May 1, 2019

16-year-old Guatemalan migrant dies in U.S. custody in Texas

Group of migrants from Guatemala and El Salvador crossed the Rio Grande to ask for political asylum in the U.S. Photo: David Peinado/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant boy, who traveled to the U.S. alone, died on Tuesday after being held in government custody in Texas, the AP reports.

The big picture: This is the latest in a string of child deaths in detention centers, almost certainly intensifying pressure on the Trump administration as record numbers of Central American migrants continue to cross the southern border. On Wednesday, the White House requested $4.5 billion in emergency funding to help manage what it called a "humanitarian and security crisis."

Details: The unidentified teen was reportedly taken to a facility operated by the Department of Health and Human Services on April 20, but didn’t show signs of any health-related issues.

  • The next day, he became noticeably ill with fever, chills and a headache. He was taken to a hospital where he was treated and released that day, per the AP. The teen was sent to another hospital and later transferred to a third facility. He died on Tuesday.
  • His cause of death remains unknown and under investigation.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Esper catches White House off guard with opposition to military use, photo op

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at a press briefing Wednesday that he does not support invoking the Insurrection Act, an 1807 law that permits the president to use active-duty troops on U.S. soil, in order to quell protests against racial injustice.

Why it matters: President Trump threatened this week to deploy military forces if state and local governments aren't able to squash violent protests. Axios reported on Wednesday that Trump is backing off the idea for now, but that he hasn't ruled it out.

Chinese coronavirus test maker agreed to build a Xinjiang gene bank

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A leading Chinese gene sequencing and biomedical firm that said it would build a gene bank in Xinjiang is supplying coronavirus tests around the world.

Why it matters: U.S. officials are worried that widespread coronavirus testing may provide an opportunity for state-connected companies to compile massive DNA databases for research as well as genetics-based surveillance.

58 mins ago - World

Trump administration to ban Chinese airlines from flying to U.S.

An Air China aircraft landing in New York City in January 2020. Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that Chinese passenger airlines will be banned from flying to the United States starting June 16.

Why it matters: Heated tensions between Washington and Beijing are now beginning to impact the airline industry, as the DOT has accused the Chinese government of preventing U.S. airlines from resuming flights to China after suspending them earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.