Mar 9, 2017

Thousands more U.S. troops might go to Afghanistan

The U.S. Army via Flickr CC

U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Joe Votel testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee today. Here's what you need to know:

  1. He admitted there is a "stalemate" in the more than 15-year-old war in Afghanistan and said there is a discussion ongoing with Mattis about sending a few thousand more U.S. troops to the country. Current deployment stands at about 8400.
  2. He said he is concerned the U.S. will be caught between Turkey and U.S.-backed Kurds in Syria, admitted there is a risk of conflict there, and confirmed Marines have been deployed. Read our earlier story on the buffer zone here and Marines being deployed here.
  3. Votel said "Iran poses the greatest long-term threat to U.S. interests" in the region, including concerns about ballistic missiles, naval mines, and UAVs (unmanned aircraft).
  4. Votel said he has reviewed the raid in Yemen that killed a Navy SEAL and found there were no lapses in judgement and that it produced valuable knowledge on al-Qaida militants. He added that between four and 12 innocent civilians were killed in the raid.

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World coronavirus updates: Italy becomes 2nd country to exceed 100,000 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 and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Spain and Italy extended lockdown deadlines on Monday, as Italy became the second country in the world to surpass 100,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 755,000 and the death toll topped 36,000 by Monday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 11,500 total deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 15 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 745,308 — Total deaths: 35,307 — Total recoveries: 156,875.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 143,672 — Total deaths: 2,575 — Total recoveries: 4,865.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Hospital ship the USNS Comfort arrives in Manhattan.
  4. Business latest: Macy's will furlough the majority of it's workers this week, as the chain's stores remain closed.
  5. World updates: Spain and Italy extend lockdown deadlines while Italy becomes second country to surpass 100,000 confirmed cases.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Living with the coronavirus
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Majority of governors order residents to stay home

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

At least 29 state governors have ordered their residents to stay home to promote social distancing and limit community spread from the coronavirus pandemic as the U.S. copes with more than 144,000 positive cases — more than any other country in the world, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: COVID-19 killed over 2,500 people in the U.S. by Monday. That's far fewer than in Italy, where over 10,700 people have died — accounting for a third of the global death toll. The number of people who've recovered from the virus in the U.S. exceeded 4,800.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 42 mins ago - Health