatch from Afghanistan: The treacherous journey into Kabul airport to escape Taliban-controlled AfghanistanMore related storiesCIA Director William Burns held secret meeting in Kabul with Taliban leader Abdul Ghani BaradarTaliban sends hundreds of fighters to final province beyond its controlBritain, other U.S. allies push back on Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline to leave KabulHere’s how the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan could affect al-Qaeda and the Islamic Statewashingtonpost.com
U.S. Senate candidate says at Ohio school board meeting that masks ‘are a form of child abuse,’ draws applause
More than 125 people harangued the West Geauga Local School Board over its mask mandate, including Josh Mandel, a Republican seeking election to the U.S. Senate. Some claimed they would sue the board.news.yahoo.com
Growing mystery of suspected energy attacks draws US concern
The Biden administration faces increasing pressure to respond to a sharply growing number of reported injuries suffered by diplomats, intelligence officers and military personnel that some suspect are caused by devices that emit waves of energy that disrupt brain function.
Biden Cabinet near complete but hundreds of jobs still open
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s Cabinet is nearly complete with the confirmation of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. A panel will also vote on advancing the nomination of Polly Ellen Trottenberg to be deputy secretary of transportation. And even as the Biden administration moves through picking nominees, there's no guarantee they'll all receive a smooth confirmation. And some of the deputies have become political footballs for Republicans looking to score concessions from the Biden administration. Cruz continues to hold up Biden’s nominee for deputy secretary of state, Wendy Sherman, until sanctions are imposed.
Biden Cabinet near complete but hundreds of jobs still open
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s Cabinet is nearly complete with the confirmation of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh on Monday. A panel will also vote on advancing the nomination of Polly Ellen Trottenberg to be deputy secretary of Transportation. And even as the Biden administration moves through picking nominees, there's no guarantee they'll all receive a smooth confirmation. And some of the deputies have become political footballs for Republicans looking to score concessions from the Biden administration. Cruz continues to hold up Biden’s nominee for deputy secretary of State, Wendy Sherman, until sanctions are imposed.
William Burns wins Senate confirmation as next CIA director
Washington — The Senate unanimously confirmed William Burns as the next director of the CIA on Thursday, weeks after the Senate Intelligence Committee advanced his nomination. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines also welcomed Burns' confirmation. William Burns speaks during his confirmation hearing to be director of the CIA before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. CIA) nominee for U.S. President Joe Biden, speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. CIA Deputy Director David Cohen has served as the agency's acting director.cbsnews.com
Burns confirmed as CIA director as US faces diverse threats
William Burns, nominee for Central Intelligence Agency director, testifies during his Senate Select Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Tom Williams/Pool via AP)Without opposition, the Senate confirmed veteran diplomat William Burns as CIA director on Thursday, giving him control of the nation's premier spy agency as the U.S. government confronts threats from China, Russia, Iran and elsewhere. The approval, by voice vote, came soon after Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, lifted a hold he had placed on the nomination. He pledged at his confirmation hearing last month that he would deliver “unvarnished” intelligence to the White House. Burns was warmly received by Republicans at his Senate hearing, but his confirmation was held up this month by Cruz.
Biden's Russia credentials questioned over European pipeline
(Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON – After years of Democratic accusations that former President Donald Trump was too soft on Russia, the Biden administration is facing Republican criticism of its approach to Moscow. The Biden administration rejects the criticism, saying it has been clear about penalties for companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and that its goal is to bolster European energy security. Like the Trump administration before it, the Biden administration believes the pipeline will harm European energy security, particularly for countries in Eastern and Central Europe like Ukraine and Poland, which the pipeline bypasses. U.S. officials have long said they fear Russia will use the pipeline as a political tool against its neighbors. The Biden administration suggests more sanctions may be coming.
Collins to back Haaland for Interior, sealing her approval
The announcement makes Haaland's confirmation by the Senate nearly certain and follows Haaland's endorsement last week by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Manchin, a moderate from West Virginia, had been publicly undecided through two days of hearings on Haaland’s nomination by President Joe Biden. Collins said she also appreciated Haaland’s support on issues important to Maine, such as Acadia National Park, “as well as her deep knowledge of tribal issues, which has earned her the support of tribes across the country, including those in Maine.'' Interior oversees the nation's public lands and waters and leads relations with nearly 600 federally recognized tribes. AdThe Senate energy panel is set to vote on Haaland's nomination Thursday.
Biden brings no relief to tensions between US and China
Biden took office promising to move quickly to restore and repair Americas relations with the rest of the world. From Iran to Russia, Europe to Latin America, Biden has sought to cool tensions that rose during President Donald Trump’s four years in office. China and the United States are the world’s two largest economies and the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases. The backdrop is clear: The United States is convinced that it and China are engaged in a duel for global dominance. Ad“There has been huge deviation between what they believe China is and what China really is,” Yu said.
