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Carl Icahn denies knowing about steel tariffs before stock sale

Carl Icahn
Carl Icahn. Photo by Adam Jeffery via Getty Images.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is denying that he knew about President Trump's steel tariff plan before it was formally disclosed.

Why it matters: Icahn sold at least part of his stake in The Manitowoc Co., which relies heavily on steel, ahead of Trump's announcement last Thursday. The stock has since fallen more than 5%, but Icahn — who once served as an unpaid economic advisor to Trump — had declined comment until today.

Icahn's statement:

"Any suggestion that we had prior knowledge of the Trump administration’s announcement of new tariffs on steel imports is categorically untrue. We reduced our position in Manitowoc for legitimate investment reasons having nothing to do with that announcement.”

What we still don't know: If Icahn has sold more Manitowoc shares since his initial disclosure, and what those "legitimate investment reasons" were.

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The worst flu season in eight years

Note: Activity levels are based on outpatient visits in a state compared to the average number of visits that occur during weeks with little or no flu virus circulation; Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

This year's flu season caught many experts off guard with both its sustained prevalence and its virulence. At its peak, there was a higher level of flu-like illnesses reported than any other year during the past eight years. Watch in the visual as it hits its peak around Week 18.

Why it matters: Public health officials try to capture this data when developing the next year's vaccines. And, of course, they want to find better ways to prevent severe flu seasons. There's a "Strategic Plan" to develop a universal vaccine to protect against a wider range of influenza viruses, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tells Axios.

Shannon Vavra 3 hours ago
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What it's like to negotiate with North Korea

Cups and a weapon.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

President Trump may find himself in a difficult position as soon as he sits down with Kim Jong-un, according to Jim Walsh, who has been in the room for previous talks and says North Korea’s first pitch is often a curveball.

“I’ve been in settings [in which they] set it at the top of the meeting, ‘we’re not going to talk about denuclearization,’" Walsh told Axios. "People on the other side say ‘why the hell are we meeting?’”