Apr 12, 2018

Jim Mattis: "Our role in Syria is the defeat of ISIS"

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Congress Thursday that the United States is primarily in Syria to suffocate ISIS. "Our role in Syria is the defeat of ISIS. We are not going to engage in the civil war [between Bashar al-Assad's government and forces of opposition] itself," he said, but added that "at times you are going to see contrary impulses."

The backdrop: President Trump has been foreshadowing military strikes against Syria in response to a chemical attack in the city of Douma that was allegedly carried out by Assad's government. Mattis told lawmakers, "I believe there was a chemical attack, and we’re looking for the actual evidence."

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Coronavirus pushes traditional businesses into the digital age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A slew of old-line industries that once hesitated to embrace digital technologies are now being forced to do so for the sake of survival.

Why it matters: Once consumers get used to accessing services digitally — from older restaurants finally embracing online ordering, or newspapers finally going all-digital — these industries may find it hard to go back to traditional operations.

America's grimmest month

Trump gives his Sunday press briefing in the Rose Garden. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump asked Americans to continue social distancing until April 30, officials warned that tens or even hundreds of thousands of Americans could die — and that's the least depressing scenario.

Why it matters: April is going to be very hard. But public health officials are in agreement that hunkering down — in our own homes — and weathering one of the darkest months in American history is the only way to prevent millions of American deaths.

Go deeperArrow51 mins ago - Health

Exclusive: Civil rights leaders oppose swift move off natural gas

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Top American civil-rights activists are opposing an abrupt move away from natural gas, putting them at odds with environmentalists and progressive Democrats who want to ban fracking.

Driving the news: In recent interviews, Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and National Urban League President Marc Morial said energy costs are hitting people of color unfairly hard. These concerns, expressed before the coronavirus pandemic, are poised to expand as paychecks shrink across America.