Jul 16, 2019

Tom Cotton says he shares Trump's Afghanistan frustration

Sen Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). Photo CHuck Kennedy/Axios

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) told Axios' Mike Allen at an Axios event Tuesday that he shares President Trump's frustration with U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan.

What he's saying: Cotton, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, defended Trump's desire to remove U.S. troops from the country despite pushback from the national security sector, saying "advisers advise and presidents decide" whether to follow their advance.

  • Sen. Cotton also said he was in favor of retaliatory action against Iran, and noted that he often advises Trump often on foreign policy: "I don’t want to see Iran continue up the escalatory ladder to the point where they are attacking a manned U.S. aircraft or U.S. Navy vessel in which case retaliatory action, which the president said will be swift."

Go deeper: Tom Cotton on Trump's racist tweets

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Oil faces tough road back from coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Oil companies in the battered shale patch are starting to bring back some production as prices climb, but a new report underscores how the pandemic is taking a heavy financial toll despite signs of revival.

Driving the news: Fourteen North American producers have filed for bankruptcy thus far during the second quarter, per a tally from the law firm Haynes and Boone, which closely tracks the sector's finances.

2 hours ago - World

Hong Kong legislature bans insults to Chinese national anthem

Activists holding a candlelit remembrance outside Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 4, 2020, to mark the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong’s legislature approved a bill Thursday that makes insulting the "March of the Volunteers," the Chinese national anthem, illegal, AP reports.

Why it matters: It did so on the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, when Chinese troops opened fire on pro-democracy activists in 1989. The death toll has never been released, but estimates vary between hundreds and thousands.

1.9 million Americans filed for unemployment last week

Data: U.S. Employment and Training Administration via FRED; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Another 1.9 million people filed for unemployment last week, the Department of Labor said on Thursday.

The big picture: The coronavirus pandemic is still putting a historic strain on the labor market, though the pace of unemployment applications continues to slow.