Mar 25, 2019

Boris Johnson says Theresa May's "chicken," U.K. "blinked" on Brexit

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The United Kingdom's former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson rebuked Prime Minister Theresa May in his Daily Telegraph column, saying she's a "chicken" whose government "blinked" in Brexit negotiations with the European Union.

"We are not leaving this Friday because the government has chickened out. Extend the implementation period to the end of 2021 if necessary ... but come out of the EU now — without the [Irish] backstop. It is time for the PM to channel the spirit of Moses in Exodus, and say to Pharaoh in Brussels – let my people go."

Why it matters: Britain was supposed to exit the EU Friday, but the European Council gave it a Brexit extension to April 12.

Between the lines: May faces pressure to resign over Brexit. The Sunday Times reported 11 ministers planned to tell her a caretaker leader should take over, though 2 ministers linked to the report said they backed her, according to the BBC. She met with senior Conservative Party members to discuss Brexit Sunday afternoon — including Johnson.

What's next? The U.K. Parliament is due to hold several votes on Brexit this week, including on May's withdrawal deal, opting for a no deal and whether there should be a second referendum.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about Brexit

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 1,579,690 — Total deaths: 94,567 — Total recoveries: 346,780Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 452,582 — Total deaths: 16,129 — Total recoveries: 24,790Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under coronavirus 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 — Another 6.6 million jobless claims were filed last week.
  5. World latest: Boris Johnson is moved out of ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  6. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Biden rolls out new policies in effort to court Sanders supporters

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The Biden campaign announced two new policies on Thursday on health care and student debt that are squarely aimed at appealing to supporters of Bernie Sanders, who ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The policies don't go as far as Sanders' platform, but they signal that Biden is serious about incorporating elements of his former rival's agenda in an effort to help unify the Democratic Party and defeat President Trump in the general election.

Reports: Saudi Arabia and Russia reach major deal to cut oil production

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OPEC+, led by mega-producers Saudi Arabia and Russia, reached a tentative agreement Thursday to impose large cuts in oil production as the coronavirus pandemic fuels an unprecedented collapse in demand, per Bloomberg and Reuters.

Why it matters: The revival of the OPEC+ collaboration patches up the early March rupture between the countries, which had pushed already depressed prices down much further by threatening to unleash even more new supplies into the saturated market.