Feb 8, 2018

Tillerson's headed to the Middle East next week

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

The State Department has announced that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be traveling to Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, and Kuwait next week.

The intrigue: Turkey has launched an assault on U.S.-backed forces in Syria but has said it plans to discuss mending trust with the U.S. Although the State Department did not reference the violence, it's all but certain this will be high on the agenda. The guidance from State is that Tillerson will meet with senior Turkish officials to discuss “a range of bilateral and regional issues.”

What else to watch throughout the trip:

  • Jordan: Discussing Syria and Jordan’s involvement in Middle East peace.
  • Lebanon: Tillerson will take meetings with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, as well as Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri.
  • Egypt: Tillerson will discuss the U.S.-Egypt partnership and “key regional issues.”
  • Kuwait: Watch for Tillerson to have several meetings on the sidelines of two meetings here:
    • Tillerson is leading the U.S. delegation at the Ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, the first since the defeat of ISIS.
    • Tillerson will also participate in the Iraq Reconstruction Conference that will focus on discussions about rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 5,543,439 — Total deaths: 347,836 — Total recoveries — 2,266,394Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,669,040 — Total deaths: 98,426 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. Trump administration: Mike Pence's press secretary returns to work after beating coronavirus.
  4. States: New York reports lowest number of new coronavirus deaths since March.
  5. Public health: The final data for remdesivir is in and its benefits are rather limited.
  6. Education: A closer look at how colleges can reopenNotre Dame president says science alone "cannot provide the answer" to reopening.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon watchdog sidelined by Trump resigns

Fine testiying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Glenn Fine, the Pentagon's principal deputy inspector general, submitted his resignation on Tuesday.

Why it matters: President Trump removed Fine as the Pentagon's acting inspector general in April 7 after a group of independent federal watchdogs selected him to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, which was set up to oversee the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

New York reports lowest number of daily coronavirus deaths since March

The number of daily new coronavirus cases and deaths reported in New York was the lowest since the state started its lockdown in March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday, calling Memorial Day a "pivot point" for New York.

By the numbers: 73 New Yorkers died from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 200 people tested positive. Hospitalizations and intubations also decreased.