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United Nations Development Programme via Flickr CC

Sandra Honoré, the head of the United Nation's Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), recommended the mission's closure in six months at a Tuesday briefing with the UN Security Council.

Is Haiti ready? Honoré cited the country's successful elections in December and January, and the increased capacities of the Haitian National Police Force to maintain public order and secure elections as reasons to draw down the mission.

The mission has been in place for 13 years, dating back to 2004 when President Bertrand Aristide went into exile as armed conflict spread around the country. The mission has had multiple setbacks, including the devastating 2010 earthquake that shook apart its governance progress.

What's next: Honoré proposed a "smaller mission" at the recommendation of the UN Secretary General for "a shift in focus…away from stabilization to institutional strengthening," and a UN resolution will be adopted before the mandate ends on April 15.

What it means:

  • Haiti's going to try and stand on its "own two feet," as the UK Ambassador put it.
  • Troops and other forces will begin pulling out of the country. Some countries have already been lowering their level of involvement. For current troop levels for MINUSTAH, click here.
  • Russia's Ambassador warned against creating a "security void" as the transition moves forward, and Spain suggested the drawdown might be coming too soon for the new government to get its footing.

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Key government agency says Biden transition can formally begin

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General Services Administrator Emily Murphy said in a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that she has determined the transition from the Trump administration can formally begin.

Why it matters: Murphy, a Trump appointee, had come under fire for delaying the so-called "ascertainment" and withholding the funds and information needed for the transition to begin while Trump's legal challenges played out.

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  3. World: England to impose stricter regional systemU.S. hotspots far outpacing Europe's — Portugal to ban domestic travel for national holidays.
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Michigan board certifies Biden's win

Poll workers count absentee ballots in Detroit, Michigan on Nov. 4. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified the state's election results on Monday, making President-elect Joe Biden's win there official and granting him the state's 16 electoral votes.

Why it matters: Republican Party leaders had unsuccessfully appealed to delay the official certification, amid the Trump campaign's failed legal challenges in key swing states.

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