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Photograph of aircraft flying in formation over the aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush during a joint training exercise. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

After being deactivated for seven years, the U.S. Navy has formally reactivated the 2nd Fleet based in Norfolk, Virginia, in an effort to explore Russia's military expansion, Politico reports.

The details: Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said the move is not because the Navy is "looking for a fight." The Navy had depended on the Cold War-era naval command "for decades to confront adversaries in the waters off North America," per Politico. The fleet will be responsible for assigning ships, aircraft and Marine landing forces "for potential operations along the East Coast and in the North Atlantic, where melting Arctic ice has also heightened the competition for natural resources."

What they're saying: During a ceremony aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, Fleet Forces Command chief Adm. Chris Grady explained, "We as a Navy, as a nation, have not had to confront such peer competitors since the Cold War ended nearly three decades ago... Our sea control and our power projection, two vital elements of our national security, are being challenged by resurgent foreign powers, namely Russia and China."

Go deeper

6 mins ago - World

Palestinian Authority announces new COVID restrictions as cases surge

A nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Photo: Hazem Bader/AFP via Getty Images

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday announced fresh coronavirus restrictions, including a partial lockdown, for the occupied West Bank as COVID-19 cases surge.

The big picture: The new measures come as Israel, which leads the world in vaccinations, faces increased pressure to ensure Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have equal access to vaccines.

49 mins ago - World

Myanmar military fires UN ambassador after anti-coup speech

Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Myanmar's military regime on Saturday fired the country's Ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, a day after he gave a pro-democracy speech asking UN member nations to publicly condemn the Feb. 1 coup, The New York Times reports.

Details: State television said the ambassador had "betrayed the country and spoken for an unofficial organization which doesn’t represent the country and had abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador."

Scoop: Biden admin call on Putin pipeline provokes GOP anger

Putin chairs a video meeting in July 2020. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

A briefing between the State Department and congressional staff over Vladimir Putin's Russia-Germany gas pipeline got tense this week, with Biden officials deflecting questions about why they hadn't moved faster and more aggressively with sanctions to stop its completion.

  • The Biden officials also denied negotiating with the Germans over a potential side deal to allow the pipeline to be finished.

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