The Biden administration and the Israeli government held talks recently on countering the proliferation of Iranian drones and cruise missiles among its proxies in Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.
Why it matters: After several drone attacks from pro-Iranian militias in recent weeks, some of which were thwarted, the U.S. and Israel are highly concerned that the technology will spread to additional groups who could target their forces in the region.
British naval vessels dispatched to break a French blockade, Scottish nationalists attempting to break away from the U.K., and working class voters in the northeast breaking for the Conservatives after voting Labour for six decades.
Why it matters: That was just one day in the topsy turvy reality of post-Brexit Britain.
The United Kingdom's government announced Wednesday it has deployed two Royal Navy patrol vessels to the island of Jersey "as a precautionary measure," as tensions over fishing rights escalate with France.
Why it matters: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement the government took the action to protect Jersey against potential threats of "a blockade" of French fishing boats at the island, which is off the coast of northwest France.
It took two general elections, three prime ministers, and just over 4 1/2 years, but as of today Britain finally has the Brexit it voted for in June 2016.
The big picture: Britain has left Europe's single market and customs union, and is no longer governed by European law.
The historic post-Brexit trade deal reached between Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government and the European Union was signed into U.K. law by Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday morning.
Why it matters: The law will come into effect at 11pm Thursday U.K. time when the Brexit transition period officially ends.
Ambassadors for the European Union's 27 member states have unanimously approved the provisional application of a post-Brexit trade deal on Jan. 1, a German spokesperson confirmed on Monday.
Why it matters: It's an expected, but crucial step in staving off a potentially catastrophic "no-deal" Brexit on Jan. 1, coming days after the U.K. government and European Commission announced they had reached a stunning breakthrough after months of stalled negotiations.
The United Kingdom and the European Union have reached a historic trade deal, staving off a potentially catastrophic "no-deal" Brexit cliff on Dec. 31.
Why it matters: The two sides appear to have defied the odds, striking a complex free trade agreement in record time after nine months of intense negotiations. Both the U.K. and EU had warned in recent weeks that a no-deal scenario was "very likely" as talks appeared on the verge of collapse.
At least 31 countries, including 18 in the neighboring European Union, have banned travel from the United Kingdom after the British government warned that a new variant of the coronavirus could be up to 70% more transmissible.
Why it matters: Supply chains are being disrupted just days before the U.K. is set to end the Brexit transition period without a free trade agreement with the EU — its largest and closest trading partner. A no-deal Brexit could cause massive damage to a British economy that's already been ravaged by the pandemic.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Sunday they have agreed to extend negotiations on a post-Brexit trade deal.
Why it matters: The deadline for a deal was Sunday. "Despite the exhaustion after almost a year of negotiations, despite the fact that deadlines have been missed over and over, we think it is responsible at this point to go the extra mile," the leaders said in a joint statement after speaking by phone on Sunday. "We have accordingly mandated our negotiators to continue the talks and to see whether an agreement can even at this late stage be reached."
The European Commission published a series of contingency measures on Thursday to ensure that basic air and road connectivity are maintained in the increasingly likely event that a free trade agreement is not reached with the U.K. by the end of the Brexit transition period.
Why it matters: It's the surest sign yet that the U.K. is headed for a cliff-edge Brexit on Dec. 31, coming one day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels and failed to make progress on major sticking points.