Oct 22, 2018

Bolton relays Trump's message to Russia: U.S. out of arms control treaty

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

National Security Adviser John Bolton has relayed to his Russian counterpart President Trump's "strong, clear and precise words" on the Nevada tarmac on Saturday: "We’re going to terminate the agreement and we're going to pull out" of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, according to a senior official accompanying the U.S. delegation in Moscow.

Behind the scenes: In a meeting in Moscow on Monday morning, Bolton made it his first agenda item to convey the Trump administration's intention to the Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, Nikolai Patrushev.

Why it matters: The INF treaty was formed out of an historic 1986 meeting between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. The treaty banned nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.  The agreement was viewed as an important, confidence-building step in reducing the risk of the Cold War turning into a nuclear holocaust. 

  • But Russia has been violating the treaty for years and the agreement is now preventing the U.S. from deploying new weapons to counter China's arms build-up in the Pacific.
  • The NYT's David Sanger and William Broad mention the consequences of the U.S. leaving: "The question is whether the decision to leave [the treaty] will accelerate the increasingly Cold War-like behavior among the three superpowers: the United States, Russia and China."

What's next? Bolton is in Moscow for a continuation of the talks kicked off at the Helsinki summit during the summer. Bolton met with his Russian counterpart last month in Geneva — and they're trying to find areas of mutual interest that the U.S. and Russia can work together on, amid a backdrop of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

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Editor's note: This piece has been clarified to better reflect the fact that Bolton reiterated Trump's comments during his tarmac appearance Saturday when speaking to his Russian counterpart.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: New York reports record 630 deaths in 24 hours

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York reported 630 new deaths in 24 hours, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday — an "all-time increase" that beat the previous day's record of 562 deaths in one day.

The big picture: As expected, COVID-19 death tolls are rising in the U.S., killing more than 7,100 people in total, and over 1,000 in 24 hours alone. The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread, marking a significant change in messaging from the Trump administration.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Axios Visuals

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 1,139,207 — Total deaths: 60,874 — Total recoveries: 233,807Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 278,537 — Total deaths: 7,163 — Total recoveries: 9,920Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The federal government will cover the costs of COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said.
  4. 2020 latest: "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said of the 2020 election, as more states hold primaries by mail. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday that every county in the state has opted to expand mail-in voting for the state's June 2 primary.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: A pivotal Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Military updates: Senators call for independent investigation into the firing of Navy captain of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt. The U.S. military is struggling to find new recruits as enlistment stations are shut down.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus reshapes American families

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

It used to be scarce and hard-earned, but suddenly family time is abundant in the era of shelter-in-place.

Why it matters: For the first time since the early 19th century, many parents and kids — and even grandchildren — are all under the same roof round-the-clock. And if past periods of emergency are any guide, this enforced togetherness could deepen our relationships for years to come.

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