Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu speaks with President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that it wants to have "open and specific talks" with Pentagon officials over alleged violations of a Cold War-era missile treaty, the Associated Press reports.

Background: President Trump said in October he would pull the U.S. out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, saying Russia had broken the agreement. Russia denies any violation of the INF Treaty, and Russian President Vladimir Putin said if the U.S. began developing new intermediate-range missiles, so would he. Per AP, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu sent a proposal for talks to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis three days ago, and he has not yet received a response, which Russia is taking as a sign that "the U.S. is unwilling to maintain professional dialogue."

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McConnell: Confirming Amy Coney Barrett will help GOP retain Senate

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed no regrets about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's controversial confirmation, telling Politico in an interview that he believes the decision to place her on the Supreme Court just a week before the election will help Republicans retain the Senate.

Why it matters: With a week to go until Election Day, many Republicans are concerned that President Trump's unpopularity could cost them the Senate. McConnell has long viewed the transformation of the federal judiciary through the confirmation of young conservative judges as his defining legacy.

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The fight over fracking

Fracking has become a flashpoint in the election's final week, particularly in Pennsylvania where both President Trump and Joe Biden made stops on Monday. But much of the political rhetoric has ignored that the industry has gone from boom to bust, beset by layoffs, bankruptcies and fire-sale mergers.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of fracking, and what it means for the future of American energy, with Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group.

Democrats sound alarm on mail-in votes

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Democrats are calling a last-minute audible on mail-in voting after last night's Supreme Court ruling on Wisconsin.

Driving the news: Wisconsin Democrats and the Democratic secretary of state of Michigan are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes. They are warning that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots by the Election Day deadline.