Sep 7, 2018

U.S. envoy: Assad preparing to deploy chemical weapons in Idlib

Photo: Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images

U.S. envoy to Syria Jim Jeffrey said on Thursday that there is "lots of evidence that chemical weapons" are being prepared by the Assad regime to use in Syria, NPR reports.

Why it matters: The U.S. said this week that chemical weapons are a red line, and will be met with a response "swiftly and appropriately" if used. Presidents from Iran, Russia, and Turkey are meeting today to discuss steps forward in Idlib, which is the last major opposition stronghold in Syria, and could devolve into another major humanitarian disaster.

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JPMorgan Chase to pull support for some fossil fuels

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

JPMorgan Chase said Monday that it won’t directly finance new oil and gas development in the Arctic and will significantly curtail its financing of the extraction and burning of coal.

Why it matters: JPMorgan is the world’s largest funder of fossil-fuel companies, according to a report by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). The announcement follows similar moves by other big banks and investment firms, including Goldman Sachs and BlackRock.

WHO won't call coronavirus a pandemic as cases spread

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.

The World Health Organization will not yet call the coronavirus a pandemic, claiming that needs across affected countries are too varied and the classification would increase fear, per a briefing Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,620 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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