Jan 30, 2018

Trump admin. releases 'Kremlin report,' but no new sanctions

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov / Getty Images

The Treasury Department has released a much anticipated list of Russian oligarchs and political figures as mandated under a sanctions law passed by Congress last year, but has not leveled any new sanctions. Vladimir Putin called the list's publication a "hostile act," but said he would "refrain" from taking any steps in response.

Why it matters: The list was ostensibly intended to name and shame those who were benefiting from their relationships with Putin. But all it offers is publicly available information, without repercussions. So don't be surprised if it doesn't lead any of the oligarchs to change their behavior.

The details: The political list seems to have been taken wholesale from the Kremlin's website, while the 96 oligarchs listed are simply the Russians classified by Forbes as billionaires, per the AP. As former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul points out, some of those listed can hardly be considered close Putin allies.

Our thought bubble: The list may reflect an internal compromise between administration factions supporting a hard line and another, aligning with President Trump, that prefers backing away from the sanctions regime.

Go deeper: Meet Putin's oligarchs

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Coronavirus updates: First case in sub-Saharan Africa confirmed

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.

Nigeria confirmed its first novel coronavirus case in an Italian who flew to Lagos from Milan — the first known case in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization has been working to prepare Africa's health care systems to be ready for the outbreak, which is now also confirmed in Algeria and Egypt.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,700 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

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Ad spending on 2020 primary tops $1 billion

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Spending on the 2020 presidential primary has officially surpassed the $1 billion mark, with more than half of that total coming from billionaire Michael Bloomberg, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

Why it matters: It's the most money that has been spent this early on in an election cycle in U.S. history.

The growing coronavirus recession threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In just a matter of weeks, top economists and investment bank analysts have gone from expecting the coronavirus outbreak to have minimal impact on the U.S. economy to warning that an outright recession may be on the horizon.

What's happening: The spread of confirmed coronavirus cases in Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., and the speed at which they are being discovered has set the table for the outbreak to have a larger and much costlier impact.