Apr 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden vows to recognize 1915 Armenian genocide

Joe Biden. Photo: Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted on Friday that he will formally recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide if elected president.

Why it matters: President Trump and past presidents have previously avoided the issue, Politico writes. The Senate passed a resolution last December, classifying the event as a genocide. However the Trump administration did not formally acknowledge the event, as such a decision could harm relations with NATO-ally Turkey.

"If we do not fully acknowledge, commemorate, and teach our children about genocide, the words 'never again' lose their meaning. The facts must be as clear and as powerful for future generations as for those whose memories are seared by tragedy. Failing to remember or acknowledge the fact of a genocide only paves the way for future mass atrocities."
— Biden wrote in a Medium post

Context: The mass killing of Armenians occurred when the Ottoman Turks tried to transport them from eastern Anatolia to the Syrian desert during World War I. Turkey claims 300,000 died, but Armenia estimates the number is closer to 1.5 million, BBC reports.

Go deeper: Trump administration says Armenian genocide bill does not change its position

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Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.

House Democrats pull FISA reauthorization bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats pulled legislation Thursday that would have renewed expired domestic surveillance laws and strengthened transparency and privacy protections amid broad opposition from President Trump, House GOP leadership and progressive Democrats.

Why it matters: The failure to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) comes as Trump continues to attack the intelligence community, which he claims abused the law to surveil his 2016 campaign and Trump administration officials.

U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter

Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimated 4.8% contraction — according to revised figures released by the government on Thursday.

Why it matters: It's the worst quarterly decline since 2008 and shows a huge hit as the economy was just beginning to shut down because of the coronavirus. Economists are bracing for the second quarter's figures to be the worst ever — with some projecting an annualized decline of around 40%.

2 hours ago - Economy & Business