Why it matters: Former President Trump took office four years ago questioning NATO's relevance and value to the United States. President Biden and his team are sending just the opposite signal, with Austin emphasizing America's "steadfast commitment" to the alliance and signing off with "#WeAreNATO."
House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff on Friday formally asked Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to declassify a report on the 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Why it matters: The Washington Post has reported that the CIA concluded with a high degree of confidence that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — a close ally of the Trump administration — ordered Khashoggi's assassination. The Trump administration never released the report to the public.
10 months ago, the Tokyo Olympics were postponed. Now, less than six months ahead of their new start date, the dreaded word is being murmured: "canceled."
Driving the news: The Japanese government has privately concluded that the Games will have to be called off, The Times reports (subscription), citing an unnamed senior government source.
President Biden swiftly recommitted the U.S. to the Paris climate pact and the World Health Organization, but America's broader foreign policy is in a state of flux between the Trump and Biden eras.
Driving the news: One of the most striking moves from the Biden administration thus far was a show of continuity — concurring with the Trump administration's last-minute determination that China had committed "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims.
The race to lead Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) came down to a conservative, a modernizer and a continuity candidate.
What happened: The party of Angela Merkel opted for continuity on Sunday, picking North Rhine-Westphalia Governor Armin Laschet, a centrist Merkel ally. With Merkel set to step down later this year after 16 years in power, Laschet is now the frontrunner to lead the German center-right into September's elections.
President Biden will seek a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact with Russia before it expires on Feb. 5, senior officials told the Washington Post.
Why it matters: The 2010 treaty is the last remaining constraint on the arsenals of the world's two nuclear superpowers, limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines which can deliver them.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close aides are very nervous about the transition to a new U.S. administration after a four-year honeymoon with Donald Trump. One Israeli official told me it felt like going through detox.
What he's saying: Netanyahu congratulated Biden minutes after he was sworn in, saying in a statement that he looked forward to working together to "continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran."
World leaders have pledged to work with President Biden on issues including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, with many praising his move to begin the formal process for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.