Why it matters: China is becoming the most formidable rival America has faced, and the risk of confrontation with Russia, North Korea or Iran still looms. Authoritarians are rising, the chaotic Afghanistan exit revealed the limits of U.S. power, and the pandemic, climate change and other critical challenges continue to pose grave threats.

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U.S. freezes aid to Sudan over military coup

Protesting the coup in Khartoum. Photo: AFP via Getty

The Biden administration froze a $700 million aid package to Sudan after a military coup on Monday threatened to end the country's transition toward democracy.

Driving the news: At least three protesters have been killed and dozens wounded in the chaotic scenes that followed the announcements from Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's ruling council, dissolving the government and declaring a state of emergency.

Erdoğan walks back threat to expel 10 Western diplomats

President Erdoğan addressing the U.N. Photo: Timothy A. Clary-Pool/Getty Images

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday walked back threats to expel 10 Western ambassadors from the country, according to the New York Times.

Driving the news: Last Saturday, Erdoğan threatened to declare 10 ambassadors personae non gratae after they called for the release of jailed philanthropist Osman Kavala.

6 hours ago - World

U.S. releases updated vaccination, testing rules for foreign travelers

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Foreign travelers will be allowed entry to the U.S. beginning Nov. 8 if they can provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with a shot authorized by the World Health Organization and a negative test within three days of departure, the White House announced Monday.

Why it matters: The updated guidance, which exempts children under the age of 18 from the vaccine requirement, is intended to provide further clarity for airlines and foreign nationals who have been restricted from traveling to the U.S. since early 2020.

7 hours ago - Sports

Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February 2021 in Beijing. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Athletes, staff members and journalists at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to quarantine for three weeks, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined in its newly-published "playbooks."

Why it matters: The quarantine period is longer than the Games themselves, meaning vaccinations or an earlier arrival date will be required to participate in or cover the Games.

8 hours ago - World

U.S. and allies plan next moves if Iran won't resume nuclear talks

Rob Malley. Photo: Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency/Getty

The Biden administration is discussing potential next steps with partners in the Middle East and Europe if Iran doesn't return to negotiations in Vienna, U.S. Iran envoy Rob Malley told reporters in a conference call on Monday.

Why it matters: Talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June, and the Iranians continue to say they need more time to prepare to reenter the negotiations. In the meantime, Iran’s nuclear program is making significant advances, with uranium enrichment levels moving ever closer to the 90% grade needed to produce a nuclear weapon.

10 hours ago - World

Amnesty International to close Hong Kong offices due to national security law

The Amnesty International logo is seen in their office in Hong Kong. Photo: Isaac Lawrence/AFP via Getty Images

Amnesty International said Monday it will close its two Hong Kong offices by the end of the year.

Driving the news: The organization cited Beijing's national security law, which has made it harder for human rights groups to operate in Hong Kong.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
10 hours ago - Economy & Business

Telstra buys Digicel's Pacific operations with government backing

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Telstra (ASX: TLS) agreed to buy the Pacific operations of telecoms firm Digicel Group for at least US$1.6 billion, with the Australian government providing most of the financing.

Why it matters: This is about Australia trying to blunt China's rising regional influence, following reports last year that Digicel was in talks to sell its Pacific business to China Mobile.

Updated 14 hours ago - World

U.S. threatens to cut aid to Sudan after military takeover

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

The latest: The head of the military faction of the Sudanese government, Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, said in a statement that he is announcing a state of emergency, suspending several parts of the interim constitution and dissolving the civilian government and interim sovereignty council — the highest governing body in the country.

Updated 22 hours ago - World

Saudi dissident claims MBS said he could get "poison ring" to kill king

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attending the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, via video link, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday. Photo: Royal Court of Saudi Arabia/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A former senior Saudi intelligence official who worked with the U.S. on counterterrorism alleged to "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed in 2014 killing the kingdom's then-monarch.

Why it matters: The claim by the exiled Saad al-Jabri, whom Saudi authorities describe as "a discredited former government official," that the crown prince, known as "MBS," allegedly said he could obtain a "ring from Russia" to carry out the attack, is one of several serious but unproven allegations he made on the CBS show.

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