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Marco Rubio and Ben Cardin are introducing legislation that details the Senate's position on the chemical weapons attack in Syria earlier this week: that Syrian President Assad, Russian President Putin, and others involved must be held accountable as war criminals. Cardin said the legislation also proposes additional sanctions on Russia.

Cardin called out Putin for facilitating the chemical weapons attack: "Mr. Putin...has clearly been facilitating the activities by President Assad…he needs to be investigated for culpability as a war criminal."

Russia is opposing a UN Security Council Resolution condemning the attack, which is backed by the U.S., France, and Britain. Russia says the resolution is based on "fake information." Rubio called Russia's resistance "fake news at its highest."

Go deeper

FDA chief vows agency will not accept political pressure on coronavirus vaccine

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn promised that "science will guide our decision" for a coronavirus vaccine at a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

Why it matters: More Americans are expressing doubt about a first-generation vaccine, despite President Trump's efforts to push an unrealistic timeline that conflicts with medical experts in his administration.

CEO confidence rises for the first time in over 2 years

Data: Business Roundtable; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A closely-watched CEO economic confidence index rose for the first time after declining for nine straight quarters, according to a survey of 150 chief executives of the biggest U.S. companies by trade group Business Roundtable.

Why it matters: The index, which still remains at a decade low, reflects corporate America's expectations for sales, hiring and spending — which plummeted amid uncertainty when the pandemic hit.

Official says White House political appointees "commandeered" Bolton book review

John Bolton's book "The Room Where it Happened." Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

A former career official at the National Security Council claims her pre-publication review of former national security adviser John Bolton's explosive book on President Trump was "commandeered by political appointees for a seemingly political purpose," according to a letter from her lawyers filed in court on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The White House fought against the publication of Bolton's book for most of the year on the grounds that it contained harmful and "significant amounts of classified information."

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