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Oscar Pérez / Instagram

Venezuela's Supreme Court was attacked yesterday by a circling helicopter that apparently dropped hand grenades and fired shots. It was allegedly piloted by a rogue policeman who called for Venezuelans to rise up against President Nicolás Maduro, claiming he had the backing of other police and military members, per the BBC.

  • Venezuela is in the midst of months of protests — which have resulted in at least 70 deaths — against Maduro's government as the country has faced hyperinflation and food shortages following an economic collapse caused by slumping oil prices.
  • Oscar Pérez, the man reportedly piloting the helicopter, is a highly-trained member of the special forces division of Venezuela's police, who posted a video statement on Instagram calling for an uprising.
  • One big question: Is it real? Pérez certainly has a long Instagram presence showing him in combat situations, but he has had roles as a professional actor.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.