Shane Savitsky
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Ex-CIA officer charged with selling top secret docs to China

Vincent Yu / AP

Thomas Mallory, a former CIA officer, has been arrested and charged in federal court with selling top secret documents to Chinese intelligence officials, per The Washington Post.

What allegedly went down: Originally contacted by a supposed recruiter for a Chinese think tank, Mallory realized he was in contact with Chinese intelligence officials before traveling to Shanghai in March and April. He then provided a Chinese intelligence operative with three documents — one labeled top secret — in May. Around the same time, he wrote his Chinese contact: "Your object is to gain information, and my object is to be paid for it."

The potential consequences: Mallory will have a preliminary hearing this week, but he faces up to life in prison.

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The Global List: Secret prisons and brutal torture

Welcome to the The Global List, Axios' daily international news roundup for Apple News readers. Check out the Axios STREAM here for more smart brevity in politics, health care, tech, and business.

1. Alleged torture by U.S. allies in Yemen

Maad El Zikry / AP

U.S. forces have been interrogating detainees in Yemen after they have been tortured in secret prisons controlled by the United Arab Emirates, according to a new AP report. The detainees are being held as part of a U.S.-supported hunt for suspected al-Qaeda militants.

Why it matters: Obtaining intelligence that may have been gleaned as a result of torture, even if inflicted by another party, violates the International Convention Against Torture, and could qualify as a war crime. And it's all a bit similar to the CIA's post-9/11 torture and rendition program, which involved both the UAE and Yemen.

Axios' Shannon Vavra breaks it all down.

2. Carrier jobs moving to Mexico

Darron Cummings / AP

Back in November, then-President-elect Trump made a pledge to prevent Carrier from shifting jobs at its Indianapolis plant to Mexico — but today, Carrier announced it'd be doing just that, laying off 600 American workers next month.

Refresher on the deal: Trump agreed to give Carrier up to $7 million if it continued to employ at least 1,069 people at the facility for 10 years, rather than moving it abroad in search of cheaper labor, as originally planned. Carrier also vowed to invest $16 million into the plant. But just a month after the deal was made, CEO Greg Hayes said the $16 million would be invested in automation.

3. English buildings at fire risk

Matt Dunham / AP

The U.K. government has announced that around 600 high-rise apartment buildings around England use similarly combustible cladding to London's Grenfell Tower, where a massive fire killed at least 79 residents last week.

Why it matters: Prime Minister Theresa May will face the first vote for her tenuous government — and her job — sometime in the next week, so more bad news surrounding Grenfell and public housing across the U.K. might weaken her position even further, especially after video emerged today of her being booed by Grenfell victims.

4. Can humans play god?

Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Alison Snyder, Axios' science editor extraordinaire, has again assembled a team of experts to provide their opinions on some huge issues facing humanity in the near future — both how to tackle ongoing extinctions and the potential resurrection of extinct species as ou gene editing capabilities expand.

How do we stop the mass extinctions currently plaguing our planet? What species should we make an effort to save right now? How can we decide which species to try to bring back?

Check out the expert answers to all of those questions and more.

5. 1 fun thing: flying can be a pest-o

Matthew Mead / AP

Per the BBC, Genoa, Italy's airport has gotten sick of seizing passengers' souvenir jars of pesto due to rules banning liquids on flights. So they're letting the pesto go — for a bribe.

The price: A donation of at least 55 cents to Flying Angels, a charity that arranges transportation abroad to provide medical treatment for children with severe illnesses.

Thank you for reading! If you want the news that matters in newsletter form, be sure to sign up for Mike Allen's Axios AM, which arrives in your inbox in time for your morning coffee. Sign up here and follow both Axios and me on Twitter.

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Hugh Hewitt lands his own MSNBC show

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Creative Commons

Conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt will helm his own live weekly news program on MSNBC beginning this Saturday, per TVNewser.

