Oct 1, 2018

U.S. deploys disaster response team to help fight Ebola in the Congo

Health workers in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Photo: John Wessels/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Agency for International Development announced Monday that it has sent a disaster assistance response team (DART) to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help contain the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.

Why it matters: While USAID and the Health and Human Services Department initially sent staff to the area during the Ebola outbreak in early August, this is the first deployment of an elite DART team, which indicates increased concern from U.S. officials.

ICYMI: The World Health Organization recently warned that renewed violence in eastern DRC has halted progress there and has increased the national and regional risk level to "very high" while the global risk remained "low." However, the DRC Ministry of Health says community outreach efforts are starting to make progress in increasing collaboration.

The big picture: As of Sept. 29, DRC reported 159 suspected Ebola cases with 104 suspected deaths.

Go deeper

Trump's clemency spree

Rod Blagojevich in 2010. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

President Trump announced Tuesday that he commuted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's 14-year prison sentence for extortion, bribery and corruption — as well as issuing full pardons for former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik and financier Michael Milken.

The big picture: The president's clemency spree largely benefitted white-collar criminals convicted of crimes like corruption, gambling fraud and racketeering, undercutting his message of "draining the swamp."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump's improbable moonshot

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NASA is unlikely to meet its deadline of sending astronauts to the surface of the Moon by 2024, even with a large influx of funding.

Why it matters: The Artemis mission to send people back to the Moon is the Trump administration's flagship space policy, and its aggressive, politically-motivated timeline is its hallmark.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Science

Justice Department says U.S. attorneys are reviewing Ukraine information

Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) Tuesday informing him that the U.S. attorneys for the Eastern District of New York and the Western District of Pennsylvania are reviewing "unsolicited" information from the public related to matters involving Ukraine.

Why it matters: Nadler had requested an explanation for the "intake process" that Attorney General Bill Barr stated had been set up in order to receive information that Rudy Giuliani had obtained about the Bidens in Ukraine.