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Riot police, protesters and smoke in Quito. Photo: Martin Bernetti/AFP via Getty

Violent protests continued in Ecuador today, 2 days after President Lenín Moreno fled the capital and moved government operations to a port city.

Driving the news: Moreno is standing by the policy that sparked the unrest — the termination of a popular, but costly fuel subsidy.

  • "In one chaotic scene, protesters swarmed onto the top of a riot control vehicle that stopped in an alley. They pounded on its armored plating and reinforced windows with clubs and stones until the occupants accelerated away through clouds of smoke and tear gas," AP reports.
  • "Moreno knew his decision — by presidential decree — would provoke outrage. No previous government had dared to do it," per the Economist, which contends the step was necessary due to IMF terms and economic mismanagement by Moreno's populist predecessor, Rafael Correa.
  • Correa on Thursday denied he's planning a coup from self-imposed exile in Belgium.

What to watch: Only 2 Ecuadorian presidents have completed full, 4-year terms over the past 27 years. Two others have been toppled by riots.

Go deeper: Ecuador's gas price protests show why it's hard to phase out fuel subsidies

Go deeper

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Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

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FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios