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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Milos Bicanski / Getty Images

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "is definitely a terrorist who has carried out state terrorism," according to Reuters.

"It is impossible to continue with Assad. How can we embrace the future with a Syrian president who has killed close to a million of his citizens?"

Why it matters: Turkey had been working with Russia and Iran "for a political resolution," Reuters reports, and Erdogan had since toned down his negative language against the Syrian president. But Erdogan now says "there is no peace in Syria and this peace won't come with Assad." A Syrian foreign ministry source was quoted by Syria's state news agency SANA saying that Erdogan is attempting to "absolve himself of the crimes which he has committed against the Syrian people."

Go deeper

27 mins ago - Podcasts

Google's chief health officer Karen DeSalvo on vaccinating America

Google on Monday became the latest Big Tech company to get involved with COVID-19 vaccinations. Not just by doing things like incorporating vaccination sites into its maps, but by helping to turn some of its offices and parking lots into vaccination sites.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Google is doing, and why now, with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer who previously worked at HHS and as health commissioner for New Orleans.

Biden signs order overturning Trump's transgender military ban

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Biden signed an executive order on Monday overturning the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

Why it matters: The ban, which allowed the military to bar openly transgender recruits and discharge people for not living as their sex assigned at birth, affected up to 15,000 service members, according to tallies from the National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender American Veterans Association.

GOP Sen. Rob Portman will not run for re-election, citing "partisan gridlock"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced Monday he will not run for a third term in the U.S. Senate in 2022, citing "partisan gridlock."

Why it matters: It's a surprise retirement from a prominent Senate Republican who easily won re-election in 2016 and was expected to do so again in 2022, creating an open Senate seat in a red-leaning swing state.

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