Russia has suffered an estimated 75,000 casualties in Ukraine invasion, U.S. officials say
Speaking to CNN, Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin said that the estimate was revealed during a classified briefing with officials from the Biden administration. That roughly correlates to the number of casualties estimated by CIA Director William Burns on July 20. The intelligence chief went on to say that Ukrainian soldiers had “suffered as well” but “probably a little less than” enemy forces. More recently, Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky’s senior advisor said that military casualties were between 100 and 200 per day. Keeping relatively quiet on the number of casualties its military has suffered, Russia announced on March 25 that it had counted 1,351 deaths.wftv.com
Many say Biden not tough enough on Russia: poll
Many people in the U.S. continue to question whether President Joe Biden is showing enough strength in response to Russia’s war against Ukraine, even as most approve of steps the U.S. is already taking and few want U.S. troops to get involved in the conflict.
Russia-Ukraine war latest: Key Russian vessel sinks as CIA warns about Putin’s potential use of nuclear weapons
As the Russia-Ukraine war entered its eighth week, Russia confirmed that its flagship vessel in the Black Sea sank — with Ukrainians claiming their anti-ship missile is to blame — while CIA Director William Burns warned the U.S. can’t “take lightly” the possibility that Russia would use nuclear weapons.news.yahoo.com
CIA director tests positive for COVID-19, has mild symptoms
CIA Director COVID FILE - Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns, center, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 8, 2022, during a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on worldwide threats. He is flanked by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, left, and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, right. Burns has tested positive for COVID-19, according to an agency statement Thursday, March 31. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) (Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON — (AP) — CIA Director William Burns has tested positive for COVID-19, according to an agency statement Thursday. Biden is not known to have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began.wftv.com
'She became our voice': Albright hailed by world leaders
As she pressed the Clinton administration into action against Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic over war crimes in the Balkans, Madeleine Albright would harken back to her own childhood as a refugee from Czechoslovakia who fled the Nazis in war-torn Europe.
US view of Putin: Angry, frustrated, likely to escalate war
Officials in recent days have publicly said they're worried the Russian president will escalate the conflict to try to break Ukraine's resistance. Intelligence officials over two days of testimony before Congress last week openly voiced concerns about what Putin might do. Burns told lawmakers that he believed Putin was "stewing in a combustible combination of grievance and ambition for many years." Putin had expected to seize Kyiv in two days, Burns said. Avril Haines, President Joe Biden's director of national intelligence, said Putin “perceives this as a war he cannot afford to lose.wftv.com
China amplifies unsupported Russian claim of Ukraine biolabs
Russia Ukraine War Bio Lab Claims In an image taken from video, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian speaks during a media briefing Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Beijing. China's Foreign Ministry has helped fuel the fire this week, repeating the Russian claim several times and calling for an investigation. Russia also supports the Assad government in Syria, which has used chemical weapons against its people in a decade-long civil war. Moscow initially claimed that its invading forces had found evidence of hasty attempts to conceal biological weapons research in Ukraine. It is not the first time Russia has spread disinformation about American biological weapons research.wftv.com
'Putin is angry': U.S. intel chiefs warn that Russia may escalate attacks
U.S. intelligence leaders on Tuesday floated the idea that Vladimir Putin may seek an exit from Ukraine if his war effort continues to stall, but that escalation of the conflict is likely to happen before the Russian president considers ending his attacks.news.yahoo.com
Most ‘Havana syndrome’ cases not linked to US adversary, CIA says
U_S_ officials say the CIA believes it's unlikely that Russia or another foreign adversary is using microwaves or other forms of directed energy to attack hundreds of American diplomats and intelligence officers who attribute their brain injuries and other symptoms to what's come to be known as “Havana syndrome.”.
