Apr 12, 2017

Tillerson meets with Putin

Alexei Nikolsky / Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo / AP; Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson became the first senior member of the Trump administration to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin today after a prolonged will-they-won't-they standoff prior to Tillerson's visit to the Kremlin, per the AP. According to a U.S. embassy official, they concluded their meeting after nearly 2 hours.

Maybe a little awkward: "The level of trust [with the United States] at the working level, especially at the military level, has not become better but most likely has degraded," Putin told Russian state television today.

Don't forget: Back in 2013, Putin awarded then-ExxonMobil CEO Tillerson the Order of Friendship medal, one of Russia's highest honors for foreign citizens.

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South Korea and Italy step up measures as coronavirus cases spike

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 novel coronavirus has spread to more nations as South Korea and Italy in particular scramble to deal with spikes in their countries.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed at least 2,446 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. South Korean President Moon Jae-said country would increase its infectious disease alert to red, the highest level possible, the New York Times reports, as the number of cases in the country soared to 556 and the death toll to five. Italy's government announced emergency measures Sunday after infections rose to 79.

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Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

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Heat wave melts 20% of snow cover from Antarctic island in days

The effects of February's record heat wave on Eagle Island in Antarctica. Photo: NASA

Antarctica's Eagle Island now has a side that's almost ice-free following this month's searing heat wave in the region, images released by NASA show.

Why it maters: "The warm spell caused widespread melting on nearby glaciers," NASA said in its report. It's the third major melt event of the 2019-2020 Southern Hemisphere summer, following warm spells in January and last November, according to the United Nation's World Meteorological Organization (WMO).