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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Beijing on Jan. 28, 2020. Photo: Ju Peng/Xinhua via Getty

A group of U.S. senators have sent a letter to the World Health Organization asking it to provide an accounting of its early handling of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Why it matters: Rising scrutiny of the WHO has led to GOP calls to cut U.S. funding for the organization.

What they're saying: "American taxpayers fund the WHO, and it is up to us to make sure those taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely," Sen. Rick Scott and six other GOP senators wrote in the April 14 letter addressed to WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Background: The WHO has come under heavy international criticism for failing to contain the coronavirus, and for appearing to follow Beijing's lead in its response and communications.

Details: The lawmakers made several requests for information, including:

  • When a WHO team first arrived in China to begin investigating the outbreak
  • Who was in charge of coordinating the WHO's investigation with the Chinese Communist Party
  • Any financial compensation the organization's leaders receive beyond their WHO salaries
  • Disclosure of documents and communications in late 2019 and early 2020 relating to the coronavirus response in China, especially those between the WHO and China's leadership
  • Republican Senators Kevin Cramer, Todd Young, Ron Johnson, Steve Daines, Joni Ernst and Martha McSally also signed the letter.

Go deeper: Trump hits WHO on coronavirus: "They should've known"

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First fatality confirmed in downtown Austin mass shooting

Police barricades near the scene of a shooting in Austin, Texas, on Saturday. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

A 25-year-old man died Sunday of injuries sustained in a mass shooting that wounded 13 other people in downtown Austin, Texas, the previous day, police confirmed.

Driving the news: Austin police named the victim as Douglas John Kantor, as they continued to search for one of two suspects. One suspect was taken into custody on Saturday following the shooting on 6th Street, a popular area with bars and restaurants.

Pelosi demands Barr and Sessions testify on data subpoenas

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during an event San Francisco, California, on Friday. Photo: Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told CNN Sunday that former Attorneys General William Barr and Jeff Sessions should testify before Congress on reports that the Trump-era Department of Justice seized Democrats' and journalists' data records.

Driving the news: DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced Friday an internal investigation into the matter, and Pelosi expressed disbelief to CNN's Dana Bash at assertions that neither Barr nor Sessions knew of probes into lawmakers.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Netanyahu is out as new Israeli government survives confidence vote

Photo: Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP via Getty Images

Israel has a new prime minister for the first time since 2009 after a power-sharing government led by Naftali Bennett survived a confidence vote on Sunday. Bennett was sworn in as prime minister.

Why it matters: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving prime minister and the man around whom Israeli politics have revolved for a decade, will now become opposition leader. Bennett, a right-wing former Netanyahu protege, will lead the most ideologically diverse government in Israeli history.

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