Jan 23, 2019

In photos: Venezuela's political crisis reaches its boiling point

Juan Guaido addresses a crowd of supporters on Wednesday. Photo: Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself the country's interim president during a massive opposition rally in Caracas Wednesday as tens of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets to protest the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Driving the news: The move led President Trump to announce that he had officially recognized Guaido as Venezuela's interim leader.

National Assembly head Juan Guaidó speaks during the opposition rally. Photo: Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images
Juan Guaidó declares himself the country's interim president during the opposition rally. Photo: Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images
One Venezuelan soldier fires tear gas at demonstrators while another takes a picture. Photo: Rayner Pena/picture alliance via Getty Images
Soldiers stand ready during the protests. Photo: Rayner Pena/picture alliance via Getty Images
Venezuelan opposition demonstrators set a van on fire during the protest. Photo: Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images
A man walks by a car that was vandalized in Caracas. Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images

Go deeper: Trump seizes chance to ratchet up pressure on Venezuela's Maduro

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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.