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In an interview with "Axios on HBO," acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli defended his response to a viral photo of a migrant father and daughter who drowned crossing the Rio Grande.

  • The photo, which showed the daughter's head tucked inside her father's shirt as they both lay face down in the water, struck a cord across America. The two, as well as the family's mother who'd been swimming separately and fled back to shore, had been traveling from El Salvador to the United States.
  • Cuccinelli drew pushback at the time for blaming the father for the drowning, saying that he should have waited to go through the asylum process.

What he's saying:

"The reality is, when you have a tragedy like that and let's make no bones about it, it's a tragedy whenever you — if there was just the father, it'd be a tragedy. But here you've got a father and a daughter. And we ask the question: Why did this happen and who's responsible? And that was the question asked of me. And first and foremost, that father is responsible for his own actions. And anybody who says otherwise, I would take issue with on the answer to the question. You can't just blame other people for a tragedy that he decided to undertake."
— Ken Cuccinelli to "Axios on HBO"

Cuccinelli said he was sympathetic to the human side of the case:

  • "The question about the young girl in the water, what do you think the first thing I thought of when I saw that picture was. It wasn't policy. It was my own children. You know, this is a very human. Every case has people involved. And it can be easy to forget that people have to deal with it on both sides."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
25 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Pipeline hack spotlights cyber risks to energy systems

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The ransomware attack against the Colonial Pipeline — the massive East Coast gasoline artery — is a stunning real-world example of the increasing risks that the energy sector faces from a cyberattack.

Why it matters: Different parts of the vast American energy system are vulnerable — from pipelines to power grids to individual power plants and plenty in between.

27 mins ago - Technology

Scoop: TikTok launching jobs service for Gen Z

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok is testing a tool for brands to recruit employees, sources tell Axios.

Details: The pilot program is designed to help people find jobs on TikTok and connect with companies looking to find candidates. It's also meant to help brands use TikTok as a recruitment channel.

Crypto media boom

Data: SimilarWeb; Chart: Axios Visuals

A slew of new crypto media companies have gained enormous traction over the past year, thanks to the digital currency craze taking over Wall Street.

Why it matters: “For the first time ever, crypto has become relevant to the global macro-economic conversation, and therefore, the investment conversation," says Jason Yanowitz, co-founder of Blockworks, a financial media brand catered to investors.