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Photo: Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images

Paul Nakasone, who heads both the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, has directed both security branches to coordinate actions to counter future Russian interference in this year’s midterm elections, the Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima reports.

Why it matters: U.S. security agencies are taking action on Russian meddling without guidance from the White House — which now stands in the crosshairs of U.S. intelligence assessments on whether Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. elections. President Trump’s stance was highlighted Monday when he was unable to stand behind U.S. intelligence and condemn Russian meddling during his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

The details: Nakashima explains the NSA, which focuses on electronic spying, and the military's Cyber Command could launch joint offensive measures to disrupt adversaries’ computer networks. The NSA and Cyber Command would reportedly work with the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the CIA. A DHS official confirmed the coordination to Axios. Cyber Command would not offer comment to Axios. The White House, NSA, FBI, and CIA did not immediately return request for comment.

The state of play: The FBI and DHS have been in coordination on election meddling. The FBI initiated a task force on election meddling last year that works with DHS, while DHS provides security scans to states for their election infrastructure — one of many methods to help states bolster their election infrastructure.

  • Russia is showing no signs of letting up on its hacking. And while the DHS has assessed that Russia doesn’t have a robust targeting campaign so far this year, the threat still looms, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said this weekend.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - World

Skripal poisoning suspects linked to Czech blast, as country expels 18 Russians

Combined images released by British police in 2018 of Alexander Petrov (L) and Ruslan Boshirov, who are suspected of carrying out an attack in the in the southern English city of Salisbury using Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, and also the2014 Czech depot explosion. Photo: Metropolitan Police via Getty Images

Czech police on Saturday connected two Russian men suspected of carrying out a poisoning attack in Salisbury, England, with a deadly ammunition depot explosion southeast of the capital, Prague, per Reuters.

Driving the news: Czech officials announced Saturday they're expelling 18 Russian diplomats they accuse of being involved in the blast in Vrbětice, AP notes. Czech police said later they're searching for two men carrying several passports — including two with the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

Indianapolis mass shooting suspect legally bought 2 guns, police say

Marion County Forensic Services vehicles are parked at the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday. Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images

The suspected gunman in this week's mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally purchased two "assault rifles" believed to have been used in the attack, police said late Saturday.

Of note: The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's statement that Brandon Scott Hole, 19, bought the rifles last July and September comes a day after the FBI told news outlets that a "shotgun was seized" from the suspect in March 2020 after his mother raised concerns about his mental health.

U.S. and China agree to take joint climate action

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry waves as he arrives at the Elysee Presidential Palace on March 10, 2021 in Paris. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Despite an increasingly tense relationship, the U.S. and China agreed Saturday to work together to tackle global climate change, including by "raising ambition" for emissions cuts during the 2020s — a key goal of the Biden administration.

Why it matters: The joint communique released Saturday evening commits the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gases to work together to keep the most ambitious temperature target contained in the Paris Climate Agreement viable by potentially taking additional emissions cuts prior to 2030.