Dec 5, 2018

Trump: Deal with China on fentanyl a "game changer"

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals

Fentanyl is an opioid drug more potent than heroin. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Trump tweeted this morning that China's commitment to curtail fentanyl exports to the U.S. will have "incredible" results, although China has made a similar pledge before and experts say tackling the issue is complicated.

Between the lines: If China does take meaningful steps to crack down on fentanyl coming into the U.S., it could reduce the supply of the powerful drug in the U.S. Fentanyl, which is more potent than heroin, is a major contributor to opioid overdose deaths.

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Snapchat will no longer promote Trump's account in Discover

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Snapchat will no longer promote President Trump's account on its "Discover" page of curated content, a spokesperson tells Axios, after Trump tweeted comments that some suggested glorified violence amid racial justice protests.

Why it matters: Snapchat is taking action on the president's account for comments he made elsewhere. That's going farther than other big tech firms and signals a commitment to aligning content served to users with core values, rather than making moderation decisions based narrowly on each post made on its own platform.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Esper catches White House off guard with opposition to military use, photo op

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at a press briefing Wednesday that he does not currently support invoking the Insurrection Act, an 1807 law that permits the president to use active-duty troops on U.S. soil, in order to quell protests against racial injustice.

Why it matters: President Trump threatened this week to deploy military forces if state and local governments aren't able to squash violent protests. Axios reported on Wednesday that Trump is backing off the idea for now, but that he hasn't ruled it out.

Chinese coronavirus test maker agreed to build a Xinjiang gene bank

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A leading Chinese gene sequencing and biomedical firm that said it would build a gene bank in Xinjiang is supplying coronavirus tests around the world.

Why it matters: U.S. officials are worried that widespread coronavirus testing may provide an opportunity for state-connected companies to compile massive DNA databases for research as well as genetics-based surveillance.