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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump is planning to use his executive powers to remove a federal agency, in line with his administration's goal of cutting what it sees as wasteful spending and inefficiencies, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: By the fall, the Office of Personnel Management anticipates an executive order that will break up the agency and, at first, assign its responsibilities to 3 different departments. The administration reportedly does not intend to lay off any of its 5,565 employees, but will eventually shrink its workforce through retirements and unfilled vacancies.

  • The Defense Department would take over background checks for government job applicants.
  • The General Services Administration would manage human resources tasks like training, payroll and the inspector general's office.
  • The Office of Management and Budget would handle "high-level policies governing federal employees," per the Post.

Why it matters: Labor activists say moving federal employees closer to the White House would signal a "dangerous" politicization of the civil service. But the Post notes that both the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016 considered doing the same, especially after Chinese hackers stole more than 20 million personnel records in a massive cybersecurity breach in 2015.

Go deeper

Updated 48 mins ago - World

HRW: Over 100 former Afghan security members dead or missing under Taliban rule

Members of the Taliban movement patrol Kabul's airport in September. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

The Taliban have "killed or forcibly disappeared" over 100 former members of Afghanistan's security forces since the group took power in August, a Human Rights Watch report published Tuesday found.

Why it matters: Former military members and officials from the ousted government, activists and other Taliban critics are facing peril amid executions driven by revenge — despite Taliban promises of an "amnesty" with no retributions, notes the New York Times, which first reported the news.

4 hours ago - World

Barbados becomes a republic, replacing U.K. queen with president

Combination images of Dame Sandra Mason, president of Barbados, and Britain's Prince Charles at her swearing-in ceremony in Bridgetown, Barbados, late Monday.

Barbados officially became a republic at midnight local time after Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the Caribbean nation's first president in a ceremony attended by the United Kingdom's Prince Charles.

Why it matters: Mason replaced Britain's Queen Elizabeth as head of state Tuesday — removing the country's final remaining colonial tie to the U.K. almost 400 years after the first British ships arrived in Barbados.

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.