From shuttle flights aboard armed helicopters to finding a Kevlar helmet and flak vest in a bedroom closet, my five visits to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul showed me time and again the value of the only safe haven inside that danger zone.
Why it matters: Diplomats who fled the high-walled garrison already worked in difficult conditions. Huddled at Afghanistan’s last free airport, they're even less capable of saving the nationals who helped them — or the women and businesspeople who flourished with their aid over the past 20 years.
The Department of Homeland Security issued a warning Friday regarding the heightened threat environment leading up to the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Driving the news: DHS said that the anniversary of the attacks could serve as a motivator for foreign terror groups while terrorism still poses a high threat in the United States.
Why it matters: Cuomo decided to step down after the state attorney general released an independent report that found the governor had sexually harassed at least 11 women.
A federal judge denied landlords' request to pause the Biden administration's new federal eviction moratorium, saying she doesn't have the authority to do so despite her belief that the policy is illegal, according to a court document filed Friday.
Driving the news: U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich determined that the new moratorium is "virtually identical" to a previous ban that she deemed illegal in May, and should therefore be considered an "extension."
Nine House Democrats on Thursday sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) warning that they would not vote on a budget resolution until the $1 trillion infrastructure package passes the House and is signed into law, Punchbowl News reported.
Why it matters: The pledge threatens Democrats' plan to pass both a multitrillion-dollar spending package and the bipartisan infrastructure package, which Pelosi has pledged to take up at the same time. With only a slim majority in the House, Pelosi can only lose three Democratic votes.
The House of Representatives is raising its maximum annual salary for staff to $199,300, up from $173,900, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Thursday.
Why it matters: The move is intended to help "recruit and retain the outstanding and diverse talent," Pelosi wrote in a letter to colleagues. It's also aimed at ensuring pay parity between House staff and other federal government employees, she added.
Congress is still working through its infrastructure bill, with the ball now in the House's court after the Senate passed its own on Tuesday.
The big picture: Depending on how individual programs are ultimately set up, it could open opportunities for startups.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told Politico that the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic Party "need each other" in order to have any hopes of passing their spending priorities with the narrowest possible majority.
Why it matters: Democrats have cleared the first hurdle in Schumer's risky "two-track" legislative strategy to enact President Biden's agenda, but just a single objection could derail the entire gambit.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) credited President Biden on Tuesday for his role in getting the Senate to pass the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Why it matters: It's a rare flash of praise from the Republican leader, who has previously said that 100% of his focus is on "stopping" the Biden administration's agenda.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) blocked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) attempt to pass Democrats' signature voting rights package — a revised version of the "For the People Act" — in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Why it matters: The sweeping federal elections overhaul is intended to combat a wave of new voting restrictions in Republican-led states, but has no chance of winning the 60 votes needed to overcome the filibuster.