Jan 6, 2017

Mad Dog Mattis fight with Trump transition spills into public view

The Washington Post reported today that James Mattis, Trump's pick for Secretary of Defense, has been clashing with the transition team over appointments to top Pentagon posts. Some noted sources of tension for Mad Dog:

  • Learned about key Pentagon appointments, like Vincent Viola as Army Secretary, from the media
  • Rejected all transition suggestions for undersecretary of defense for intelligence, a powerful post
  • Clashing with Michael Flynn, Trump's pick for national security advisor.

The bigger picture: According to the report, the issues with Defense reflect a bigger problem with the transition β€” there's no real vision yet for how much leeway Cabinet members should have in running their own department.

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Syria's darkest chapter

Family room without a family, in Idlib. Photo: Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The worst humanitarian crisis of Syria’s brutal civil war is colliding today with what could be the war’s most dangerous geopolitical showdown, after at least 29 Turkish troops were killed in an airstrike.

The big picture: The fighting is taking place in Idlib in northwest Syria, where a ferocious Syrian and Russian offensive has displaced 1 million civilians and infuriated Turkey, which borders the region.

Go deeperArrow21 mins ago - World

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Fear of coronavirus pandemic escalates

Photo: Abdulgani Basheer/AFP/Getty Images

In the blink of an eye, we've entered a new phase on the coronavirus.

The big picture: Italy, Iran and South Korea are at "decisive" points in their responses, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health