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Mikhail Klimentyev / Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Russian spies have been stepping up their intelligence gathering efforts in the U.S. since the election, feeling emboldened by the lack of significant U.S. response to Russian election meddling, current and former U.S. intelligence officials told CNN. There are nearly 150 suspected spies currently in the U.S. (Recall, Barack Obama booted 35 Russian diplomats suspected of spying in 2016.)

Why it matters: As CNN writes, "Russians are targeting people in the US who can provide access to classified information" and are also trying to hack the U.S. government for intel.

What to watch: President Trump is reportedly considering returning two Russian diplomatic compounds to Russia, which Obama shut down in December because the U.S. suspected Russians were conducting espionage there. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sidestepped a question on the matter on Capitol Hill last month, and The Hill reports today a group of bipartisan senators are urging Trump to take the compounds off the negotiating table a day before Trump has his face-to-face with Putin tomorrow.

How they're getting in: The State Department issues temporary duty visas (TDY) to suspected Russian spies when they don't have concrete reasons to deny a visa, which, it should be noted, is not a new concern, since Russian operatives are good at linking their presence in the U.S. to seemingly legitimate business.

An official from State wouldn't talk about the visas that have been issued, citing confidentiality under the Immigration and Nationaltiy Act, a DHS official said there is an extensive process for granting visas, and the FBI wouldn't comment.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
16 mins ago - Economy & Business

The places regulation does not reach

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Financial regulation is not exactly simple anywhere in the world. But one country stands out for the sheer amount of complexity and confusion in its regulatory regime — the U.S.

Why it matters: Important companies fall through the cracks, largely unregulated, while others contend with a vast array of regulatory bodies, none of which are remotely predictable.

Trump nominee Christopher Waller confirmed to Fed board

Christopher Waller at a Senate Banking hearing earlier this year. (Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

The Senate voted 48-47 on Thursday to confirm Trump nominee Christopher Waller to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors — filling one of the two vacant slots on the influential economic body.

Why it matters: It's one of the last marks left on the Fed board by Trump, who has nominated five of its six members.

1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Boeing gets huge 737 Max order from Ryanair, boosting hope for quick rebound

Ryanair low cost airline Boeing 737-800 aircraft as seen over the runway. Photo by Nik Oiko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Dublin-based Ryanair said it would add 75 more planes to an existing order for Boeing's 737 Max airplanes, a giant vote of confidence as Boeing seeks to revive sales of its best-selling plane after a 20-month safety ban following two fatal crashes.

The big picture: Ryanair's big order, on the heels of breakthrough vaccine news, is also a promising sign that the devastated airline industry might recover from the global pandemic sooner than expected.