Hewitt's show will air on Saturdays at 8 am. MSNBC will also be expanding their nightly live weekend coverage by two hours until 9 pm with programming anchored by Thomas Roberts.

Why it matters: MSNBC has seen a big boost in its ratings under the Trump administration — with wins for weeknight hosts Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell — so they're aggressively expanding their coverage, including bringing in hosts like Hewitt from across the political spectrum, to build on that success.

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600 buildings across England at similar risk to Grenfell

Matt Dunham / AP

The U.K. government has announced that around 600 high-rise apartment buildings around England use similarly combustible cladding to London's Grenfell Tower, where a massive fire killed at least 79 residents last week, per the BBC.

The AP has an interesting look at how the high death toll in the Grenfell disaster is leading some around the world to rethink the "shelter in place" method for staying safe during high-rise fires — though experts caution that Grenfell was a perfect storm of terrible fire suppression conditions.

Why it matters: Prime Minister Theresa May will face an existential first vote for her tenuous government — and her job — sometime in the next week, so more bad news surrounding Grenfell and public housing across the U.K. might weaken her position even further, especially after video emerged today of her being booed by Grenfell victims.

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The Global List: The scope of Russia’s election hacking

Welcome to the The Global List, Axios' daily international news roundup for Apple News readers. Check out the Axios STREAM here for more smart brevity in politics, health care, tech, and business.

1. Russia, Russia, Russia

Ivan Sekretarev / AP

During a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee this morning, officials from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security discussed the scope of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and how the federal government is preparing for potential future cyberattacks.

The big thing: Jeanette Manfra, the Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Cybersecurity and Communications at DHS, confirmed that election-related systems in 21 states were targeted in the lead-up to the 2016 election, but reiterated that no vote tallies were altered.

Find out what else the FBI and DHS had to say about Russian hacking.

2. Experts see a U.S.-China battle over AI

Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Axios' Steve LeVine rounded up four experts, including Segway inventor Dean Kamen and political scientist Ian Bremmer, to provide their thoughts on how we can realistically prepare for the rise of artificial intelligence before the singularity gets here.

One emergent theme: AI will be the next big battle in tech — and it'll be fought between the United States and China for global supremacy.

Find out who the experts think will come out ahead.

3. Saudi shakeup

Amr Nabil / AP

King Salman of Saudi Arabia ordered a royal shakeup Wednesday when he appointed his 31-year-old son Mohammed bin Salman as next in line to the throne, replacing his nephew as crown prince.

The impact: Omar Al-Ubaydli, an affiliated senior scholar at George Mason's Mercatus Center, told Axios the appointment will be welcomed by the country's foreign investors, because "it will diminish doubts that they may have held regarding the implementation" of the Saudi Vision 2030. Per NYT, that plan "seeks to decrease the country's dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and loosen some of the conservative, Islamic Kingdom's social restrictions."

Axios' Alayna Treene has a look at what might come next in Saudi Arabia.

4. Kushner tries for peace

Susan Walsh / AP

Jared Kushner is in Israel and the West Bank for less than a day today — on a quiet peace-building trip away from the cameras — and Axios' Jonathan Swan has four big things from the itinerary:

  1. Don't expect breakthroughs. They're methodically working through issues, and don't expect any grand announcements about any deals.
  2. He visited with the family of Hadas Malka, the Israeli border police officer who was killed Friday while responding to a Palestinian terror attack.
  3. Kushner met with Israeli PM Netanyahu, joined by U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and special envoy to Israel Jason Greenblatt.
  4. Kushner met with Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority, in Ramallah.

5. 1 fun thing: a travel tip!

Kathy Willens / AP

As a reader of The Global List, chances are you might do some traveling sometime soon. And Axios' Alison Snyder has a look at a new study that shows why your rolling suitcase tends to wobble and flip over (hint: oscillations).

Learn how to make it stop the next time you're running for a flight.

