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US-backed coalition forces in the northern Syrian town of Manbij. Photo: DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. military has been warned twice in the last week by Russia that its forces and Syrian regime units are ready to strike an area populated by "dozens of U.S. troops," CNN's Barbara Starr reports citing several U.S. defense officials.

Why it matters: Russia, Iraq and the U.S. are fighting for dominance in the area. Russia alleges that U.S. troops are protecting militants in a strategic location along the borders of Syria, Jordan and Iraq. According to CNN, "Moscow's declaration has sharply raised U.S. commanders' concerns that American forces would be at risk if a Russian attack goes forward."

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Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorization โ€” Vaccinating rural America won't be easy โ€” Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  3. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators seeks stimulus deal โ€” Chuck Grassley returns to Senate after recovering from COVID-19.
  4. Economy: Wall Street wonders how bad economy has to get for Congress to act.
  5. ๐ŸŽง Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.
Alayna Treene, author ofย Sneak Peek
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan group of senators seeks coronavirus stimulus deal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At least eight Republican and Democratic senators have formed an informal working group aimed at securing new coronavirus spending during the lame-duck session, a move favored by President-elect Biden, two sources familiar with the group tell Axios.

Why it matters: It may be the most significant bipartisan step toward COVID relief in months.

FCC chairman to depart in January

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ajit Pai will leave his post as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Jan. 20, the agency said today.

Why it matters: Pai's Inauguration Day departure is in keeping with agency tradition, and could set up the Biden administration with a 2-1 Democratic majority at the FCC if the Senate fails to confirm another Trump nominee during the lame-duck period.