Sep 15, 2018

Speculation surrounds secretive evacuation of New Mexico observatory

National Solar Observatory in New Mexico. Photo: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

A cloud of suspicion has set in around a New Mexico observatory that was emptied of personnel suddenly last week for unknown reasons, and continues to remain empty, the Washington Post reports.

The details: Per the Post, the entrance to the National Solar Observatory has been "blocked by yellow crime scene tape," and security officers tasked with guarding the entrance said even they didn't know what had happened. A spokeswoman for the nonprofit that runs the observatory has said it "definitely wasn't aliens," per the Post, but speculation still remains.

What happened: On the morning of September 6th, the facility vacated citing a "security" issue, the Post reports.

  • The Otero County Sheriff Benny House said the observatory requested assistance in evacuating the building, but the deputies "saw no evidence of a threat...and left after a few hours."
  • House told the Post: "We tried to find out the threat and what their concerns were. They wouldn't identify anything. They were pretty hush mouthed about it."

New Mexico Rep. Stevan Pearce's office contacted the FBI and "was told there was an 'ongoing investigation." Spokeswoman Kinsey Featherston told the Post they "have no information."

Go deeper

Hospitals are starting to get their coronavirus cash infusion

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The federal government is sending $64 billion to hospitals, post-acute facilities and other medical providers to help cope with the coronavirus fallout.

Yes, but: Even though more funding is coming, safety net and rural hospitals fear they are getting a raw deal from the way some of the money is being distributed.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health

Biden, Sanders work toward truce on big issues

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden isn’t about to become Bernie Sanders, but he’s signaling that there’s potential for more common ground on issues such as health care, student debt, climate change and more in the weeks ahead.

What to watch: As Biden courts Sanders' endorsement, their teams will hold policy discussions in the next few weeks with the expectation that Biden will incorporate some elements of Sanders' agenda, a person familiar with those plans tells Axios.

Some Trump aides eye May 1 start to coronavirus reopening

President Trump was flanked at yesterday's briefing by HHS Secretary Alex Azar (far left), Vice President Pence and Dr. Deborah Birx. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump's aides, encouraged by virus data showing fewer deaths than once projected, are working behind the scenes to deliver on his vow to reopen America "sooner rather than later."

What to watch for: A senior White House official said there’s a lot of internal energy pushing for May 1, because that's the end of the White House's "30 Days to Slow the Spread."