Jan 8, 2018

Pence’s Middle East trip to begin next week

Vice President Mike Pence. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence is kicking off his Middle East trip starting January 19 after delaying it to stay in Washington for the tax code overhaul vote last year.

What he’ll discuss on the trip: National security, and in particular, “the shared need to combat terrorism and assist persecuted religious minorities.”

On the agenda:

  • Egypt January 19-21: Meeting with President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi
  • Jordan January 21-22: Meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah II
  • Israel January 22-23: Meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin. Pence will also speak at the Knesset, visit Yad Vashem, and visit the Western Wall.

Go deeper: His agenda in Israel

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Minneapolis unrest as hundreds protest death of George Floyd

Tear gas is fired as police clash with protesters demonstrating against the death of George Floyd outside the 3rd Precinct Police Precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Tuesday. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Minneapolis police used tear gas during clashes with protesters demanding justice Tuesday night for George Floyd, an African American who died in police custody, according to multiple news reports.

Driving the news: The FBI is investigating Floyd's death after video emerged of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck for several minutes, ignoring protests that he couldn't breathe. Hundreds of protesters attended the demonstration at the intersection where Floyd died, per the Guardian.

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced plans Tuesday to make wearing face coverings mandatory statewide for most people over the age of 10 when inside public places like retailers, on public transportation and government buildings. He announced the measure, effective Friday, as coronavirus case numbers increased to 39,342.

By the numbers: More than 98,900 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 384,900 Americans have recovered and more than 14.9 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan is preparing a second coronavirus stimulus package worth $1.1 trillion, or about 40% of the country's gross domestic product, Reuters first reported Tuesday night.

Zoom in: The new measure will be funded by government bonds and will include "a raft of loan guarantees and private sector contributions," per Bloomberg.