Nov 1, 2017

White House: We aren't "politicizing" Manhattan attack

Sanders calls on reporters during a briefing at the White House. Photo: Alex Brandon / AP

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday President Trump did not take the "political route" after the Manhattan attack when he tweeted that the diversity visa program, which suspect Sayfullo Saipov used to enter the U.S., was a policy proposed by Sen. Chuck Schumer. Trump "does not blame Senator Schumer," she added.

Trump has spoken with both New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, per Sanders. Cuomo and de Blasio said they hadn't heard from the president as of 11am this morning.

  • On the diversity visa lottery program: "All I know is you can't randomly select people without thorough vetting." Note: The program includes a vetting process.
  • Trump was "voicing his frustration with lengthy process" when he called the U.S. criminal justice system "a joke."
  • On 401(k)s: Sanders dodged a question on whether the tax plan will eventually lower the caps for 401(k)s.
  • Does the administration believe slavery was wrong? "It is disgusting and absurd to suggest anyone in this building supports slavery."
  • What are Trump's flaws? "Probably that he has to deal with you guys [reporters] on a daily basis." Note: The question was asked of Sanders in response to her comment Tuesday that several American leaders including Washington, Kennedy and Roosevelt were flawed.

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U.S. and Taliban sign peace deal

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad (L) and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R) sign a peace agreement during a ceremony in Qatar. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images

The United States signed a peace deal with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar on Saturday after over a year of off-and-on negotiations, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The signing of the deal officially begins the process of ending the United States' longest war, which has spanned nearly two decades. The agreement sets a timetable for the U.S. to pull its remaining 13,000 troops out of Afghanistan, per the Times, but is contingent on the Taliban's completion of commitments, including breaking ties with international terrorist groups, such as al Qaeda.

Biden bets it all on South Carolina

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Most Joe Biden admirers Axios interviewed in South Carolina, where he's vowed to win today's primary, said they're unfazed by his embarrassing losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Why it matters: Biden has bet it all on South Carolina to position himself as the best alternative to Bernie Sanders — his "good buddy," he tells voters before skewering Sanders' record and ideas.

Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

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.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 13 hours ago - Health