Feb 6, 2018

Mattis: Nuclear Posture Reviews could give U.S. leverage over Russians

U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee that the administration’s Nuclear Posture Review is intended to give the U.S. leverage over Russia in a dispute over a 1987 arms treaty, the AP reports.

Key point: The U.S. has claimed that Russia violated the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty when it deployed a ground-based cruise missile banned by the treaty in 2016. Russia denies the allegation. The proposed missile would “keep our negotiators negotiating from a position of strength…I don’t think the Russians would be willing to give up something to gain nothing from us.”

And from the other side: The Russian Foreign Ministry questioned on Monday whether the U.S. is in compliance with the 2010 New START Treaty, which limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads and ICBMs and bombers the U.S. and Russia can each deploy, per the AP. Both countries reported they were in compliance.

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Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 53 mins ago - Politics & Policy

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health

America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.