Former Vice President Joe Biden responded to multiple claims of harassment from women on Twitter Wednesday.

Details: While he didn't specifically issue an apology, Biden said he understands "social norms are changing," acknowledging, "the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset," and saying, "I get it."

Biden's statement:

"Folks, in the coming month, I expect to be talking to you about a whole lot of issues, and I’ll always be direct with you. But today, I want to talk about gestures of support and encouragement that I've made to women and some men that’ve made them uncomfortable, and I've always tried in my career to make a human connection. That's my responsibility I think. I shake hands. I hug people. I grab men and women by the shoulders and say 'you can do this.' Whether they’re women, men, young, old, it’s the way I’ve always been and the way I’ve tried to show them I care about them and I’m listening. Over the years, knowing what I've been through, the things that I’ve faced, I found that scores, if not hundreds, of people have come up to me and reached out for solace. something, anything that may help them get through the tragedy they are going though. It's just who I am. I've never thought of politics as cold and antiseptic. I've always thought about it as connecting people. Shaking hands, hands on the solider, a hug, encouragement. Now, it's all about taking selfies together. Social norms have began to change. They've shifted, and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset, and I get it. I get it. I hear what they are saying. I understand it, and I will be much more mindful. That's my responsibility. My responsibility and I'll meet it. But I'll always believe that governing quite frankly and life is about connecting with people, but I will be more mindful and respectful of people's personal space. That's a good thing. I’ve worked my whole life to empower women. I've worked my whole life to prevent abuse. So the idea that I can't adjust to the fact that personal space is important, more important than it's ever been, is just not thinkable. I will. I will."

Go deeper: 2020 Democrats, establishment figures split over defense of Joe Biden

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U.S. sanctions Chinese officials over Uighur human rights abuses

Photo: Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

The Treasury Department announced Thursday that the U.S. has sanctioned four Chinese Communist Party officials and the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau for human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

Why it matters: The sanctions designations, pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Act passed by Congress in 2016, mark a significant escalation in the Trump administration's response to the Chinese government's detainment of over 1 million Uighurs in internment camps.

Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 12,118,667 — Total deaths: 551,271 — Total recoveries — 6,649,930Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 3,081,383 — Total deaths: 132,570 — Total recoveries: 953,420 — Total tested: 37,431,666Map.
  3. Public health: Cases rise in 33 statesFlorida reports highest single-day coronavirus death toll since pandemic began.
  4. Science: World Health Organization acknowledges airborne transmission of coronavirus.
  5. Travel: Young adults are most likely to have moved due to coronavirus.
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China's extraterritorial threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

All multinational companies and executives need to worry about breaking U.S. law, no matter where they're based or doing business. Now, they need to worry about Chinese law, too.

Why it matters: The projection of U.S. norms and laws around the world has been an integral (and much resented) part of America's "soft power" since 1945. As China positions itself to replace the USA as global hegemon, expect it to become increasingly assertive along similar lines.