Vaccine refusals in intelligence agencies raise GOP concerns
Virus Oubreak Intelligence Vaccines FILE - Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, left, next to CIA Director William Burns, testifies at a House Intelligence committee hearing on diversity and equity in the intelligence community on Oct. 27, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Thousands of intelligence officers could soon face dismissal for failing to comply with the U.S. government's vaccine mandate, leading to concerns from Republican lawmakers about potentially hurting agencies considered critical to national security. Haines says she doesn't anticipate the mandate affecting the mission of national security agencies. Citing information that he said had been provided to the House Intelligence Committee but not released publicly, Stewart said several intelligence agencies had at least 20% of their workforce unvaccinated as of late October. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined several requests to provide figures for the intelligence community.wftv.com
State Dept. names new coordinator on 'Havana Syndrome' cases
Havana Syndrome FILE - Secretary of State Antony Blinken participates in a Blue Dot Network Discussion at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Ministerial Council Meeting, Oct. 5, 2021, in Paris. Secretary of State Antony Blinken appointed a high-ranking deputy, Jonathan Moore, to coordinate the department’s task force on the cases. Blinken also appointed retired ambassador Margaret Uyehara to lead efforts to directly support care for State Department employees. The cases are known as “Havana Syndrome” dating to a series of reported brain injuries in 2016 at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba. The State Department said Friday that Deputy Secretary Brian McKeon had met with diplomats in Vienna to discuss possible cases reported this year in Austria.wftv.com
Thousands of intel officers refusing vaccine risk dismissal
Thousands of intelligence officers could soon face dismissal for failing to comply with the U.S. government's vaccine mandate, leading to concerns from Republican lawmakers about potentially hurting agencies considered critical to national security. Haines says she doesn't anticipate the mandate affecting the mission of national security agencies. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined several requests to provide figures for the intelligence community. “My question is what’s the impact on national security if we do that?” Stewart said. House Intelligence Committee Democrats say they’re confident that the vaccination mandate will not cause a problem for the intelligence community.wftv.com
Vaccine refusals in intelligence agencies raise GOP concerns
Thousands of intelligence officers could soon face dismissal for failing to comply with the U.S. government’s vaccine mandate, leading to concerns from Republican lawmakers about potentially hurting agencies considered critical to national security.
Russian security chief meets with CIA director in Moscow
MOSCOW — (AP) — A top Russian security official met the visiting chief of the Central Intelligence Agency on Tuesday, a rare encounter amid tensions between Moscow and Washington. Nikolai Patrushev, the powerful secretary of the Kremlin's Security Council, met CIA Director William Burns in Moscow to discuss U.S.-Russian relations, Patrushev's office said in a statement without providing any details. U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a June summit in Geneva in an attempt to make relations between their nations more stable and predictable. Speaking last month, Putin described relations with Washington as “quite constructive” and said he personally has developed “working, stable relations” with Biden. The Russian leader voiced hope that mutual interests would eventually help normalize U.S.-Russia ties.wftv.com
Officer accompanying CIA chief develops 'Havana' symptoms
A U.S. official says that CIA Director William Burns visited Kabul on Monday to meet with the Taliban’s top political leader. (Saul Loeb/Pool via AP) (Saul Loeb)WASHINGTON — (AP) — A U.S. intelligence officer suffered symptoms linked to a series of suspected directed-energy attacks known as “Havana syndrome” while traveling with CIA Director William Burns in India this month. The symptoms are often referred to as Havana syndrome because of a well-known series of cases affecting personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba beginning in 2016. There are at least 200 cases under investigation, half of them involving intelligence personnel. The incident in early September occurred just a few weeks after two possible cases of Havana syndrome delayed Vice President Kamala Harris' trip from Singapore to Vietnam.wftv.com
The Latest: Westerners to depart Kabul on commercial flight
The large group of foreigners would depart Thursday on a Qatar Airways flight that had earlier ferried humanitarian aid to the country, said Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani, a Qatari special envoy. Al-Qahtani said it was the first international commercial flight from Kabul airport since American forces left at the end of August, their departure accompanied by a frantic airlift of tens of thousands of foreign citizens and Afghans fleeing the Taliban. ___ISLAMABAD — Pakistan says Qatar’s foreign minister will arrive in Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad to discuss the latest situation in Afghanistan. In a statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said Qatari chief diplomat Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al Thani during his day-long visit Thursday will meet with Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and other top officials. Washington blamed Ghani’s flight and the government’s collapse for a Taliban takeover ahead of a negotiated deal.wftv.com
