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Photo: Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP/Getty Images

Outgoing Defense Secretary James Mattis rejected a request from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to soften the United States' conditions for a $500 million arms deal between Israel and Croatia for the sale of 12 F-16 fighter jets, an Israeli official told me.

Why it matters: Mattis' position practically killed the deal, according to the Israeli official, who is involved in the negotiations. In order to give a green light to the deal, the U.S. demanded that Israel remove the Israeli systems installed in the F-16s and return the jets to their original condition before transferring them to Croatia. The Croatians responded that they would cancel the deal if they couldn't get the "upgraded" Israeli version of the F-16s.

  • The Israeli official told me Netanyahu called Mattis two weeks ago — before the latter's resignation — and asked him to soften the U.S. terms for the deal. Mattis told Netanyahu he had gone a long way for Israel on several issues but couldn't show any flexibility regarding this deal.
  • Netanyahu considered calling Marilyn Hewson, the president and CEO of Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the jets, to ask for help in getting the deal approved but ultimately decided it was a lost cause, according to the Israeli official.

What they're saying: The Israeli official told me, "For reasons we don't fully understand, the Americans hardened their conditions and, apparently, we misread their position on the deal. Practically, the F-16 deal with Croatia is dead and we don't think it is possible to get an agreement that will reconcile the U.S. conditions and the Croatian demands in the tender."

  • The official added that Israel will have no other choice but "to apologize to Croatia for the deal falling apart and move on."
  • Netanyahu's office didn't comment. The Pentagon and the State Department also didn't respond to emails with requests for comment.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

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Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

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Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

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Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”