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US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Pentagon grappling with new vaccine orders; timing uncertain

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is vowing he “won’t let grass grow under our feet” as the department begins to implement the new vaccine and testing directives. But Pentagon officials on Friday were scrambling to figure out how to enact and enforce the changes across the vast military population and determine which National Guard and Reserve troops would be affected by the orders.

As president, Donald Trump long maintained that he could not release his tax information because his returns were being audited by the IRS.

Trump urged Justice officials to declare election ‘corrupt’

President Donald Trump urged senior Justice Department officials to declare the 2020 election results “corrupt” in a December phone call, according to handwritten notes from one of the participants in the conversation.

Senator Joe Manchin (Democrat from West Virginia) walked with an aide after a vote on the Senate floor at the US Capitol on Friday in Washington, DC. Lead Senate negotiators said they are still working on finalizing the text of the bipartisan infrastructure legislation.

Senate Votes to Advance Infrastructure Package in Rare Friday Session

The Senate overwhelmingly voted to continue to advance a $1 trillion infrastructure package in a rare Friday session, as Senate Democrats race to pass both that bipartisan bill and a party-line $3.5 trillion budget blueprint before leaving for the scheduled August recess.

In this Dec. 11, 2009, file photo, United States Marine Sergeant Isaac Tate, left, and Corporal Aleksander Aleksandrov, center, interviewed a local Afghan man with the help of a translator from the 2nd MEB, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion on a patrol in the volatile Helmand province of southern Afghanistan. More than 200 Afghans landed Friday in the United States in the first of several planned evacuation flights for former translators and others as the US ends its nearly 20-year war in Afghanistan.

First evacuation flight brings 221 Afghans, many kids, to US

The launch of the evacuation flights, bringing out former interpreters and others who fear retaliation from Afghanistan’s Taliban for having worked with American troops and civilians, highlights American uncertainty about how Afghanistan’s government and military will fare after the last US combat forces leave that country in the coming weeks.

Former president Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Nov. 13, 2020. Trump pressed top Justice Department officials late last year to declare that the election was corrupt even though they had found no instances of widespread fraud, so that he and his allies could use the assertion to try to overturn the results, according to new documents provided to Congress and obtained by The New York Times.

Trump pressed Justice Dept. to declare election results corrupt, notes show

The demands were an extraordinary instance of a president interfering with an agency that is typically more independent from the White House to advance his personal agenda. They are also the latest example of Trump’s wide-ranging campaign during his final weeks in office to delegitimize the election results.

Former president Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas on July 11, 2021.

Justice says IRS must give Trump tax returns to Congress

The Justice Department, in a reversal, says the Treasury Department must provide the House Ways and Means Committee former President Donald Trump’s tax returns, apparently ending a long legal showdown over the records.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem visits the U.S. border with Mexico on Monday, July 26, 2021, near McAllen, Texas.

South Dakota’s Noem doesn’t plan to ratchet up vaccine push

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says she has no plans to ratchet up her messaging to urge people to get a COVID-19 vaccine, even as Republican leaders across the country try to persuade vaccine skeptics to roll up their sleeves and take the shots in response to a new, more contagious variant that has sent caseloads soaring in some parts of the country.

More than 200 Afghans were due to land Friday in the United States in the first of several planned evacuation flights for former translators and others as the US ends its nearly 20-year war in Afghanistan.

‘Welcome home’: Evacuation flight brings 200 Afghans to US

The first flight evacuating Afghans who worked alongside Americans in Afghanistan brought more than 200 people, including scores of children and babies in arms, to resettlement in the United States on Friday, and President Joe Biden welcomed them home.