Taliban takeover could drive covid crisis in Afghanistan as vaccinations plummet, U.N. warns
Taliban takeover of Afghanistan: What you need to knowLive updates: Afghans running out of money as Taliban bans taking dollars out of the countryFAQ: What you need to know about the TalibanDispatch from Afghanistan: The treacherous journey into Kabul airport to escape Taliban-controlled AfghanistanMore related storiesCIA Director William Burns held secret meeting in Kabul with Taliban leader Abdul Ghani BaradarTaliban sends hundreds of fighters to final province beyond its controlBritain, other U.S. allies push back on Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline to leave KabulHere’s how the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan could affect al-Qaeda and the Islamic Statewashingtonpost.com
U.S. Senate candidate says at Ohio school board meeting that masks ‘are a form of child abuse,’ draws applause
More than 125 people harangued the West Geauga Local School Board over its mask mandate, including Josh Mandel, a Republican seeking election to the U.S. Senate. Some claimed they would sue the board.news.yahoo.com
Biden decides to stick with Aug. 31 final pullout from Kabul
A U.S. official says that CIA Director William Burns visited Kabul on Monday to meet with the Taliban’s top political leader. The official told The Associated Press the meeting between Burns and Abdul Ghani Baradar came amid the ongoing evacuations at the Kabul airport. At a news conference in Kabul, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Tuesday his group will accept “no extensions” of the deadline. The U.S. risks renewed attacks by the Taliban if its forces stay past the Aug. 31 deadline. He said ultimately it will be Biden's decision alone whether to continue military-led evacuation operations beyond Aug. 31.wftv.com
Biden faces decision on Afghanistan airlift, Taliban edict
A U.S. official says that CIA Director William Burns visited Kabul on Monday to meet with the Taliban’s top political leader. The official told The Associated Press the meeting between Burns and Abdul Ghani Baradar came amid the ongoing evacuations at the Kabul airport. At a news conference in Kabul, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Tuesday his group will accept “no extensions” of the deadline. About 21,600 people were flown safely out of Taliban-held Afghanistan in the 24-hour period that ended early Tuesday, the White House said. Milley tried to persuade the Taliban to reduce their attacks against Afghan forces, ultimately to no avail.wftv.com
Afghan airlift records best day yet: 20,000-plus flown out
A U.S. official says that CIA Director William Burns visited Kabul on Monday to meet with the Taliban’s top political leader. The official told The Associated Press the meeting between Burns and Abdul Ghani Baradar came amid the ongoing evacuations at the Kabul airport. About 21,600 people were flown safely out of Taliban-held Afghanistan in the 24-hour period that ended early Tuesday, the White House said. Milley tried to persuade the Taliban to reduce their attacks against Afghan forces, ultimately to no avail. U.S. officials said a military helicopter picked up 16 American citizens Monday and brought them to the airfield for evacuation.wftv.com
Growing mystery of suspected energy attacks draws US concern
The Biden administration faces increasing pressure to respond to a sharply growing number of reported injuries suffered by diplomats, intelligence officers and military personnel that some suspect are caused by devices that emit waves of energy that disrupt brain function.
Biden Cabinet near complete but hundreds of jobs still open
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s Cabinet is nearly complete with the confirmation of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. A panel will also vote on advancing the nomination of Polly Ellen Trottenberg to be deputy secretary of transportation. And even as the Biden administration moves through picking nominees, there's no guarantee they'll all receive a smooth confirmation. And some of the deputies have become political footballs for Republicans looking to score concessions from the Biden administration. Cruz continues to hold up Biden’s nominee for deputy secretary of state, Wendy Sherman, until sanctions are imposed.
Biden Cabinet near complete but hundreds of jobs still open
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s Cabinet is nearly complete with the confirmation of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh on Monday. A panel will also vote on advancing the nomination of Polly Ellen Trottenberg to be deputy secretary of Transportation. And even as the Biden administration moves through picking nominees, there's no guarantee they'll all receive a smooth confirmation. And some of the deputies have become political footballs for Republicans looking to score concessions from the Biden administration. Cruz continues to hold up Biden’s nominee for deputy secretary of State, Wendy Sherman, until sanctions are imposed.
