Oct 27, 2019

Iraqi president Barham Salih to America: “We need you”

In an interview with Jonathan Swan for "Axios on HBO," Iraqi President Barham Salih called for renewed dedication to the U.S.-Iraq alliance: "We have to be together in this. You need us, and we need you."

The big picture: The U.S. has maintained a presence in the Middle East for decades, and many countries from the area have developed policies based around America's influence.

  • Iraq itself is currently struggling with unemployment, a lack of public services and allegations of corruption. Protests calling for Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to step down in recent weeks have left more than 100 dead and created civil unrest after roughly two years of stability.
  • The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 caused extreme destabilization for the nation, wrecking its infrastructure, creating significant instability and weakening the federal government's control of the country.

What they're saying:

"Help us make it. Success here matters. And it is not about simplistic solutions. This is about an interconnected world. Your security and our security is intertwined. And what is right for your country is right for mine too."
— Salih to "Axios on HBO"
  • "We also need jobs. We need a good education system. And we need to defeat extremism," Salih added.

Go deeper:

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Palantir CEO reflects on work with ICE

Palantir CEO Alex Karp told "Axios on HBO" that there have "absolutely" been moments he wished the company hadn't taken a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

  • "Did I suffer? ... I've had some of my favorite employees leave," Karp told "Axios on HBO."

Michigan governor won't apologize for coronavirus lockdown

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defended the strictness of her state's coronavirus lockdown in an interview with "Axios on HBO," saying it was necessary — despite the protests that have drawn national attention — because of how quickly the state's cases were rising.

The big picture: Whitmer, who has been a frequent target of President Trump, insisted that she had to act in the face of a lack of federal leadership — and that thousands more people in her state would have died without the lockdown.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Countries where novel coronavirus cases are falling may be hit with a "second peak" if they relax restrictions too soon, World Health Organization emergencies chief Mike Ryan warned during a briefing Monday. "We're still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up," he added.

By the numbers: Brazil on Monday recorded for the first time more deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day than the United States, Reuters notes. Brazil reported 807 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, compared to 620 in the U.S. for the same period.