New anti-ISIS envoy previously supported military presence in Syria

James Jeffrey. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The State Department announced Friday that Ambassador James Jeffrey will take over as special envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, replacing Brett McGurk, who resigned in protest over President Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria.

The big picture: Jeffrey previously served as deputy national security adviser for President George W. Bush and opposed President Obama's withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. At a State Department briefing in November, Jeffrey supported the U.S.' military presence in Syria until proper de-escalation of the conflict can be achieved: "[Y]ou cannot have an enduring defeat of ISIS until you have fundamental change in the Syrian regime and fundamental change in Iran’s role in Syria."

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University of Minnesota student jailed in China over tweets

Xi Jinping. Photo: Noel Celis - Pool/ Getty Images

A University of Minnesota student has been arrested in China and sentenced to six months in prison for tweets he posted while in the United States, according to a Chinese court document viewed by Axios. Some of the tweets contained images deemed to be unflattering portrayals of a "national leader."

Why it matters: The case represents a dramatic escalation of the Chinese government's attempts to shut down free speech abroad, and a global expansion of a Chinese police campaign a year ago to track down Twitter users in China who posted content critical of the Chinese government.

Go deeperArrow2 mins ago - World

⚖️ Live updates: Opening arguments begin in Trump impeachment trial

The second day of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump will see a full day of opening arguments from Democratic House impeachment managers.

What to watch for: Democrats now have 24 hours — spread out over three days — to take their time to lay out their case against the president's alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It'll also allow them to highlight gaps that could be filled out by additional witnesses and documents from the administration.

This post will be updated with new developments as the trial continues.

Go deeperArrowJan 21, 2020 - Politics

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