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Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said "there is a substantial chance" the order to poison Alexei Navalny, a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, came from senior Russian officials, while speaking with conservative commentator and personality Ben Shapiro on Wednesday.

What he's saying: "I think people all around the world see this kind of activity for what it is," Pompeo said on "The Ben Shapiro Show." "And when they see the effort to poison a dissident, and they recognize that there is a substantial chance that this actually came from senior Russian officials, I think this is not good for the Russian people. I think it’s not good for Russia."

  • "I think people see this and say this is not the way countries that want to be powers, that want to be important and play on the global stage, this is not the way that they should engage in activity. They ought to instead promote freedom and democracy."
  • "What the United States government will decide to do directly in response to this, I don’t want to get in front of the President."

Catch up quick: Navalny was responsive and no longer in a medically induced coma as of Monday, the New York Times reports. He was flown to a hospital in Berlin on Aug. 22 for treatment after the suspected poisoning, and he's the latest in a string of Kremlin critics to have been poisoned, though Russia denies that any crime took place.

  • German officials said they found the nerve agent Novichok in Navalny's system.
  • A bipartisan collection of lawmakers on the House Foreign Affairs Committee called on Trump Tuesday to investigate the alleged poisoning.

Go deeper

Biden promises retaliation for cyberattack on government agencies

Joe Biden speaking in Atlanta on Dec. 15. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Biden on Thursday said that a suspected Russian cyberattack on multiple government agencies and U.S. companies "is a matter of great concern" and promised to impose "substantial costs" to those responsible for the attack.

Driving the news: Biden's statement came just hours after the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency alerted that evidence suggested that additional malware was used in what it described as “a grave risk to the Federal Government and state, local, tribal, and territorial governments as well as critical infrastructure entities and other private sector organizations.”

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Investors increase their exuberance

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. stocks jumped across the board on Monday and the S&P 500 had its best day since June 5, as the bulls stepped in and bought the dips in stock prices following last week's minor selloff.

Why it matters: While some have worried rising U.S. interest rates would dampen investor exuberance over the expected pickup in economic growth thanks to increasing vaccine numbers and big fiscal spending hopes, Monday showed investors still like risk assets. A lot.

4 hours ago - World

China and Russia vaccinate the world — for now

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While the U.S. and Europe focus on vaccinating their own populations, China and Russia are sending millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries around the world.

Why it matters: China's double success in controlling its domestic outbreak and producing several viable vaccines has allowed it to focus on providing doses abroad — an effort that could help to save lives across several continents.

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