May 9, 2018

The Ebola virus is back in the Congo

A health worker at Ebola quarantine in 2017. Photo: John Wessels /AFP/Getty Images

There is an outbreak of Ebola in the northwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo, with 2 confirmed cases, per the BBC. The World Health Organization says there have been 21 suspected cases of viral hemorrhagic fever and 17 deaths over the past five weeks.

Flashback: This is the 9th time an Ebola outbreak has been recorded in the DRC, where the virus was first discovered in 1976. More than 11,000 people were killed in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia during the 2014 outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.

What now:

  • The WHO freed up $1 million in an emergency fund and has deployed 50 experts to work with officials in the country. "Working with partners and responding early and in a coordinated way will be vital to containing this deadly disease,” the WHO’s Peter Salama said in a statement.
  • More specimens are being gathered to test for other cases, per the WHO.
  • Nigeria and Kenya have begun screening passengers for symptoms at border crossings and airports in an effort to prevent the outbreak spreading, per the BBC.

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.