May 18, 2018

2018 is worst year in Syria's humanitarian crisis, UN official says

Photo: Nazeer AL-KHATIB / AFP

Syria's humanitarian crisis is more severe this year than at any previous time in the seven-year civil war, United Nation's Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria Panos Moumtzis said on Friday, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Many of those suffering are unable to get help. Per Reuters, 2.05 million people are "in need of humanitarian assistance" but live "in hard-to-reach areas." Moumtzis said 75% of healthcare workers in the country have fled, and 70% of attacks on healthcare workers and facilities worldwide take place in Syria. Meanwhile just 7% of aid delivery requests made to Syrian authorities this year were granted, compared to 27% in 2017.

Go deeper

Inside Trump's antifa tweet

President Trump at Cape Canaveral on May 30. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As recently as Saturday night, senior administration officials told me that the designation of a violent cohort of far-left activists, antifa, as a terrorist organization was not being seriously discussed at the White House. But that was Saturday.

Behind the scenes: The situation changed dramatically a few hours later, after prominent conservative allies of the president, such as his friend media commentator Dan Bongino, publicly urged a tough response against people associated with antifa (short for "anti-fascist").

U.S. enters 6th day of nationwide protests over George Floyd's killing

A protest in Philadelphia on May 31. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Protests continued across the country for the sixth day in a row on Sunday, as demonstrators called for justice in response to the deaths of George Floyd, EMT Breonna Taylor, jogger Ahmaud Arbery and countless other black Americans who have suffered at the hands of racism and police brutality.

What's happening: Protestors in D.C. broke one police barricade outside the White House on Sunday evening after reportedly demonstrating for several hours. The atmosphere was still largely peaceful as of 6pm ET.

Trump privately scolded, warned by allies

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Over the past couple of days, numerous advisers both inside and outside the White House have urged the president to tone down his violent rhetoric, which many worry could escalate racial tensions and hurt him politically.

Behind the scenes: The biggest source of internal concern was Trump's escalatory tweet, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." Some advisers said it could damage him severely with independent voters and suburban women.