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U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis speaks during a press conference at the Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Speaking to the press alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Australian defense officials, Defense Secretary James Mattis said the U.S. has no immediate plans to conduct join operations with Russia in Syria, despite claims from Russia following the Trump-Putin summit.

"We will not be doing anything additional until the Secretary of State and the president have further figured out at what point we are going to start working alongside our allies with Russia in the future."
— Secretary Mattis

The big picture: President Trump has expressed openness to cooperating with Russia in Syria in the past, and Russia has claimed the two agreed on a plan to do so in Helsinki. That would be a controversial step, given Russia's support for the Assad regime. General Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. central command, said last week "Russia's support and protection has allowed the Syrian regime to escape full accountability for their use of chemical weapons and the horrendous violence against their own people."

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Journalism enters dangerous new era

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Capitol attack on Jan. 6 resulted in at least nine physical assaults against journalists and at least five arrests, per the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker's top editor.

Why it matters: President Trump's harsh rhetoric towards the press has empowered leaders abroad and locally in the U.S. to continue to attack press that they don't like.

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The beginning of the beginning for Biden's climate push

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Joe Biden's inauguration and the days right after will bring a rat-tat-tat burst of climate policy moves, but keep this in mind amid the splashy pledges: pushing through most of his agenda will be a long, uncertain slog.

Why it matters: Biden's climate plan is far more expansive than anything contemplated under President Obama. But for all the immediate pledges, it will take years to see how far Biden gets.

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Biden's inflation danger

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President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.