The Morning Dispatch: More Tense U.S.-China Talks

Happy Tuesday! May you one day experience joy as pure and righteous as that of Dean Boxall, coach of gold-medal winning Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus. Steve did yesterday, when ESPN reported that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will very likely come back for one more season with the team.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • Civilian casualties in Afghanistan have reached record highs after accelerating over the past several months, according to a new report from the United Nations. Nearly half of the recorded casualties this year have been women and children. The Wall Street Journal adds that thousands of Afghans are fleeing to Turkey, which already holds 3.6 million Syrian refugees.

  • The Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday became the first federal agency to require COVID-19 vaccinations for most of its employees. Title 38 VA health care personnel—physicians, dentists, registered nurses, optometrists, etc.—will have eight weeks to be fully vaccinated.  

  • President Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi finalized an agreement on Monday that would formally end the United States’ combat mission in Iraq by the end of 2021. “The security relationship will fully transition to a training, advising, assisting, and intelligence-sharing role,” a joint statement from the U.S. and Iraqi governments read. “There will be no U.S. forces with a combat role in Iraq by December 31, 2021.”

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