Thank you for reading! If you want the news that matters in newsletter form, be sure to sign up for Mike Allen's Axios AM, which arrives in your inbox in time for your morning coffee. Sign up here and follow both Axios and me on Twitter.

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Ohio Senator met with N. Korea to ask for Warmbier release

Alex Brandon / AP

Sen. Rob Portman revealed that he met with North Korean officials last year in an attempt to free his imprisoned constituent, Ohioan Otto Warmbier, per The Columbus Dispatch. But, over coffee with his constituents today, Sen. Portman said, "I feel like I did not succeed in getting him home."

Portman told constituents at an event today that — with the approval of the State Department — he met with North Korea's delegation to the United Nations in New York late last year. He urged for Warmbier's release or the approval of a visit from the Swedish ambassador to North Korea, who acts as the United States' diplomatic liaison to the reclusive regime. His efforts, as well as subsequent attempts to reach out to the regime this year, proved unsuccessful.

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Russian hackers targeted 21 states during 2016 election

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

During a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee this morning, officials from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security discussed the scope of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and how the federal government is preparing for potential future cyberattacks.

The big thing: Jeanette Manfra, the Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Cybersecurity and Communications at DHS, confirmed that election-related systems in 21 states were targeted in the lead-up to the 2016 election, but reiterated that no vote tallies were altered.

Related: Manfra refused to name those 21 states, but said that the "system owners" had been made aware of the targeting. She also said that some states had data exfiltrated by Russian hackers but refused to provide details regarding the nature or scope of the exfiltrated election data.

Other things to note:

  • It'll happen again: Bill Priestap, the Assistant Director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division, said that he believes the Russians will continue their hacking efforts.
  • 2016 was different: Priestap noted that, while Russia had tried to influence U.S. elections since the Cold War, "the scale and aggressiveness" of the 2016 effort was different.
  • Russia's three goals: According to Priestap, Russia hoped to: (1) sow discord, (2) delegitimize the United States' free and fair election process, and (3) denigrate Secretary Clinton and attempt to help now-President Trump.
  • Was it a success? Priestap said that the Russians might mark the current distractions in U.S. government as a success, but noted that the level of public awareness now surrounding their usual tactics might reduce their effectiveness in future elections.
  • Trump: All of the DHS and FBI officials said that President Trump had not ordered or requested the ongoing investigation of Russian hacking.
  • Kaspersky: All of the DHS and FBI officials refused to comment on whether U.S. agencies should use the Russian-linked cybersecurity company.

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Scientists want to use photosynthetic bacteria to treat heart attacks

Sam McNeil / AP

A Stanford professor and heart surgeon has completed a proof-of-concept study showcasing the potential for photosynthetic cyanobacteria to treat the complications of heart attacks, per Smithsonian Magazine.

The traditional treatment: During a heart attack, heart tissue rapidly stops receiving blood containing oxygen and nutrients, which can lead to severe heart failure and death. So doctors try to get blood to the heart as soon as possible in order to provide critical oxygen and sugars.

The novel solution: The Stanford team injected a lab-grown strain of cyanobacteria — tiny photosynthetic organisms that use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and sugars — into a rat's heart and turned on a light. They saw increased metabolism within 20 minutes and improved heart performance in under an hour.

The drawbacks: Right now, the process requires open-heart surgery for the injection of cyanobacteria and the application of light. Additionally, the costs of outfitting hospitals with the equipment necessary for such a time-sensitive procedure might prove difficult.

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The Global List: Tensions tick up worldwide

Welcome to the The Global List, Axios' daily international news roundup for Apple News readers. Check out the Axios STREAM here for more smart brevity in politics, health care, tech, and business.

1. Turmoil in the Middle East

Alexander Zemlianichenko, Evan Vucci, Remy de la Mauviniere / AP

There's been a dizzying series of military moves in the Middle East and other nations in the vicinity over the past few days that ramped up tensions in the region — and between the United States and Russia.

