Good Wednesday morning. Situational awareness: A 53-year-old former CIA officer suspected of helping China dismantle U.S. spying was arrested by the FBI at JFK Airport, per N.Y Times. "The collapse of the spy network [12+ informants killed or imprisoned by China] was one of the American government’s worst intelligence failures."
Steve Bannon, who was inside the White House when FBI Director James Comey was fired and has strong opinions about what happened, "intends to fully cooperate with Mueller," according to a source familiar with Bannon's thinking.
The House Intelligence Committee refused to accept Bannon's objection, and served him with a subpoena on the spot:
A source with direct knowledge told Swan:
AP "reviewed hundreds of pages of depositions taken of Trump in the past decade":
Axios turns 1 tomorrow — and, more importantly, is announcing our newest coverage area: international affairs.
What’s new for you:
Why it matters, from CEO Jim VandeHei: “We're turning Axios into a bigger news and information hub, a place you can efficiently consume far more information across far more topics — and benefit from the insight of journalists and vetted experts."
This aerial photo taken in Santiago, Chile, shows an open-air mass officiated by Pope Francis, the first Latin American head of the Church. He said Mass for some 400,000 people at a park in the Chilean capital.
On the cover of today's Wall Street Journal, Greg Ip — one of the world's best economics writers — takes on the transcendent question, "The Antitrust Case Against Facebook, Google and Amazon ... A few technology giants dominate their worlds just as Standard Oil and AT&T once did. Should they be broken up?":
"A burst of public acrimony across Capitol Hill ... exposed how much negotiations on immigration ... have been set back since President Trump’s use of a vulgar expression," the WashPost reports in its lead story:
N.Y. Times Quote of the Day, in above-the-fold story with the remarkable headline, "After Exam, President Is Found To Be of Sound Mind and Body":
A sobering "freeze frame" report was published by Freedom House, a watchdog group based in D.C., pulling together several factors that add up to "the retreat of the United States as both a champion and an exemplar of democracy."
The global picture: Of 195 countries, 88 (45%) were rated Free, 58 (30%) Partly Free, and 49 (25%) Not Free.
This satellite image from last week shows U.S. Route 101 (the second ribbon from the ocean) after storms caused mudslides and flooding in Montecito, Calif.
20 years ago today, back in 1998, Matt Drudge posted his most famous siren banner: "NEWSWEEK KILLS STORY ON WHITE HOUSE INTERN."
Thank you for reading. See you all day in the Axios stream ...