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Former U.S. Ambassador Bill Burns. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Out tomorrow from longtime U.S. Ambassador Bill Burns, now president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, "The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal."

Details: The book includes accounts of two unheeded warnings about Russia.

  • The first is a sharp exchange Burns, then U.S. ambassador to Russia, had with Putin ahead of Russia’s 2007 national elections. Putin threatened: "Outside interference in our elections will not be tolerated ... don’t think we won’t react."
  • The second, revealed in a newly declassified email from Burns in February 2008, warned the U.S. against offering a path to NATO membership to Ukraine and Georgia. The "prospects of subsequent Russian-Georgian armed conflict would be high," Burns, wrote, adding that it would "provide fertile soil for Russian meddling in Crimea and eastern Ukraine."

Both fears were realized.

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

8 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.

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