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Photo: MOHAMMED SAWAF/AFP via Getty Images

About 1,500 people have reportedly been killed in Iran's recent crackdown on protests, including at least 17 teenagers and about 400 women, according to Iranian government sources who spoke to Reuters.

Why it matters: The alleged death toll is higher than any other official estimates provided thus far. Amnesty International reported in November that 304 people had been killed "as authorities crushed protests using lethal force" in November, while U.S. Iran envoy Brian Hook said earlier this month that the Iranian government "could have murdered over 1,000 Iranian citizens."

The big picture: Reuters reports that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told close advisers last month that "the Islamic Republic is in danger," and that he ordered authorities to stop the protests by any means necessary. That order has led to the deadliest crackdown on protests in Iran since the country's revolution in 1979.

  • A spokesman for Iran’s Supreme National Security Council called the death toll reported by Reuters “fake news,” according to Iranian news agency Tasnim.

Go deeper: U.S. and Israeli national security advisers discuss unrest in Iran

Go deeper

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.

9 hours ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.