Feb 20, 2019

Coast Guard lieutenant arrested on suspected domestic terror plot

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Hasson, 49, was arrested Friday in Silver Spring, Maryland, on a federal criminal complaint for drug and gun charges, with reports citing an official detention memo that included a hit list, stockpiled ammunition and contact with white supremacists.

Details: "The defendant intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country ... he must be detained pending trial," according to court documents filed this week, per the Washington Post.

  • Though details such as dates and times have not been made public, officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland characterized Hasson as consumed by neofascism.
  • Hasson called for "focused violence," and was intent on killing "almost every last person on earth," according to court records filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland. Targets of the attack included media personalities and elected officials such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

What's next: The government is calling the initial charges the "proverbial tip of the iceberg." Hasson's arraignment is scheduled for Thursday in Greenbelt, Maryland.

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Sign of the times: A pro-Warren super PAC

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Nevada. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of women progressives who back Sen. Elizabeth Warren has formed Persist PAC, a super PAC airing pro-Warren ads starting Wednesday in an effort to boost her performance ahead of Saturday's crucial Nevada caucuses, a spokesman told Axios.

Why it matters: Warren has spoken adamantly against the influence of unlimited spending and dark money in politics. But these supporters have concluded that before Warren can reform the system, she must win under the rules that exist — and that whether she likes it or not, their uncoordinated help may be needed to keep her viable through this weekend's contest and into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon policy chief resigns amid reported discord with Trump

John Rood. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

John Rood, the Pentagon's top policy official, will resign from his post at the end of the month, CNN first reported and President Trump confirmed.

The state of play: CNN said Rood "was perceived as not embracing some of the changes in policy the White House and senior Pentagon officials wanted," such as peace talks in Afghanistan with the Taliban and a decision to cut back on military exercises with South Korea as the president courted North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Coronavirus cases rise, as warnings of global pandemic grow

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

We may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic, warns a top U.S. public health official, as cases continue to spread despite containment efforts. Meanwhile, the global economy is being affected, including the tech manufacturing industry.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 136 new deaths since Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health