Nov 8, 2018

Reporters who've covered oppressive regimes: Acosta suspension a red flag

Photo: Al Drago - Pool/Getty Images

Journalists who have worked abroad in countries with oppressive governments expressed outrage and concern after the White House revoked the press pass of CNN's Jim Acosta.

The big picture: The incident at Wednesday's press briefing has brought the White House's confrontation with the press to a head. Journalists who have worked alongside repressive regimes are noticing concerning parallels to the administration's hostilities with the media that covers it.

What they're saying
  • The New York Times' Melissa Chan tweeted a thread about her experience in China, saying: "I never thought I'd see this crap happen in the US. And this 'most reporters are okay but @Acosta is aggressive' thing is the EXACT line Chinese propaganda printed about me. It's a tactic, people."
  • The National's Joyce Karam tweeted: "This happened to me with Assad regime in Syria in 2007. Never envisioned a day will come when a US reported would be banned from White House for asking Qs. Sorry, Jim."
  • The Washington Post's Global Opinions writer Jason Rezaian, who was jailed by the Iranian government for two years, tweeted: "The @WhiteHouse has revoked Jim @Acosta’s press credentials for trying to ask the president a question? That’s the sort of thing that happens in #Iran not America. I shudder to think what could be next..."

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 1,506,936 — Total deaths: 90,057 — Total recoveries: 340,112Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 432,596 — Total deaths: 14,831 — Total recoveries: 24,235Map.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump is preparing to launch a second coronavirus task force focused on reviving the U.S. economy.
  4. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under coronavirus public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  5. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — Another 6.6 million jobless claims were filed last week.
  6. World update: Boris Johnson is moved out of ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Your hydroxychloroquine questions answered.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Boris Johnson moved out of ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus

Johnson last December. Photo: Kate Green/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved out of intensive care but is continuing to be monitored at St. Thomas' Hospital in London, according to a Downing Street spokesperson.

Why it matters: It's a sign of improvement after Johnson spent three nights in intensive care for coronavirus. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab remains in charge of the government.

Go deeperArrow11 mins ago - World

A pause button for debts

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Governments have forcibly put much of the U.S. and the global economy on pause in recent weeks, for very good reason. Factories, offices, sporting arenas, restaurants, airports and myriad other institutions have closed down. But one thing hasn't been paused: monthly debt-service obligations.

The big picture: The less movement and activity there is in an economy, the more the coronavirus curve is flattened. But the obligations in bond and loan contracts can't be paused. That's worrying CEOs who fear a wave of business failures if economic activity doesn't pick up next month.