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Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on the countries in the Persian Gulf region who have cut off Qatar to "ease the blockade." He also argued that the diplomatic crisis is impairing U.S. and international business activity, as well as hindering military actions in the region, including the campaign against ISIS.

Note: Qatar's leader reportedly declined Trump's invitation to host mediation talks at the White House. A Qatari official told Reuters Thursday that the Emir of Qatar "has no plans to leave Qatar while the country is under a blockade."

Key excerpts from his Friday statement:

  • "We asked [the Saudi-led countries] that there be no further escalation by the parties in the region... the emir of Qatar has made progress in halting financial support and expelling terrorist elements from his country, but he must do more, and he must do it more quickly."
  • "We support the Emir of Kuwait's efforts to bring about a peaceful resolution to this agreement...the U.S. will support these efforts along with the emir of Kuwait."
  • "We know you are stronger together... our expectation is that these countries will immediately take steps to deescalate the situation and put forth a good faith effort to resolve their grievances they have with each other."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A mix of Beltway action and extreme weather events have brought the fault lines in infrastructure talks and their planetary stakes into sharper focus.

Catch up fast: Senate Democratic leaders pledged to seek big climate measures in a multitrillion-dollar, Democrats-only package that faces a very narrow political path.

Drought, record heat wave in West tied to climate change

People on Folsom Lake in Granite Bay, California, U.S., June 16, 2021. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The prolonged and widespread heat wave in the West, along with the region's increasingly severe drought, is a sign of how climate change has already tilted the odds in favor of such extremes, studies show.

Why it matters: The rapidly growing Southwest, in particular, is also the nation's fastest-warming region. The combination of heat and drought could lead to a repeat, or even eclipse, the severity of 2020's wildfire season in California and other states.

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3 hours ago - Sports

The sports stock market

Note: Michael Jordan's card is for baseball; Data: Alt; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Shohei Ohtani's trading card value has risen 781% since the start of 2021, the highest year-to-date return of any athlete on Alt, a sports card exchange that aims to bring more liquidity to alternative assets.

Why it matters: The trading card market is the closest thing we have to a stock market for sports.