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Forces loyal to Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar patroling in downtown Sebha, the biggest city in southern Libya, in February. Photo: -/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. government on Sunday temporarily halted its military support for counterterrorism activities and diplomatic missions in Libya as rival militias try to stop fighters loyal to Libyan strongman Gen. Khalifa Hafter from advancing toward the capital of Tripoli, the New York Times reports.

Details: This comes days after the Libyan National Army, led by Hafter, launched a surprise offensive against the capital to seize control — a move that could ultimately plunge the country back into civil war. Early on Sunday, both sides launched airstrikes, “but the exact targets and extent of the damage could not be immediately determined,” per the Times. Meanwhile, the United Nations reportedly said its forces remain active in Libya.

Go deeper

CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions

CDC director Rochelle Walensky warned states on Monday that "now is not the time" to lift public health restrictions, as the recent dramatic declines in coronavirus cases and deaths "appear to be stalling."

Why it matters: While the average of 70,000 new infections and 2,000 daily deaths is nowhere near the extremely high levels recorded at the start of 2021, the figures are still a poor baseline to "stop a potential fourth surge" — especially with the threat posed by more contagious new variants, Walensky warned.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduces "ultra-millionaire" wealth tax bill

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday introduced a bill in the Senate that would impose a new tax on the assets of America's wealthiest individuals.

Why it matters: The plan, which Warren introduced along with Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) is similar to a proposal that was the centerpiece of Warren's campaign for the presidency in 2020.

2 hours ago - World

Former French President Sarkozy sentenced to jail for corruption

Nicolas Sarkozy, 2011. Photo: XINHUA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

A court in Paris on Monday sentenced former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to one year in prison and a two-year suspended sentence after he was found guilty of trying to bribe a magistrate, AP reports.

Driving the news: Sarkozy, who was president from 2007 to 2012, is the first president in France’s modern history to have gone on trial for corruption, per AP. He was charged with corruption and influence-peddling.