Lloyd Austin

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Fumio Kishida set to become Japan’s next prime minister

Top of The World: Fumio Kishida, Japan’s former foreign minister, has won the Liberal Democratic Party leadership election, all but assuring he’ll become the country’s next prime minister. And, senators in Washington on Tuesday grilled top Pentagon officials over the chaotic and violent US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Also, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seeking to ease concerns over fuel shortages in the country by placing army troops on standby to help distribute gasoline.

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Top Pentagon leaders in the hot seat over Afghanistan withdrawal

Top of The World: Top Pentagon officials are expected to face tough questions from Congress on Tuesday in their first public testimony since the US completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan last month. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Watch the testimony streaming live here.

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US top diplomats visit Persian Gulf to reassure allies

Top of The World: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin are in Qatar for talks aimed at reassuring Gulf allies that the Biden administration is not abandoning its partners in the Middle East by withdrawing from Afghanistan. And, the pre-trial of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is set to resume at the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Also, El Salvador has become the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.

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Bloody police raid in Brazil leaves at least 25 dead

Top of The World: Police in a Rio de Janeiro slum engaged in an hourslong gunbattle Thursday targeting drug traffickers and leading to the death of at least 25 people. And, for the third time in May, health officials in India reported more than 400,000 coronavirus infections in a 24-hour period. Also, a discarded section of a Chinese rocket is set to fall back to Earth as early as Saturday in an uncontrolled reentry.

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US to coordinate with NATO on troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

Top of The World: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are meeting with NATO officials in Brussels to discuss a withdrawal of the military alliance from Afghanistan. And, the Ever Given, the massive cargo ship that recently blocked the Suez Canal for a week, has been impounded until $900 million in compensation is paid. Also, Somalian President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has signed a controversial law extending his mandate in office for two years

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Iran blames Israel for blackout, vows revenge

Top of The World: Iran has blamed Israel on Monday for an act of “cybersabotage” that caused a blackout at the country’s Natanz nuclear facility. Also, Monday marks the start of the holy month of Ramadan and for the second time under coronavirus restrictions. And voters in Ecuador have rejected the leftist movement giving former banker Guillermo Lasso 53% of the vote and the presidency

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Biden administration launches airstrikes in eastern Syria

Top of The World: The Biden administration took its first military action on Thursday, launching airstrikes on Iran-backed militias in Syria. And, new report suggests that Eritrean soldiers systematically killed hundreds of people in Ethiopia. Also, in a second kidnapping in a little over a week, police in Nigeria said armed gunmen abducted over 300 schoolgirls.

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House prosecutors set to wrap their impeachment case against Trump

Top of The World: As the impeachment managers look to wrap-up their case on Thursday in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, Senators were shown never-before-seen security camera footage that illustrated how close the rioters came to lawmakers. And, New Zealand Indigenous lawmaker Rawiri Waititi, co-leader of Maori Party, has won his battle against wearing a tie in the New Zealand Parliament. Loujain al-Hathloul, one of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent women’s rights activists, has been released from jail.