Natasha Bertrand
Natasha Bertrand
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Army probes missing rifle from National Guard unit deployed to the Capitol

Army probes missing rifle from National Guard unit deployed to the Capitol

A misplaced or unaccounted-for weapon is a major security risk, Guard members said.National Guard stand their posts around the Capitol at sunrise. | Carolyn Kaster/AP PhotoThe Army has dispatched its in-house criminal investigative arm to probe the potential theft of a rifle from the D.C. National Guard while the unit was training in Virginia three weeks ago, an Army spokesperson confirmed on Thursday.The M4 rifle and its scope went missing around March 11, according to two people familiar with the investigation, as members of a quick reaction force that was formed to protect the U.S....

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Apr 2
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'Things really are very bad' — Biden navigates cyber attacks without a cyber czar

'Things really are very bad' — Biden navigates cyber attacks without a cyber czar

Turf wars and political battles are keeping open a role that Congress created and is demanding be filled.The national cyber director role remains unfilled two months into Joe Biden’s presidency despite a legal mandate that it be occupied. | Evan Vucci/AP PhotoThe Biden White House is facing multiple cyber attacks and cyber espionage campaigns targeting U.S. companies and government agencies, without the services of a cybersecurity czar to coordinate a response and keep lawmakers in the loop.The role, known officially as the national cyber director, remains unfilled two months into Joe...

Mar 28
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‘Fundamentally at odds’: China, U.S. retreat to their corners after Alaska talks

‘Fundamentally at odds’: China, U.S. retreat to their corners after Alaska talks

A tense diplomatic meeting ends with both sides digging in and courting allies.U.S Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) shakes hand with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People on February 11, 2015 in Beijing, China. | Andy Wong/Getty ImagesThe first showdown is over, and each side came out throwing punches.Now China and the United States will huddle with their partners in hopes of building international support to pressure the other on multiple fronts.Senior officials from the two countries held three sessions in Anchorage, Alaska, on...

Mar 19
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China and U.S. appear set for a frosty Alaska summit

China and U.S. appear set for a frosty Alaska summit

It's the first major meeting under the Biden administration, but the two sides can't even agree about what kind of meeting it is.American officials — including, from left, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken — have characterized the meeting as a one-off event where President Joe Biden's administration will confront the Chinese on a range of security and human rights issues. | Andrew Harnik/AP PhotoThe U.S. and China are setting vastly different expectations for their first high-level meeting under the Biden administration, casting a chill on the...

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Mar 16
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House scraps work schedule amid security threat

House scraps work schedule amid security threat

Federal authorities and the sergeant-at-arms warned of discussions by “militia violent extremists” to seize control of the Capitol complex on or around March 4.U.S. Capitol Police protective agents stand watch as Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers hold a news event on the steps of the House of Representatives at the Capitol on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. | J. Scott Applewhite/APTop House Democrats are abruptly wrapping up all work on Wednesday and sending members home — a day earlier than planned — as congressional leaders grapple with another potential threat to the Capitol, nearly two months...

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Mar 3
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Harris gets a crash course on foreign policy

Harris gets a crash course on foreign policy

The vice president is trying to build up her relationships with foreign leaders and profile on the world's stage.Vice President Kamala Harris listens as President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Feb. 23, 2021, in Washington. | Evan Vucci/AP PhotoAfter insisting for the last few months that she didn’t need a clear-cut portfolio in the Biden administration, Vice President Kamala Harris is now trying to carve out a niche in foreign policy, with the president’s encouragement.But after a political career focused on domestic issues,...

Feb 26
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Biden readies his first major penalties on Russia

Biden readies his first major penalties on Russia

The Trump administration had prepared a sanctions package in response to the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, but Biden’s national security team wants to chart its own course.President Joe Biden is looking to push Russia on human rights abuses. | Alex Wong/Getty ImagesThe U.S. is preparing to respond to Russia’s poisoning and jailing of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and is expected to coordinate a sanctions rollout with European allies in the coming weeks, according to people familiar with the matter.The response would mark a break with the previous administration, which prepared a...

Feb 22
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White House launches ‘comprehensive threat assessment’ on domestic extremism

White House launches ‘comprehensive threat assessment’ on domestic extremism

The assessment comes on the heels of a deadly riot at the Capitol staged by right-wing extremists earlier this month.Supporters of then-President Donald Trump clash with Capitol police on Jan. 6, 2021.President Joe Biden has asked the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to conduct a “comprehensive threat assessment” of domestic extremism following the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol by a violent mob that left five people dead.White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced on Friday that Biden decided to ask for the review, which will be coordinated with the FBI and Department of...

Jan 22
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'We feel incredibly betrayed': Thousands of Guardsmen forced to vacate Capitol

'We feel incredibly betrayed': Thousands of Guardsmen forced to vacate Capitol

Guardsmen were later let back into facilities after an outry from lawmakers.Some National Guardsmen sleep on the ground of a parking garage near the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. | POLITICOThousands of National Guardsmen were allowed back into the Capitol Thursday night, hours after U.S. Capitol Police officials ordered them to vacate the facilities, sending them outdoors or to nearby parking garages after two weeks pulling security duty after the deadly riot on Jan. 6.One unit, which had been resting in the Dirksen Senate Office building, was abruptly told to vacate the facility on Thursday,...

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Jan 22
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White House hammering out details of increasingly likely Biden and Putin summit

White House hammering out details of increasingly likely Biden and Putin summit

(CNN)The White House is hammering out the details of an increasingly, which could happen as soon as early summer, according to sources familiar with the planning.The planning comes as the Biden administration is preparing to send Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Ukraine next month, according to a Ukrainian government source close to the ongoing negotiations.The visit could ease the European country's anxiety over a on the heels of the US President's meetings with Group of 7 and NATO allies. The fact that the Biden administration would deploy its most senior diplomat to Ukraine in the...

Apr 20
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