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Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Justice Department on Wednesday unsealed charges against a Chinese intelligence official for allegedly stealing trade secrets and sensitive information from GE Aviation and other companies.

Why it matters: This marks the first time a Chinese spy has been brought to the country to face prosecution. John Demers, the head of the DOJ’s national-security division, said the “case is not an isolated incident. It is part of an overall economic policy of developing China at American expense.”

The details: The man has been identified as Yanjun Xu, a deputy division director in China’s Ministry of State Security. The DOJ alleged that, from 2013, Xu targeted companies both in and out of the U.S. in the aviation field to obtain sensitive and proprietary information.

  • Officials said Xu allegedly recruited experts to travel to China under the guise of asking them to deliver a university presentation.
  • Xu was arrested in April by Belgian authorities and extradited to the U.S. on Tuesday.

The backdrop: For years, China has used spies and cyberattacks to steal troves of academic, corporate and military information it could use to bolster its growing political and economic power. Just last week, Vice President Mike Pence accused China of using spies, its economic power and propaganda prowess to undermine the U.S. and influence domestic politics.

Go deeper

Laurel Hubbard to become 1st openly trans athlete to compete at Olympics

New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, when she became the first openly transgender athlete to represent NZ. Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has announced that Laurel Hubbard has been selected for the women's weightlifting team for the Tokyo Games — making her the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the event.

The big picture: Hubbard, 43, is part of a five-member Kiwi weightlifting team and will compete in the women's super heavyweight category. Meanwhile, BMX rider Chelsea Wolfe will become the first openly trans athlete to travel to the Olympics with Team USA, when she arrives in Tokyo as a reserve rider.

American Airlines cuts hundreds of flights amid demand surge

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

American Airlines announced Sunday that it's cutting some 950 flights from its schedule, including 296 this weekend, to reduce potential pressure on its operations, the Wall Street Journal first reported.

Driving the news: The U.S. vaccine rollout has led to a massive increase in travel bookings. The airline noted in an emailed statement that it's facing an "incredibly quick ramp up of customer demand."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Florida Pride parade fatal crash a "tragic accident," police say

Participants walk away as police investigate the scene where a pickup truck drove into a crowd of people at a Pride parade in Wilton Manors, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Jason Koerner/Getty Images

Police said Sunday they believe a driver unintentionally hit spectators at a weekend Pride parade in Wilton Manors, Florida, resulting in the death of one man and leaving another person hospitalized.

The latest: Addressing speculation that the crash may have been a hate crime against the LGBTQ community, Wilton Manors police chief Gary Blocker said in a statement: "Today we know yesterday's incident was a tragic accident, and not a criminal act directed at anyone, or any group of individuals."