Feb 16, 2018

Lack of resources prevent U.S. military from stopping drug shipments

A man uses heroin in Philadelphia. Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The Pentagon’s Southern Command only has the resources to stop about a quarter of known narcotic shipments to the U.S., according to the command’s chief, Admiral Kurt Tidd, reports Defense News.

Why it matters: The rate of intercepted narcotics hasn't changed since the military command reported four years ago under leadership of Gen. John Kelly, president Trump's current chief of staff. Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a health emergency, but Trump's FY2019 budget request sharply cuts funding to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which is tasked with leading the response to the crisis.

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House passes bill to make lynching a federal hate crime

Photo: Aaron P. Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

The House voted 410-4 on Wednesday to pass legislation to designate lynching as a federal hate crime.

Why it matters: Congress has tried and failed for over 100 years to pass measures to make lynching a federal crime.

This year's census may be the toughest count yet

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Community leaders are concerned that historically hard-to-count residents will be even harder to count in this year's census, thanks to technological hurdles and increased distrust in government.

Why it matters: The census — which will count more than 330 million people this year — determines how $1.5 trillion in federal funding gets allocated across state and local governments. Inaccurate counts mean that communities don't get their fair share of those dollars.

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

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