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Evan Vucci / AP

In a raucous, often dark speech to law enforcement officials on Long Island about the government's response to MS-13, President Trump obliquely addressed the palace intrigue swirling around his White House staff. "John Kelly is one of our great stars," he said while singling out the head of Homeland Security, who is rumored to replace Reince Priebus as chief of staff.

Some of Trump's darker rhetoric:

  • To "every gang member and criminal alien" — "We will find you. We will arrest you. We will jail you. And we will deport you."
  • On MS-13: "They have turned peaceful parks and beautiful, quiet neighborhoods into blood-stained killing fields…We are liberating our towns. I never thought I'd be standing up here talking about liberating towns on Long Island, where I grew up."
  • Addressing police brutality: "Please don't be too nice. Like, when you put somebody in a car and you're protecting their head…I said, 'You can take the hand away, okay?'"

Go deeper

4 mins ago - World

Iran's nuclear dilemma: Ramp up now or wait for Biden

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The world is waiting to see whether Iran will strike back at Israel or the U.S. over the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran's military nuclear program.

Why it matters: Senior Iranian officials have stressed that Iran will take revenge against the perpetrators, but also respond by continuing Fakhrizadeh’s legacy — the nuclear program. The key question is whether Iran will accelerate that work now, or wait to see what President-elect Biden puts on the table.

Updated 57 mins ago - Health

U.K. first nation to clear Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for mass rollout

A health care worker during the phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial by Pfizer and BioNTech in Ankara, Turkey, in October. Photo: Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's government announced Wednesday it's approved Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, which "will be made available across the U.K. from next week."

Why it matters: The U.K. has beaten the U.S. to become the first Western country to give emergency approval for a vaccine that's found to be 95% effective with no serious side effects against a virus that's killed nearly 1.5 million people globally.

3 hours ago - World

NYT: Biden won't immediately remove U.S. tariffs on China

President-elect Joe Biden during an event in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's 25% tariffs imposed on China under the phase one trade deal will remain in place at the start of the new administration, President-elect Biden said in an interview with the New York Times published early Wednesday.

Details: "I'm not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs," Biden said. He plans to conduct a full review of the current U.S. policy on China and speak with key allies in Asia and Europe to "develop a coherent strategy," he said.

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