— Bulletin wire reports

U.S.: Syria may be using chemical weapons — The State Department said Tuesday that the Syrian government might be renewing its use of chemical weapons, citing a suspected chlorine attack in northwest Syria, and maintaining any use of such weapons would lead the U.S. and its allies to “respond quickly and appropriately.” The Trump administration said the attack took place on Sunday in the Idlib area, the stronghold of rebels who have tried to topple the government of President Bashar Assad of Syria.

Congress briefing on Iran — Top Trump administration officials told Congress on Tuesday that recent actions by the U.S. deterred attacks on American forces by Iran. But some lawmakers remained deeply skeptical of the White House approach in the Middle East. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said their objective over recent days has been to deter Iran. Now they want to prevent further escalation, Shanahan said. ”We’re not about going to war,” Shanahan told reporters.” Our biggest focus at this point is to prevent Iranian miscalculation.”

Treasury secretary refuses to comply — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday refused to comply with a congressional subpoena to hand over President Donald Trump’s tax returns,. For more than a month, the Treasury Department and House Democrats have exchanged letters about the request. Mnuchin said lawyers in the department concluded that the original request, made using an obscure provision of the tax code, was not legitimate.

May offers lawmakers another Brexit vote — Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain on Tuesday dangled before lawmakers the prospect of a second referendum on Brexit, in a last-ditch effort to win over those who have rejected three previous efforts to extract Britain from the European Union. In a speech in London, May outlined what she called a “new Brexit deal,” which would give Parliament a broader role in shaping her plan. But most attention focused on her offer to have lawmakers vote on a second referendum.

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