May 1, 2017

An FBI employee married an ISIS terrorist in Syria

AP

Monday's craziest story comes from CNN: Daniela Greene, an FBI employee with top-secret clearance, traveled to Syria in 2014 to marry Denis Cuspert, a German rap wannabe-turned-ISIS lieutenant. She got cold feet and somehow made it back to the U.S., but was arrested upon her return.

Why it matters: Greene's case is a huge embarrassment for the FBI, as her entrance into ISIS-controlled Syria as an American woman must have required the approval of top leadership, leading many to question what secrets she put at risk. Moreover, she received a light sentence — only two years in prison for making false statements involving international terrorism — causing speculation that she received favorable treatment during her prosecution.

  • Cuspert, who once opened for rap legend DMX, filmed an ISIS propaganda video that featured him holding a severed human head.
  • Greene was investigating Cuspert as a part of her work as a German translator for the FBI and apparently used that information to get in touch with him via Skype.
  • In June 2014, Greene — still married to an American at the time — told the FBI she was going to visit her parents in Germany, but she actually traveled to Istanbul and then onto Syria to marry Cuspert.
  • While Greene was in Syria, Cuspert featured in an ISIS propaganda video in "a field covered with dead bodies."
  • Greene avoided harsher charges through "significant, long-running, and substantial" cooperation with authorities.
  • Cuspert was believed to have been killed in an October 2015 airstrike in Raqqa, but the U.S. government rescinded that claim in August 2016.

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Top Trump ally sounds 2020 election alarm over coronavirus response

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

There is growing concern among top conservative leaders that the Trump administration isn't addressing the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus, several sources tell Axios. One top adviser said if the recovery is bungled it could cost President Trump the election.

What we're hearing: "The next 4-8 weeks is really going to decide whether Trump gets reelected," Stephen Moore, Trump's former nominee for the Federal Reserve board, told Axios. If the administration mishandles its economic recovery efforts, he said, Trump is "in big trouble."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,600,427 — Total deaths: 95,506 — Total recoveries: 354,006Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 465,329 — Total deaths: 16,513 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. 2020 latest: Top conservative leaders are concerned the Trump administration isn't addressing the virus' long-term economic impact.
  6. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  7. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  8. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  9. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return this weekend in a remotely produced episode.
  10. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

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