(Associated Press/Tom Williams)

Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician and retired Navy rear admiral who had a short run as the nominee for the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2018, now plans to run for a seat in Congress.

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Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is pictured as he speaks with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (not pictured) during a dinner at the Hotel de Matignon in Paris, France November 21, 2018. (Reuters/Lucas Barioulet)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In the years after 9/11, former U.S. counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke warned Congress that the country needed more expansive spying powers to prevent another catastrophe. Five years after leaving government, he shopped the same idea to an enthusiastic partner: an Arab monarchy with deep pockets.

In 2008, Clarke went to work as a consultant guiding the United Arab Emirates as it created a cyber surveillance capability that would utilize top American intelligence contractors to help monitor threats against the tiny nation.

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Staff Sgt. Levi Eck, 193rd Special Operations Wing and Sgt. Stephen Brown, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Specialist with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 55th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 28th Infantry Division, both with the Pennsylvania National Guard work on the tank of a M149 water trailer. They are also known as 'water buffaloes'. The Pennsylvania National Guard members assisted residents of U.S. Army Carlisle Barracks by supplying potable water Aug. 5 during the installation's water ban. (U.S. Army National Guard/Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Keeler)

A multimillion dollar federal study on toxic chemicals in drinking water across the country is facing delays due to a dispute within the Trump administration, according to several sources involved in the study or who have knowledge of the process.

The dispute has implications for more than half a dozen communities where drinking water has been heavily contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Concerns about the chemicals have exploded nationally in recent years, following decades of PFAS use in products including non-stick cookware, water-resistant clothing, food packaging, carpets and military firefighting foams. Scientists say significant delays could limit the effectiveness of the study.

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Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday he fired Richard Spencer after learning the Navy secretary had secretly tried to broker a deal with the White House allowing Navy Chief Eddie Gallagher to retire and keep his SEAL Trident so long as President Trump did not intervene.

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence greets troops after helping to serve a Thanksgiving meal to U.S. troops in a dining facility at Camp Flores on Al Asad Air Base, Iraq November 23, 2019. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Vice President Mike Pence visited Iraq on Saturday to reassure Iraqi Kurds of U.S. support after President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria drew criticism that Washington had betrayed its Kurdish allies there.

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Master Sgt. Matthew Williams was presented with the Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House on Wednesday, as President Donald Trump recognized his "incredible heroism" in battle.

"Matt, we salute your unyielding service, your unbreakable resolve, and your untiring devotion to our great nation and the nation that we all love. Your spirit keeps our flag waving high, our families safe at home, and our hearts beating with American pride," President Trump said. "On behalf of the entire nation, our great U.S.A., our incredible United States of America, we are forever grateful for your life of service and your outstanding courage."

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