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Muqtada al-Sadr on cell phone covers. Photo: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

A coalition of blocs loyal to cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and Hadi al-Amiri, an Iran-backed militia chief, has emerged from Iraq's disputed election and is now seeking to ease concerns in Washington as it works to form a government, Al-Monitor reports.

The details: A leader in Al-Amiri's Fatah Alliance, Karim al-Nuri, said in a statement on Wednesday that the coalition "is in tune with the vision of Iran and the United States." The coalition is viewed as a win for Iran, which will be able to "maintain its influence" in Iraq, Al-Monitor notes. The coalition is currently sitting at 141 seats, 24 seats below the 165 needed to form a government, per Al-Monitor.

Go deeper

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas case, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's ban on abortions after 15 weeks.

Officials warn 5 key tech sectors will determine whether China overtakes U.S.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. intelligence officials responsible for protecting advanced technologies have narrowed their focus to five key sectors: artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, semiconductors and autonomous systems.

Why it matters: China and Russia are employing a variety of legal and illegal methods to undermine and overtake U.S. dominance in these critical industries, officials warned in a new paper. Their success will determine "whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors."

5 hours ago - Health

Pfizer says COVID vaccine over 90% effective in kids

Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting children between the ages of 5 and 11 from symptomatic infections from the virus, according to a study posted online by the FDA Friday.

Why it matters: Pfizer is seeking an emergency use authorization to vaccinate children — one of the last groups of Americans still largely ineligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine.