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‘America’s got to up its game in the Arctic’: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis

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The United States needs to “up its game” in the Arctic and deal with an increasingly important and developing part of the world, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday, as a warming Arctic opens up new sea lanes and oil and minerals reserves.

“Certainly America’s got to up its game in the Arctic. There’s no doubt about that,” Mattis told reporters in Alaska before leaving on an Asia trip.

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Mattis said part of that would be an increased coast guard presence.

Warming in the Arctic has raised the prospect of a new rush for resources. The Arctic is estimated to hold more hydrocarbon reserves than Saudi Arabia and Russia.

“So the reality is that we’re going to have to deal with the developing Arctic … It is also going to open not just to transport but also to energy exploration,” Mattis said.

The United States and Russia have both expressed interest in boosting Arctic drilling, and Russia has bolstered its military presence in the north.

Russia, which is in the midst of a major rearmament program, has embarked upon its biggest military push in the Arctic since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, beefing up its military presence and capabilities.

Under President Vladimir Putin, Moscow is rushing to re-open abandoned Soviet military, air and radar bases on remote Arctic islands and build new ones as it pushes ahead with a claim to almost half a million square miles of the Arctic.

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Also, earlier this year China outlined ambitions to extend President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative to the Arctic by developing shipping lanes opened up by global warming.

China’s increasing prominence in the region has prompted concerns from Arctic states over its long-term strategic objectives, including possible military deployment.

Republican Senator Dan Sullivan from Alaska, standing alongside Mattis, said there was bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress to see the Arctic in more strategic terms.

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“I agree with the secretary, I think we’re behind, but I think we’re finally starting to catch up,” Sullivan said.

Reporting by Phil Stewart; Writing by Idrees Ali; Editing by James Dalgleish

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Wisconsin man charged with hate crime for intentionally killing motorcyclist out of anger at Trump

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A Wisconsin man was charged with a hate crime for intentionally hitting a motorcyclist because he's angry about President Donald Trump.

Daniel Navarro swerved his truck into a motorcycle driven by 55-year-old Philip Thiessen, who died at the scene, and police said the crash was intentional and racially motivated, reported WGBA-TV.

"Navarro stated that if Trump and white people are going to create a world like we are living in, then he has no choice and people are going to have to die," the criminal complaint says.

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Long tail of coronavirus can prolong suffering for months

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They call themselves "long-haulers", "long-tailers", or simply survivors.

Some have been sick almost as long as the new coronavirus is known to have existed.

Six months after the virus began to scorch its way across the planet, it is becoming clear that COVID-19 causes far more symptoms than first suspected.

Thousands of people of all ages are staying sick for weeks or even months.

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White House sidelining medical experts for ‘too much focus on public health’: AP reporter

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President Donald Trump and other White House officials are reportedly tuning out public health experts -- who they believe are "deep state Democrats" who aren't working against the president's re-election.

The Washington Post reported that officials with the Centers for Disease Control are feeling pressure from the president to sign off on reopening schools and businesses despite dire coronavirus risks, and Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that's what he's hearing, as well.

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