Morning Brief

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar speaks about vaccine development on May 15 in Washington.

U.S. Officials to Hold High-Level Talks With Taiwan as Tensions With China Worsen

The meeting between top U.S. and Taiwanese officials is sure to provoke a strong reaction from Beijing.

People walk at scene of an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, on August 4.

Beirut Blast Puts More Pressure on the Lebanese Government

As the death toll in Beirut continues to rise, the Lebanese government’s role in the accident is inflaming public anger.

A picture shows the scene of an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.

What Caused the Blast in Beirut?

The explosion has killed 100 people and left 250,000 homeless. Lebanon's government says it was an accident.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a briefing at the State Department on February 5.

Pompeo Holds Surprise Talks With Taliban

As fighting broke out in eastern Afghanistan, the U.S. Secretary of State held a surprise video conference with a top Taliban official.

Ethiopian citizens celebrate the successful filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as the dam's first two turbines' electricity production is tested, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on August 2, 2020.

Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan Resume Nile Dam Talks

The construction of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam has spooked its downstream neighbors, who worry that their access to the Blue Nile’s waters could soon dry up.

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during a news conference.

The U.S. Economy Is in Free Fall as Unemployment Benefits End

Millions of unemployed people are expected to be without benefits, setting the stage for another economic downturn later this year.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows  listens prior to Trump's Marine One departure from the South Lawn of the White House July 29, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Trump to Pull U.S. Troops From Germany

As Pentagon speaks of grand strategy, Trump says troop withdrawal is about getting even with Berlin.

With an image of himself on a screen in the background, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Financial Services Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill October 23, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Big Tech Faces Off With Congress

As pressure grows on the four tech companies, many are increasing their spending on lobbying.

Smoke billows above the edges of southern Lebanon's Kfarchouba village after reported Israeli bombardment of the Shebaa Farms sector following reports of clashes in the Lebanese-Israeli border area, on July 27, 2020.

Israel Accuses Hezbollah Of ‘Playing With Fire’ in Alleged Incursion

The flare-up comes after an Israeli air strike killed a Hezbollah fighter in Syria last week.

A policeman stands in front of the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu, southwestern China's Sichuan province, on July 27, 2020.

The U.S. Is Out of Chengdu In New Low for U.S.-China Ties

The move comes after the consulate was given a 72-hour deadline to vacate on Friday in retaliation for the closure of the Chinese Consulate in Houston.

Protesters use umbrellas to block pepper balls while clashing with federal officers at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse on July 22, 2020 in Portland, Oregon.

U.S. Justice Department to Investigate Federal Agents Involved In Protest Crackdown

The move comes as Trump threatens to deploy more federal forces to Democratic Party-run cities.

Pfizer Inc. signage is seen on July 22 in New York City.

The Trump Administration Throws Its Support Behind a Vaccine

The White House has agreed to a $1.95 billion deal for a supply of one of the world’s most promising COVID-19 vaccines. Will it work?

U.S. President Donald Trump holds a mask as he speaks during the renewed briefing of the Coronavirus Task Force in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on July 21, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Death Toll Breaks 1,000 Again as Deaths Rise in Americas

A dramatic rise in new cases has fueled an increase in the U.S. daily death toll, and the rest of the Western Hemisphere isn’t doing much better.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo steps down from his plane upon arrival in London on July 20, 2020.

Pompeo Checks In on Britain’s Anti-China Turn

The Secretary of State will meet today with the British Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, but an earlier meeting with China hawks has raised eyebrows.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and French President Emmanuel Macron speak together ahead of an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, on July 18, 2020.

EU Economic Negotiations Enter Overtime

What was planned as a two-day summit is now in its fourth day as a disagreement drags on over what form recovery funds should take.

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