Nov 27, 2018

1. Report: White House blocks CIA director from briefing Senate on Khashoggi

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images.

The White House is barring CIA Director Gina Haspel and other intelligence officials from briefing the Senate on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, The Guardian reports. The White House did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Why it matters: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis are reportedly scheduled to brief senators on U.S.-Saudi relations following Khashoggi's murder during a closed-door session on Wednesday. Intelligence officials would normally be present at such a meeting, especially given the Senate is set to vote on a measure that could end U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

The backdrop: Haspel's absence will be particularly noticeable, given she was dispatched to Turkey following Khashoggi's death and has reportedly heard an audio recording of the murder.

Go deeper: "I don't speak Arabic": Bolton says he hasn’t listened to Khashoggi tape

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Scoop: Census Bureau is paying Chinese state media to reach Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign, which sends U.S. taxpayer dollars to community media outlets to run ads about the upcoming census, is including a Chinese state-run broadcaster as one of its media vendors.

Why it matters: After China's yearslong campaign to co-opt independent Chinese-language media in the U.S., Washington is now paying Beijing-linked media outlets in order to reach Chinese Americans.

Go deeperArrow46 mins ago - World

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

GOP congressman accuses California pension official of working for China

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The latest season of Red Scare has come to Sacramento.

Driving the news: Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) has repeatedly accused Ben Meng, chief investment officer of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), of tacitly working on behalf of the Chinese government. Banks also says that, were it up to him, Meng would be fired — and has questioned the patriotism of California Gov. Gavin Newsom for not at least investigating Meng.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - World