Jun 29, 2017

The Pentagon's plan after Raqqa

Syrian Democratic Forces, via AP

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters on his way to a NATO meeting in Belgium that the Pentagon's plan in the Syrian conflict is to eventually break up the territory along the Euphrates River into so-called "deconfliction" zones.

  • This shows Mattis is leaving the U.S. strategy open to letting the Assad regime and Iran control territory in the region.
  • Why it matters: This pits Mattis and the Pentagon against some officials in the White House, who are pushing for a fight against Iran for territory after ISIS is rooted out. The Pentagon is sticking to its statement that it doesn't want a fight with pro-regime forces, but the recent escalation of U.S. clashes with pro-regime forces in the region tell a different story.
  • Mattis might be hedging his bets on the strategy and said Tuesday "it's not like the fight's over when Raqqa's over."

Go deeper

Concern over coronavirus spread: Italy, South Korea and Iran report more cases

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 number of novel coronavirus cases in South Korea, Italy and Iran jumped on Sunday as infections in mainland China continued to grow, the latest figures show.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures amid rising case numbers, World Health Organization officials expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,619 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Sanders reveals free childcare plan for preschoolers

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday a new plan to guarantee free child care and pre-kindergarten to all American children from infancy to age four.

Details: In the wide-ranging interview, Sanders told Anderson Cooper he planned to pay for universal childcare with a wealth tax. "It's taxes on billionaires," he said.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden places second in Nevada caucuses, ahead of Pete Buttigieg

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden a Nevada Caucus watch party in Las Vegas on Saturday. Photo: Ronda Churchill/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden secured second place in the Nevada Democratic caucuses with former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg third, according to NBC News projections Sunday.

Why it matters: It's a boost for Biden, who's widely tipped to be endorsed by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Wednesday, ahead of this week's South Carolina primary.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy