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26 security officers killed in attacks across Afghanistan

Afghan security officials inspect the scene of three explosions in December 2017. Photo: Wali Sabawoon/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 26 government security officers were killed after a series of attacks on government outposts on Saturday night and Sunday in northern and eastern Afghanistan, according to the New York Times. The Afghan government blamed those attacks on Taliban insurgents. Two schools were also burned down, though the perpetrators were not clear.

The big picture: Per the Times, attacks on schools "were common 10 years ago" for the Taliban, but they swore them off after outcries from communities. But the Wilson Center's Michael Kugelman told Axios last month that the Taliban is "ramping up its attacks on civilians...to convey the impression that the government can’t protect its people."

Haley Britzky 1 hour ago
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The E.U. and U.K. want to be front and center on AI research

Theresa May visits an engineering facility.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May visits an engineering training facility in Birmingham. Photo: Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images

The E.U. and U.K. both announced major investments in artificial intelligence research this week, with more than 50 tech companies contributing to a £1 billion deal in the U.K., and the European Commission announcing it would be allocating €1.5 billion to AI research until 2020.

The big picture: The U.K.'s deal, as detailed in a government press release, will include funding for "8,000 specialist computer science teachers, 1,000 government-funded AI PhDs by 2025," and development for a "prestigious global Turing Fellowship" program to attract top talent. Per the release, the U.K. will also be developing "a world-leading Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation," to emphasize ethical standards with AI research. The E.U.'s deal also includes laying out clear ethical guidelines by the end of 2018.

Mike Pompeo’s first foreign trip

Mike Pompeo
CIA Director Mike Pompeo testifies on worldwide threats. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

If he is confirmed as Secretary of State tomorrow, Mike Pompeo will embark on his first foreign trip as secretary to Brussels for the NATO Summit, Axios has learned. Bloomberg first reported the contingency planning for the potential trip.

The details: “The acting secretary John Sullivan is ready to go to the NATO summit in Brussels Thursday,” a senior administration official told Axios. “The secretary-designate Mike Pompeo is prepared to travel to the meeting of foreign ministers to reaffirm our commitment to NATO and coordinate the alliance’s response to Russian aggression.”