Burns confirmed as CIA director as US faces diverse threats
William Burns, nominee for Central Intelligence Agency director, testifies during his Senate Select Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Tom Williams/Pool via AP)Without opposition, the Senate confirmed veteran diplomat William Burns as CIA director on Thursday, giving him control of the nation's premier spy agency as the U.S. government confronts threats from China, Russia, Iran and elsewhere. The approval, by voice vote, came soon after Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, lifted a hold he had placed on the nomination. He pledged at his confirmation hearing last month that he would deliver “unvarnished” intelligence to the White House. Burns was warmly received by Republicans at his Senate hearing, but his confirmation was held up this month by Cruz.
Biden's Russia credentials questioned over European pipeline
(Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON – After years of Democratic accusations that former President Donald Trump was too soft on Russia, the Biden administration is facing Republican criticism of its approach to Moscow. The Biden administration rejects the criticism, saying it has been clear about penalties for companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and that its goal is to bolster European energy security. Like the Trump administration before it, the Biden administration believes the pipeline will harm European energy security, particularly for countries in Eastern and Central Europe like Ukraine and Poland, which the pipeline bypasses. U.S. officials have long said they fear Russia will use the pipeline as a political tool against its neighbors. The Biden administration suggests more sanctions may be coming.
Collins to back Haaland for Interior, sealing her approval
The announcement makes Haaland's confirmation by the Senate nearly certain and follows Haaland's endorsement last week by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Manchin, a moderate from West Virginia, had been publicly undecided through two days of hearings on Haaland’s nomination by President Joe Biden. Collins said she also appreciated Haaland’s support on issues important to Maine, such as Acadia National Park, “as well as her deep knowledge of tribal issues, which has earned her the support of tribes across the country, including those in Maine.'' Interior oversees the nation's public lands and waters and leads relations with nearly 600 federally recognized tribes. AdThe Senate energy panel is set to vote on Haaland's nomination Thursday.
Biden brings no relief to tensions between US and China
Biden took office promising to move quickly to restore and repair Americas relations with the rest of the world. From Iran to Russia, Europe to Latin America, Biden has sought to cool tensions that rose during President Donald Trump’s four years in office. China and the United States are the world’s two largest economies and the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases. The backdrop is clear: The United States is convinced that it and China are engaged in a duel for global dominance. Ad“There has been huge deviation between what they believe China is and what China really is,” Yu said.
CIA nominee pledges to provide 'unvarnished' intelligence
William Burns testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on his nomination to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Tom Williams/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden's nominee to run the CIA told lawmakers Wednesday that he would keep politics out of the job and deliver “unvarnished” intelligence to politicians and policymakers even if they don't want to hear it. William Burns told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee at his confirmation hearing that “politics must stop where intelligence work begins.”“That is exactly what President Biden expects of CIA. It was the first thing he told me when he asked me to take on this role," Burns said. AdWhile Russia is in many ways a declining world power, the country remains a disruptive and potent threat, Burns said.
Trouble at home may change Biden's hand in Iran nuke talks
She was speaking of U.S. foreign objectives overall, including the Iran deal. Biden's first priority for renewed talks is getting both Iran and the United States back in compliance with the nuclear deal, which offered Iran relief from sanctions in exchange for Iran accepting limits on its nuclear material and gear. “It would be a first step.”But Biden also faces pressure both from Democrats and Republican opponents of the Iran deal. The United States' European allies will be eager to help Biden wrack up a win on the new Iran talks if possible, Nasr said. Besides tapping Sherman for his administration, Biden has called back William Burns, who led secret early talks with Iran in Oman, as his CIA director.
President-elect Joe Biden chooses veteran diplomat William Burns as CIA director
President-elect Joe Biden has chosen veteran diplomat William Burns to be his CIA director. If confirmed, he would succeed Gina Haspel, the first female CIA director, who guided the agency under President Donald Trump. “I developed enormous respect for my colleagues in the CIA,” Burns said in an online video statement Monday with Biden. The director of national intelligence, not the CIA director, was in the Cabinet. Trump elevated the CIA director post back up to a Cabinet-level position, and both Haspel and National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe sit in his Cabinet.