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Susan Walsh / AP

President Trump kicked off his joint press conference with Jordan's King Abdullah II by condemning the chemical weapons attack in Syria, and stating that such a "heinous act cannot be tolerated." He added, "my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much," but wouldn't say if he would consider military action. Other takeaways:

President Trump:

  • Obama's "blank threat" over chemical weapons in Syria: "It set us back a long ways," said Trump, but acknowledged that he bears the responsibly now. Added that the attack "crossed a lot of lines for me. When you kill innocent children... that crosses many, many lines beyond a red line."
  • Fighting ISIS: "This will be a shorter fight than people are thinking... we will destroy ISIS, and we will protect civilization."
  • Peace in Middle East: Trump said that the king will help him, "at the highest level" to achieve peace, "including peace between the Israelis and Palestinians."
  • Iran Deal: "I will do what I have to do with respect to the Iran deal."

King Abdullah

  • On Trump's efforts in the Middle East: "We will support you in all of your policies... your message to all of us is a message of hope." He also noted that he believes Trump "has his instincts in the right place."
  • Refugees: Abdullah acknowledged the "tremendous burden" of refugees on Jordan, but said he appreciates how the U.S. has helped.

Go deeper

Updated 59 mins ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker
1 hour ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.