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A medical worker in Damascus condemning the chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun on April 6, 2017, that prompted President Trump to order a military strike. Photo: Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP via Getty Images

When the Assad regime deployed sarin gas against civilians in Khan Shaykhun last April, President Trump took only sixty hours to order missile strikes on a Syrian airfield. Since then, though, the U.S. has largely acquiesced to Assad's routine use of both conventional and chlorine-gas weapons on civilians. That cumulative carnage is far greater than this weekend’s chemical attack in Douma.

Yes, but: A number of factors — including horrific images of victims, which reportedly spurred Trump's decision last April, Russia's warning against U.S. intervention and, ironically, Trump’s recent call to withdraw — may have bolstered rather than diminished the odds of a forceful response. Trump's red-line tweets about Assad paying a big price and his mentioning Putin by name seem to presage military retaliation.

Before making a decision, the Trump administration is working to create an evidentiary standard based on the kinds of chemicals used and their source. In the meantime, the UN Security Council convened on Monday, though Russia holds veto power over its resolutions.

As the region responds to Israel's Sunday night strikes near Homs, which reportedly killed four Iranians, the likelihood and scope of U.S. action in Douma remain of greatest interest. That the city is only 12 miles from Damascus adds a further level of complexity to the U.S. calculus.

The big picture: Whatever the response, the question of U.S. involvement in Syria — beyond hammering the remnants of ISIS and supporting Syrian Kurds — will remain unresolved. As talk of withdrawal temporarily abates, it's a fair assumption that the U.S. isn't backing down or out.

Aaron David Miller is vice president for new initiatives and director of the Middle East Program at the Wilson Center.

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N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between Brooks' reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

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Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.

2021 sees a record number of bills targeting trans youth

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Republicans in at least 25 states have introduced over 60 bills targeting transgender children — a legislative boom since January that has beaten 2020's total number of anti-trans bills.

Why it matters: LGBTQ advocates say the unprecedented push was catalyzed by backlash to Biden's election and the Supreme Court ruling that workers cannot be fired for being gay or transgender.