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Mikhail Klimentyev / AP

A DEFCON warning in next week's issue of The New Yorker ... "Active Measures" — by Evan Osnos in D.C., Editor David Remnick in NYC and Joshua Yaffa in Moscow — on fears of the neutering of NATO and the decoupling of America from European security: "If that happens, it gives Putin all kinds of opportunities."

Strobe Talbott, who was President Bill Clinton's leading adviser on Russia and the region, and now is Brookings President:

"There is a very real danger not only that we are going to lose a second Cold War — or have a redo and lose — but that the loss will be largely because of a perverse pal-ship, the almost unfathomable respect that Trump has for Putin."

Why it matters: Talbott, on the consequences of "losing" such a conflict: "The not quite apocalyptic answer is that it is going to take years and years and years to get back to where we — we the United States and we the champions of the liberal world order — were as recently as five years ago."

"An even graver scenario, Talbott said, would be an 'unravelling,' in which we revert to 'a dog-eat-dog world with constant instability and conflict even if it doesn't go nuclear. But, with the proliferation of nuclear powers, it is easy to see it going that way, too.'"

The fantasy of a Hillary Clinton senior adviser:

"[W]hat if Barack Obama had gone to the Oval Office, or the East Room of the White House, and said, 'I'm speaking to you tonight to inform you that the United States is under attack. The Russian government at the highest levels is trying to influence our most precious asset, our democracy, and I'm not going to let it happen.'"

David Ignatius column in WashPost: "We may be missing the forest for the trees in the Russia story: The Kremlin's attempt to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election is part of a much bigger tale of Russian covert action — in which Donald Trump's campaign was perhaps a tool, witting or unwitting."

  • "This secret manipulation, if unchecked, could pose an 'existential threat' to Western democracy, argues Gérard Araud, France's ambassador to Washington."
  • "If the United States and its allies don't resist, a post-West era may indeed be next."
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Go deeper

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Health: CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use" — Death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased testing can reduce transmission.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Cities: Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.
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Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate

Golden Gate Park. Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty

Counties around the San Francisco Bay Area will adopt California’s new regional stay-at-home order amid surges in cases and ICU hospitalizations, health officials said Friday.

The big picture: California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a three-week stay-at-home order on Thursday that would go into effect in regions with less than 15% ICU capacity. Despite the Bay Area’s current 25.3% ICU capacity, health officials from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco and the city of Berkeley are moving ahead with a shelter-in-place mandate in the hopes of reducing risk.