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Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addressed State Department employees Wednesday amid reports that he is considering cutting 2,300 jobs from the department — but he didn't address those. He is also facing budget pressures from the administration to cut its funding by about one-third, a limitation that has drawn ire from advocates for international aid and diplomacy — but he didn't address that, either.

Instead, he championed "America First" and told the employees that for the State Department, this means an emphasis on national security and economic prosperity.

If you read only one thing: A day after Tillerson took Q&A from Model UN students, he did not take questions from his employees after the speech.

Tillerson's explained the national security concerns around the world:

  • North Korea: The U.S. is readying additional sanctions against North Korea if its actions warrant them. "I'd say we're at about dial setting 5 or 6 now."
  • China: The first high-level diplomatic and security dialogue with China will take place in June in D.C.
  • Russia: "We cannot have the two greatest nuclear powers in the world have this kind of relationship…we've got to change it…I don't want to say we're off to a good start." Tillerson will meet with Lavrov in Alaska next week.
  • Mexico: There will be a May 18 meeting to discuss how to break up transnational criminal organizations and the threats of drug flows into the U.S.
  • Central and Latin America: The U.S. is hosting an event in Miami to talk about pumping private capital investment into Central and Latin America.
  • ISIS: "We've got to move beyond the battle space; we've got to move into the cyber space into the social space, that allows them to recruit into their terrorism efforts."
  • Africa: "We cannot let Africa become the next breeding ground for the emergence of ISIS.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
39 mins ago - Sports

College football gone mad

Former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly walks in front of his players. Photo: David Madison/Getty Images

In the span of two days, the head coaches of two of the biggest college football programs in America have jumped ship, wooed by even greater challenges — and the almighty dollar.

Driving the news: Lincoln Riley is ditching Oklahoma for USC in a deal reportedly worth $110 million. LSU poached Brian Kelly from Notre Dame with a reported 10-year, $100 million contract.

Biden administration makes first move on data privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration is launching its first big effort on privacy policy by looking at how data privacy issues affect civil rights.

Why it matters: An administration perspective on privacy policy could be key in developing a long-awaited national privacy law by putting the White House stamp on how to regulate privacy.

Axios Investigates

Exclusive: Airbnb hosts Xinjiang rentals on land owned by sanctioned group

Data: Axios research, Airbnb, Australia Strategic Policy Institute's International Cyber Policy Centre; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Airbnb has more than a dozen homes available for rent in China's Xinjiang region on land owned by an organization sanctioned by the U.S. government for complicity in genocide and forced labor, an Axios investigation has found.

Why it matters: The listings expose Airbnb to regulatory risk under U.S. law. They also land yet another American tech company in the crossfire between the U.S. and China.