Jan 3, 2019

Russia formally charges American Paul Whelan with espionage

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russian news agency Interfax said that Russian authorities formally brought espionage charges against American citizen Paul Whelan on Thursday, per the New York Times.

The backdrop: Whelan, a former U.S. Marine, was arrested in Moscow last Friday and could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. Intelligence experts believe he may have been detained as retribution for the arrest of confessed Russian agent Maria Butina. Whelan pleaded not guilty to espionage charges, according to his lawyer.

Go deeper: American detained in Russia visited by U.S. ambassador

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Bernie's historic Jewish fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sen. Bernie Sanders would be the first Jewish presidential nominee of a major American political party — but that history-making possibility is being overshadowed by his conflicts with America's Jewish leaders and Israel's leadership.

The big picture: That's partly because we're all focusing on the implications of Democrats nominating a self-described democratic socialist. It's also because a candidate's religion no longer seems to matter as much to voters or the media, making the potential milestone of a Jewish nominee more of a non-event.

Coronavirus "infodemic" threatens world's health institutions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak is being matched, or even outrun, by the spread on social media of both unintentional misinformation about it and vociferous campaigns of malicious disinformation, experts tell Axios.

Why it matters: The tide of bad information is undermining trust in governments, global health organizations, nonprofits and scientists — the very institutions that many believe are needed to organize a global response to what may be turning into a pandemic.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health

America's addiction treatment misses the mark

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Addiction treatment in the U.S. is critically necessary yet deeply flawed.

The big picture: Drug overdoses kill tens of thousands of Americans a year, but treatment is often inaccessible. The industry is also riddled with subpar care and, in some cases, fraud.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health