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Hellenic Air Force F-16 block 52 Fighting Falcon of 'Zeus' team, flies over Flisvos bay during the Air Show. Photo: Dimitrios Sotiriou/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Greek government and military officials on Saturday signed-off on a $1.45 billion deal (1.2 billion euro) to upgrade over half of the country's American-made F-16 military fighter planes, the Associated Press reports.

The details: Over 80 F-16s in Greece's fleet will receive similar capabilities to that of the more sophisticated F-35, without the stealth technology, according to the AP, adding that Greece will pay for improvements through 2027. The U.S. has reportedly agreed to cap payments to $182 million annually after that. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is set to make a visit to the White House this coming October.

Go deeper

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
2 mins ago - Economy & Business

Biden’s face mask campaign requires more imports from China

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

American mask manufacturers are getting whiplash, having gone from sleepy sector to mission-critical industry overnight — only to see sales collapse before now being suddenly in demand again.

Why it matters: As the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19 rages, health experts now say Americans need legitimate N95 or KN95 masks to best protect themselves — not widely available fakes or less effective cloth masks.

18 mins ago - World

Scoop: Ukraine tells senators post-invasion sanctions are no help

Zelensky. Photo: Johanna Geron/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told U.S. senators visiting Kyiv this week that waiting to impose sanctions on Russia until after an invasion is of no use to Ukraine, according to four sources familiar with the discussions.

Why it matters: The Senate is currently working on a major sanctions package to deter Russia from attacking Ukraine. Democrats and Republicans are united in their support for Ukraine, but divided over whether it would be more effective to sanction Russia now to signal resolve, or hold up the threat of future sanctions to demonstrate the high costs of an invasion.

Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks has dropped plans to require that U.S. workers get the COVID vaccine or submit to weekly testing, the company announced Tuesday in a memo to employees.

Why it matters: The company's decision comes in response to the Supreme Court's ruling last week to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.