Oct 23, 2019

39 people found dead in truck container in southern England

Forensic officers stand in front of the truck in which 39 bodies were discovered. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

British police have launched a murder investigation after 39 people were found dead in a truck container outside of London, the BBC reports.

Why it matters: The incident highlights the perils that some migrants willingly accept when traveling to Europe. Essex police said they believe the vehicle originated in Bulgaria and entered the U.K. through the Welsh port of Holyhead on Saturday, raising the possibility that it first traveled through Ireland.

  • One victim was a teenager and the rest were adults. There were no survivors. The identities of the victims are unknown.
  • Police arrested the driver of the truck, a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, on suspicion of murder.

What they're saying: Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, "I know that the thoughts and prayers of all members will be with those who lost their lives and their loved ones," according to the BBC.

  • Irish Premier Leo Varadkar said the deaths were a "human tragedy", adding that investigations would be undertaken to establish if the truck had passed through Ireland.

Go deeper: Europe's biggest refugee camp overflows as migration surges again

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Snapchat will no longer promote Trump's account in Discover

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Snapchat will no longer promote President Trump's account on its "Discover" page of curated content, a spokesperson tells Axios, after Trump tweeted comments that some suggested glorified violence amid racial justice protests.

Why it matters: Snapchat is taking action on the president's account for comments he made elsewhere. That's going farther than other big tech firms and signals a commitment to aligning content served to users with core values, rather than making moderation decisions based narrowly on each post made on its own platform.

Updated 1 hour 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.