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Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

The North Korean government described Joe Biden on Thursday as a "rabid dog" that is "greedy for power."

Why it matters: On the 2020 trail, Biden has levied attacks against President Trump's North Korea policy and frequently called the country's leader Kim Jong-un a "murderous dictator."

"Anyone who dare slanders the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK, can never spare the DPRK's merciless punishment whoever and wherever. And he will be made to see even in a grave what horrible consequences will be brought about by his thoughtless utterances.
"Rabid dogs like Baiden [sic] can hurt lots of people if they are allowed to run about. They must be beaten to death with a stick, before it is too late."
The Korean Central News Agency

The big picture: A South Korean news agency speculated that North Korea's insults toward Biden were actually an appeal to Trump, who often claims to have positive relations with Kim despite little progress in nuclear talks, AP reports.

  • The Biden comments "could be seen as an attempt to leave a small window open for dialogue with the current administration," the Washington Post writes.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 35 mins ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.

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