Oct 11, 2017

Trump nominates Kirstjen Nielsen as DHS secretary

Nielsen boards Air Force One. Photo: Alex Brandon / AP

President Trump has nominated Kirstjen Nielsen — Chief of Staff John Kelly's deputy at the White House and the Department of Homeland Security — to be the next Secretary of Homeland Security.

The backdrop: Elaine Duke has been serving as acting secretary since Kelly stepped down to take the White House gig in July. Nielsen, who is a cybersecurity expert, was Kelly's pick to run the department.

Why Nielsen? Nobody in the White House is closer to Kelly. And Michael Allen, a respected GOP national security figure who worked with Nielsen on the White House Homeland Security Council under George W. Bush, encapsulated the case for Nielsen in an email to Axios: "No learning curve. No one else has same policy expertise in cyber, aviation security, FEMA. She takes it to the hoop. Moved to DC from Texas after 9/11 to help stand up TSA. Takes tough jobs, co-authored Katrina Lessons Learned Report which made FEMA better."

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The rematch of the century

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The weekend's biggest sporting event is Wilder-Fury II, which despite its name is not an action movie sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme but, rather, a boxing match starring arguably the two best heavyweights in the world.

The backdrop: In their first meeting in December 2018, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a memorable show at Staples Center, with Fury surviving a brutal right hand in the 12th round to earn a split-decision draw.

Pro-Trump warrior takes the helm of U.S. intelligence

Richard Grenell in Berlin. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

By picking Ambassador Richard Grenell to be acting director of national intelligence, President Trump has slotted a pro-Trump warrior into the ultimate apolitical role.

What they're saying: James Clapper, the longest-serving DNI (2010-2017), tells Axios it's "very worrisome installing a partisan with no real intelligence experience in this position."

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers as Israel confirms first case

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship — as Israel confirmed its first case among evacuees from the ship.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 76,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

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