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At his Helsinki summit with President Trump, Vladimir Putin argued for letting bygones be bygones and opening a new era in U.S.–Russia relations, something Trump was happy to embrace. Trump went on to indulge in some unfortunate moral equivalence by stating that both countries bore the blame for the poor state of their relationship.

Why it matters: As was the case in Singapore, Trump exaggerated what had been accomplished at the summit. Indeed, little appeared settled in the way of policy other than perhaps a revival of arms control talks.

Simply by taking place, the summit further normalized Russia’s ties to the outside world, which have atrophied since its annexation of Crimea in 2014. Putin’s call for greater humanitarian help for Syria won the day’s chutzpah award given all that Russia has done to create that humanitarian crisis in the first place.

The most striking feature of what we know — and no one should forget that the length of the leaders' one-on-one meeting means we don’t know what we don’t know — was Trump’s refusal to back the assessments of his own intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Instead, Trump appeared once again to accept Putin's complete denial of Russian wrongdoing in the 2016 election. He even liked Putin’s self-serving suggestion that the two governments form a working group to investigate the matter. The indictments could have been used by Trump to press Putin, but his behavior only served to reinforce questions about why he has been so reluctant to confront Russia from the get-go.

The big picture: Helsinki should not be viewed in a vacuum. It was a worrisome and in many ways objectionable finale to a week that did much to undermine the foundations of U.S. foreign policy — especially NATO and the U.S.–U.K. special relationship — that have contributed so much to U.S. security, prosperity and influence for the better part of a century. Alas, the trip provided nothing that would take their place.

Richard Haass is president of the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of “A World in Disarray.”

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Firefighters in Sequoia National Park were working into the night after two wildfires merged to reach the Giant Forest Saturday.

Why it matters: This forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree — considered the world's largest by volume. Park officials wrapped the trees in foil last week as the Paradise and Colony Fires, now known as the KNP Complex Fire, neared. And officials said early Sunday protection efforts appeared to be working.

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Relatives of 10 Afghans killed by a U.S. drone strike in Kabul last month said Saturday they want to see punishment and compensation over the deaths.

Driving the news: The relatives said it's "good news" that the U.S. had "officially admitted" that "they had attacked innocents" in the Aug. 29 strike that killed Zamarai Ahmadi, an aid worker with a U.S.-based group, and nine family members, but they still need "justice," per AFP.

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The all-civilian Inspiration4 crew is back on Earth after their three-day mission in orbit.

The big picture: The launch and landing of this fully amateur, private space crew marks a changing of the guard from spaceflight being a largely government-led venture to being under the purview of private companies.