Greg Myre

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U.S. presidents have a tradition of entering office and expressing hope for improved relations with Russia. With near perfect symmetry, this is matched by a tradition of presidents leaving office amid friction with Moscow.

Sometimes it takes years for optimism to turn to disillusionment. In the case of President Trump, there are warning signs after just a few months.

"If we could get along with Russia, that's a positive thing," Trump said shortly after his inauguration. "It would be great."

With an attack on a Syrian air base, the United States has now bombed the two main players in Syrian war — President Bashar Assad's military and the Islamic State.

This raises a fundamental question about U.S. aims in the Syrian war: If the two most powerful groups in Syria are both unacceptable, what outcome is the U.S. seeking?

Both Barack Obama and President Trump have sought to limit U.S. involvement in Syria for their own reasons. Yet both have been sucked in and struggled to clearly define their objectives in the messy, complicated war.

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World War I sometimes seems like the war America forgot.

The U.S. entered the fight a century ago, on April 6, 1917, nearly three years after it erupted in Europe during the summer of 1914. The Americans made quite a splash, turning a stalemate in favor of their British and French allies.

Imagine you're a military officer in World War I. Armies have grown so large, you can no longer communicate just by the sound of your voice or the wave of your hand. You need to synchronize movements of troops and artillery, far and wide.

You need a wristwatch.

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Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET

Airline passengers coming to the U.S. and Britain on direct flights from a number of majority-Muslim nations must now place most electronic devices, including laptops, tablets and cameras, in checked baggage under stepped-up security measures, the Trump administration and the British government said.

Passengers can still carry smartphones into the plane's cabin, but nothing larger, officials from the two countries added.

With a series of airstrikes and a recent ground raid, the U.S. military has intensified a long-running campaign against al-Qaida in Yemen, which is considered more dangerous than the group's parent organization.

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