CIA nominee calls China an 'authoritarian adversary,' vows to intensify competition with Beijing
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden's nominee to run the CIA told lawmakers Wednesday that if confirmed he would intensify America's national security approach to counter China. "Out-competing China will be key to our national security in the days ahead," Will Burns said in his opening remarks to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Burns, 64, who has worked under both Republican and Democratic presidents, described Xi Jinping's China as "a formidable, authoritarian adversary." His confirmation is expected to easily pass with strong bipartisan support similar to the majority of Biden's national security team. The Senate confirmed Biden's top diplomat Antony Blinken in a 78 to 22 vote, making him the nation's next secretary of State.cnbc.com
CIA nominee pledges to provide 'unvarnished' intelligence
William Burns testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on his nomination to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Tom Williams/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden's nominee to run the CIA told lawmakers Wednesday that he would keep politics out of the job and deliver “unvarnished” intelligence to politicians and policymakers even if they don't want to hear it. William Burns told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee at his confirmation hearing that “politics must stop where intelligence work begins.”“That is exactly what President Biden expects of CIA. It was the first thing he told me when he asked me to take on this role," Burns said. AdWhile Russia is in many ways a declining world power, the country remains a disruptive and potent threat, Burns said.
William Burns, Biden's CIA pick, vows "intensified focus" on competition with China
Washington — Ambassador William Burns, President Biden's nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, vowed on Wednesday to boost efforts to collect intelligence on China and to approach competition with Beijing with "intensified focus and energy." Under Putin, Burns said, Russia will continue to be "at least as disruptive" as China. William Burns before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on February 24, 2021. At the hearing, Burns committed to keeping politics out of intelligence — something he said Mr. Biden had personally demanded. Burns, who has already held five Senate-confirmed positions, is expected to be confirmed on a bipartisan basis for a sixth time.cbsnews.com
Trouble at home may change Biden's hand in Iran nuke talks
She was speaking of U.S. foreign objectives overall, including the Iran deal. Biden's first priority for renewed talks is getting both Iran and the United States back in compliance with the nuclear deal, which offered Iran relief from sanctions in exchange for Iran accepting limits on its nuclear material and gear. “It would be a first step.”But Biden also faces pressure both from Democrats and Republican opponents of the Iran deal. The United States' European allies will be eager to help Biden wrack up a win on the new Iran talks if possible, Nasr said. Besides tapping Sherman for his administration, Biden has called back William Burns, who led secret early talks with Iran in Oman, as his CIA director.
Biden taps longtime diplomat William Burns for CIA director
Washington — President-elect Joe Biden has selected Ambassador William Burns, a career diplomat, as his nominee for director of the CIA, his transition team announced Monday. Burns is a 33-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service and currently serves as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He holds the rank of career ambassador, the highest rank in the Foreign Service. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns testifies on the situation in Ukraine to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill on March 6, 2014. Ambassador Burns will bring the knowledge, judgment, and perspective we need to prevent and confront threats before they can reach our shores."cbsnews.com
Biden chooses veteran diplomat William Burns as his CIA director
William J. Burns, a highly regarded diplomat with vast foreign policy experience and service in both Democratic and Republican administrations, was chosen Monday as President-elect Joe Biden’s director of the CIA. If he’s confirmed by the Senate, which is considered likely, Burns would succeed Gina Haspel, the first female CIA director. Burns, 64, worked in the State Department for 33 years, becoming deputy secretary of State before retiring in 2014 to take over the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Although the CIA director became a Cabinet-level post under Trump, Biden is expected to restore it to its position independent of the Oval Office. During his time at the State Department, he served as an aide to former secretaries of State Warren Christopher and Madeleine K. Albright.latimes.com
Biden chooses veteran diplomat Burns as CIA director
President-elect Joe Biden has chosen veteran diplomat William Burns to be his CIA director. If confirmed, he would succeed Gina Haspel, the first female CIA director, who guided the agency under President Donald Trump. “I developed enormous respect for my colleagues in the CIA,” Burns said in an online video statement Monday with Biden. The director of national intelligence, not the CIA director, was in the Cabinet. Trump elevated the CIA director post back up to a Cabinet-level position, and both Haspel and National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe sit in his Cabinet.
Who might Biden choose to run State Dept., NSA other foreign policy jobs?
AdvertisementA veteran of earlier Biden presidential campaigns, Blinken has served as a regular surrogate for Biden this year, a frequent commentator on foreign policy and critic of Trump. “Joe Biden will benefit just by not being President Trump,” Blinken told The Times earlier this year. Burns resisted overt criticism of the Trump administration in its early months, but more recently became a vocal skeptic. Secretary of DefenseWhile not an exclusively foreign policy portfolio, the Pentagon also has a large partnership role in global diplomacy. For a Biden administration, all eyes are on Michele Flournoy, essentially the No.latimes.com
News Analysis: Trumps rash exit from Syria emboldens Russia and horrifies Israel
For the last 2 years of haphazard foreign policy under President Trump, the refrain of reassurance was that at least the unconventional leader had not been faced with a major international crisis. AdvertisementCritics say Trump ignored all the warnings as well as counsel from advisors about how vulnerable the Syrian Kurds were and of the inevitably dire fallout. Trump junked the balancing act that had sustained U.S. operations in Syria, while angering both Turkey and its enemy, the Syrian Kurds, Brands said. Erdogan appeared to take Trumps mild admonitions to tread carefully as a green light to invade northern Syria where he would align with Russia. This was not caused by any action of President Trump, a senior administration official told reporters Monday evening.latimes.com