Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Photo: Michael Candelori/NurPhoto via Getty Images

On day 15 of the partial government shutdown, Vice President Mike Pence, White House adviser Jared Kushner and other Trump officials met with congressional leadership to negotiate funding for President Trump's border wall. The same group will meet again tomorrow.

Details: Pence made it clear that the White House will not back down from the $5.7 billion in wall funding Trump originally requested, according to a Democratic source familiar with today’s discussion. Democrats — having passed a bill in the House that would reopen eight agencies besides the Department of Homeland Security — warned that it would grow increasingly hard to begin formal negotiations if the government remained closed, the source said, but administration officials refused to budge from their position.

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement: "Next week, House Democrats will begin passing individual appropriations bills to re-open all government agencies, starting with the Department of the Treasury and IRS — an action necessary to make sure working families receive their tax refunds on schedule."

Go deeper: Federal workers could be the force that ends the shutdown

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29 mins ago - World

The U.K. was the most-prepared country for a pandemic — until it wasn't

Photo: Julian Simmonds/WPA Pool/Getty Images

One country was easily the best-prepared in the world to respond quickly to and mitigate the spread of an epidemic, according to the 2019 Global Health Security Index: Great Britain.

Reality check: When the coronavirus struck, the U.K. had arguably one of the least effective responses among rich countries, despite decades of preparation for just such an event. Its death toll ranks behind only the U.S. and Brazil.

Competitors ready to pounce on TikTok bans

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Growing security and privacy concerns over Chinese-owned short-video app TikTok have given a lift to alternatives like Byte and Dubsmash, which have seen spikes in downloads from smartphone users recently, according to data from SensorTower.

Why it matters: If TikTok's meteoric rise in popularity among U.S. youth gets slowed by rising tensions with China, or ended by a threatened ban by the Trump administration, American teens will still have to get their hits of meme-laden video somewhere.

1 hour ago - Technology

U.S. pushes homegrown drone industry amid China battle

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Alarmed at the prospect of relying on Chinese-made drones for public safety and monitoring critical industries, U.S. investors and the federal government are newly backing a domestic drone industry of hardware and software companies.

The big picture: The moves come as the industry continues to be led by DJI, a Chinese hardware maker — and as concerns grow both in China and the U.S. about reliance on the other country's technology.