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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

At their summit in Geneva on Wednesday, President Biden gifted Russian Vladimir Putin a crystal sculpture of an American bison — the national mammal of the U.S. — and a pair of custom Aviator sunglasses, according to a White House official.

The big picture: The summit came at a low point in U.S.-Russia relations, as acknowledged by both sides. Biden has said he is not seeking a "reset" in relations, but a more "stable" and "predictable" dynamic between the U.S. and Russia.

Background, per the White House:

President Biden gifted Russian Vladimir Putin a crystal sculpture of an American Bison by Steuben Glass of New York, a stately interpretation of one of our nation’s most majestic mammals and representative of strength, unity, resilience. In 2016, it was officially named the national mammal of the United States when the Obama-Biden Administration signed the National Bison Legacy Act into law. In Russia, over the past 20 years, European bison were reintroduced by rewilding numerous sites after their extinction in 1927. The sculpture will be presented on a cherry wood base, symbolic of our nation’s first president, George Washington, with a custom engraved inscription plaque commemorating the meeting between President Biden and President Putin.
President Biden also gifted President Putin a pair of custom Aviators made by Randolph USA. In 1978, Randolph joined forces with the U.S. military to produce the HGU-4/P Aviator designed for fighter pilots. They have since provided the U.S. military and NATO partners with their high-level, durable aviators, manufactured domestically in their Massachusetts factory.

Go deeper: Putin calls Biden summit "constructive," but blames U.S. for tensions

Go deeper

Sep 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden to host Boris Johnson at the White House next week

President Biden speaks at the White House during a virtual event with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Biden plans to host British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the White House next week, according to people familiar with the preparations.

Why it matters: Rewarding Johnson with a White House visit is another indication that the two leaders plan to work collaboratively on COVID-19, China and climate change.

Updated 6 mins ago - World

In reversal, Pentagon now says drone strike killed 10 Afghan civilians

Caskets for the dead are carried towards the gravesite as relatives and friends attend a mass funeral for members of a family that is said to have been killed in a U.S. drone airstrike, in Kabul on Aug. 30. Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A U.S. drone strike launched on Aug. 29 killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan, including seven children, rather than the Islamic State extremists the Biden administration claimed it targeted, the Pentagon said Friday.

Why it matters: U.S. Central Command said at the time that officials "know" the drone strike "disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat" to Kabul's airport, and that they were "confident we successfully hit the target."

UN warns of "catastrophic" climate change failure without more emissions cuts

UN Secretary-General António Guterres at a news conference. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

A United Nations report released Friday warned that the planet will likely warm by more than 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century unless governments take extra steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Why it matters: The report, released just months ahead of November's UN Climate Summit, highlights the growing pressure on global leaders to crack down on emissions to avert the worst effects of climate change.