The big thing: The U.S. shot down a Syrian fighter jet Sunday after it bombed U.S.-backed forces. This is the first time the U.S. has engaged in air-to-air combat with Syrian forces since the start of the six-year civil war, signaling an escalation.

Let Axios' Shannon Vavra make sense of the region's events for you.

2. Close calls with Russia

Mark Thiessen / AP

A Russian jet flew "erratically" within just five feet of an U.S. Air Force recon plane over the Baltic Sea, a move American military officials deemed "unsafe."

Sound familiar? There have been at least 35 encounters in the Baltic region this month alone between Russian and American military assets, but yesterday's incident adds to a long list of publicly reported provocative Russian military moves during the first few months of the Trump administration.

Check out the list of encounters between American and Russian forces since Trump took office.

3. Trump (maybe) calls out China

Alex Brandon / AP

Several White House officials, including Sean Spicer, stated the Trump administration will continue to put pressure on China in an effort to retaliate against Kim Jong-Un's regime following the death of American student Otto Warmbier, who was held in a North Korean prison. But then, a Trump tweet this afternoon sent Washington scrambling to figure out his intent:

While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!

Behind the scenes: Axios' Jonathan Swan says it's possible, even likely, that rather than abandoning his previous approach, Trump is publicly shaming Xi for his lack of success in changing North Korea's behavior and giving him one last chance to fix the situation.

4. A look at the world’s refugees

Data: UNHCR; Map: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

When including refugees, asylum seekers and people displaced within their own country, the number of "people of concern" worldwide reached a record 65.6 million last year, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.

Of those, 22.5 million were refugees, with 5.5 million coming from Syria, 2.5 million from Afghanistan and 1.4 million from South Sudan.

Find out which countries are hosting the world's refugees.

5. 1 fast thing: South Korea signs on for Hyperloop

John Locher / AP

You might remember Elon Musk's Hyperloop for its sheer craziness — a hypersonic bullet train inside a tube. Well, South Korea has signed up for its own nationwide Hyperloop network.

That move might have big implications for Hyperloop adoption around the world.

Thank you for reading! If you want the news that matters in newsletter form, be sure to sign up for Mike Allen's Axios AM, which arrives in your inbox in time for your morning coffee. Sign up here and follow both Axios and me on Twitter.

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Ryan and Pence promise sweeping tax reform in 2017

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence both addressed the National Association of Manufacturers' 2017 Manufacturing Summit this afternoon with a clear commitment to pass massive tax reform before the end of the year.

  • Ryan: "We are going to get this done in 2017…because we have to get this done in 2017. We cannot let this once-in-a-generation moment pass us by."
  • Pence: "We're going to pass the largest tax cut since the days of Ronald Reagan, and we're going to do it this year."

The big goals: Consolidating the current seven tax brackets into three, eliminating the alternative minimum tax and estate tax, implementing a new territorial system that doesn't tax overseas income for businesses, creating a new lower tax level specifically for small businesses, and using savings from closing loopholes to lower taxes for everyone.

More from Ryan:

  • His personal goal for tax reform: He thinks it can get done by the Saturday before Thanksgiving. "We really think it's very, very much doable to get this done by the fall."
  • His lofty rhetoric: "Once in a generation or so, there is an opportunity to do something transformational — something that will have a truly lasting impact long after we are gone. That moment is here, and we are going to meet it."
  • What can come from his tax plan: "We have to fix all of it, both for individuals and businesses because this will create jobs. This is what this is all about: jobs, jobs, jobs."

More from Pence:

  • To the manufacturers: "Manufacturers make America — and they make America great…you're woven into the very fabric of American life and you're woven into our future, too."
  • On infrastructure: "Before we're done in seven and a half years, President Donald Trump is going to rebuild the infrastructure of the United States of America."
  • Defense and manufacturing: "I want to assure you that you have a president who understands that we do not build Navy ships and aircrafts and the weapons that defend our freedom — we do not fill the arsenal of democracy — without American manufacturing."