Apr 6, 2017

Tillerson: Russia needs to re-think support for Assad

Andrew Harnik /AP

Add Rex Tillerson to the list of top Trump administration officials who are intensifying their rhetoric toward the Assad regime and Russia after a chemical weapons attack in Syria on Tuesday left at least 70 people dead. Here's what the Secretary of State said today:

"There's no doubt in our mind that the Syrian regime under the leadership of Bashar Assad is responsible for this horrific attack, and we think it's time that the Russians really need to think carefully about their continued support for the Assad regime."

Earlier today, President Trump said the attack "crossed many, many lines" and changed his "attitude" toward Assad, while Nikki Haley confronted Russia at the UN over its support for the Syrian regime.

Flashback: It was only last week that Tillerson and Haley said the US would no longer make removing Assad from power a priority.

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Stocks fall 4% as sell-off worsens

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks fell more than 4% on Thursday, extending the market’s worst week since the financial crisis in 2008 following a spike in coronavirus cases around the world.

The big picture: All three indices closed in correction territory on Thursday, down over 10% from their recent record-highs amid a global market rout.

Coronavirus updates: California monitors 8,400 potential 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.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Watchdog opens probe into VA secretary over handling of sexual assault claim

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie on Fox Business Network’s "The Evening Edit" on Jan. 7. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

The Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael Missal said Thursday he had opened an investigation into VA Secretary Robert Wilkie after lawmakers demanded an inquiry into his handling of a sexual misconduct report, the Washington Post reports.

Context: Wilkie allegedly "worked to discredit" the credibility of Democratic aide and veteran Andrea Goldstein after she reported last fall "that a man groped and propositioned her in the main lobby of the agency's D.C. Medical Center," a senior VA official told the Post.