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Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Kiichiro Sato/AP

Aya Hijazi was the face of Egypt's crackdown on civil society while imprisoned the last three years, and now she's the face of two drastically different approaches to freeing American prisoners and foreign policy.

Why it matters: America is putting security cooperation in the Middle East first, a significant change from years of balancing military partnerships and showcasing a commitment to human rights.

Former President Obama temporarily stopped delivering weapons to Egypt in 2013, and later provided military vehicles and $1.3 billion annually in an attempt to pressure President el-Sisi to release prisoners. He refused to invite el-Sisi to the White House, showing his refusal to work with an administration that oversaw human rights violations. But the Obama administration remained largely quiet during the time Hijazi was held.

President Trump hosted el-Sisi at the White House earlier this month, which was seen as crucial leverage to shifting relations with Egypt. Trump had direct conversations with el-Sisi, who oversaw Hijazi's return home. The administration praised el-Sisi's leadership efforts, and is open to being allies in the fight against ISIS in the Middle East.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

President Biden faces a deeply broken America

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As President Biden begins his term in office today, he'll be tasked with leading a country beset with deep, long-term problems.

Why it matters: Though the pandemic has made them worse, existential challenges around inequality, social alienation and political division in the U.S. were in place well before SARS-CoV-2 arrived on American shores. The country's future will depend in large part on whether the choices made over the next four years can flatten the curve of American decline.

Facebook, Instagram transfer accounts, followers to Biden administration

Screenshot of official White House Facebook account.

Facebook on Wednesday confirmed that it is transferring the millions of followers of the official Facebook and Instagram White House accounts to the Biden administration.

Details: The accounts for "@POTUS," "@VicePresident" ("@VP" on Instagram) and "@FLOTUS" are having the followers from their personal Pages and accounts be transferred over. It's unclear when that transition process will be complete.

Updated 34 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

Biden delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the Capitol. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Biden signs executive orders and swears in day one presidential appointees in a virtual ceremony.

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