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Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg. Photo: Jim Young-Pool/Getty Images

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg acknowledged on Sunday that the company made a "mistake" in its handling of a cockpit warning problem before a pair of 737 MAX jets killed 346 people in Ethiopia and Indonesia, the AP reports.

Driving the news: Muilenburg told reporters in Paris that Boeing failed to adequately inform regulators and airlines about a problem with the jet’s alert system that was meant to warn pilots if false readings were being fed into an autopilot function suspected of causing both crashes. He said the handling of that warning "was not consistent" and "unacceptable," as promised “transparency” as Boeing tries to get the model back in the air.

Context: The aircraft has been grounded worldwide amid a series of ongoing investigations into the cause of the crashes. Both crashes have been tied to an aircraft control system known as MCAS, which was designed to prevent the aircraft from stalling, or losing lift, in certain flight configurations. The repeated intervention of MCAS when a stall was not imminent is thought to have contributed to both crashes and resulted in the grounding of all 737 MAX jets.

  • The crashes, which were unprecedented for a modern airliner introduction into worldwide service, prompted the FAA, Justice Department, SEC and congressional committees to launch investigations into the aircraft's design, certification and operation.

What's next: Boeing is working on the software fixes, but it's still uncertain when the agency and countries who banned the aircraft will allow it to return to the skies.

Go deeper

Scoop: Biden admin call on Putin pipeline provokes GOP anger

Putin chairs a video meeting in July 2020. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

A briefing between the State Department and congressional staff over Vladimir Putin's Russia-Germany gas pipeline got tense this week, with Biden officials deflecting questions about why they hadn't moved faster and more aggressively with sanctions to stop its completion.

  • The Biden officials also denied negotiating with the Germans over a potential side deal to allow the pipeline to be finished.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Biden: It's "not the time to relax" COVID mitigation efforts — Tracking coronavirus variants through sewage.
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.
  6. World: Brazil's capital enters 24-hour lockdown as coronavirus cases surge.

Buffett eyes slow U.S. progress, but says "never bet against America"

Warren Buffett in New York City in 2017. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Warren Buffett called progress in America "slow, uneven and often discouraging," but retained his long-term optimism in the country, in his closely watched annual shareholder letter released Saturday morning.

Why it matters: It breaks months of uncharacteristic silence from the 90-year-old billionaire Berkshire Hathaway CEO — as the fragile economy coped with the pandemic and the U.S. saw a contentious presidential election.