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Today’s top stories
Americans of color are much less likely than white Americans to experience good air quality or tap water or enough trees or green space in their communities, and they're more likely to face noise pollution and litter, a new Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
The big picture: Our national survey shows Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely than their white counterparts to live near major highways or industrial or manufacturing plants — and to have dealt in the past year with water-boil notices or power outages lasting more than 24 hours.
France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.
The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."
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A U.S. drone strike launched on Aug. 29 killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan, including seven children, rather than the Islamic State extremists the Biden administration claimed it targeted, the Pentagon said Friday.
Why it matters: U.S. Central Command said at the time that officials "know" the drone strike "disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat" to Kabul's airport, and that they were "confident we successfully hit the target."
A viral TikTok challenge is leading students nationwide to shatter mirrors, steal fire alarms and intentionally clog toilets, The Washington Post reports.
Driving the news: Dubbed the the “Devious Licks challenge, students are showing off their "devious licks" on TikTok — with a sped-up version of "Ski Ski BasedGod" by rapper Lil’ B playing in the background.
A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.
Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.
A United Nations report released Friday warned that the planet will likely warm by more than 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century unless governments take extra steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Why it matters: The report, released just months ahead of November's UN Climate Summit, highlights the growing pressure on global leaders to crack down on emissions to avert the worst effects of climate change.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request from Capitol Police to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops in case law enforcement requires additional support at Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally at the Capitol.
Why it matters: Security preparations have ramped up ahead of the pro-Trump demonstration, where hundreds of protesters sympathetic to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are expected to gather.
President Biden on Friday signed an executive order allowing the Treasury and State departments to impose sanctions against Ethiopian officials "responsible for, or complicit in, prolonging the conflict" in the Tigray region.
Driving the news: Hundreds of thousands of people are facing famine conditions in Tigray, but less than 10% of the needed humanitarian supplies has reached the region over the last month "due to the obstruction of aid access" by the Ethiopian government, according to Biden administration officials.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley told the Associated Press on Friday that calls with his Chinese counterpart during the final months of Donald Trump's presidency were "perfectly within the duties and responsibilities" of his job.
Why it matters: In his first public comments on the calls that have prompted critics to question whether the general went too far, Milley maintained that such conversations are "routine," per AP.
Economists expect the pace of economic growth to cool off now that government transfer payments like stimulus checks and emergency unemployment benefits are in the rearview mirror. But evidence suggests that the U.S. consumer is sitting on a lot of financial firepower that could be a key driver of growth in the quarters to come.
Why it matters: U.S. consumer spending is massive, representing about 70% of GDP.
New disclosures that showed Fed officials were active in financial markets set off a firestorm of criticism. Now the Fed may overhaul the long-standing rules that allow those transactions.
Why it matters: What officials actively traded was sensitive to the Fed decisions they helped shape, including the unprecedented support that underpinned a massive financial market boom.
Justice Clarence Thomas on Thursday, during rare public remarks at the University of Notre Dame, warned against politicizing the Supreme Court.
Driving the news: Thomas, the court's longest-serving member, said that the justices do not rule based on "personal preferences" and that politicians should not "allow others to manipulate our institutions when we don’t get the outcome that we like," per the Washington Post.
Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan signaled changes are on the way in how the agency scrutinizes acquisitions after revealing the results of a study of a decade's worth of Big Tech company deals that weren't reported to the agency.
Why it matters: Tech's business ecosystem is built on giant companies buying up small startups, but the message from the antitrust agency this week could chill mergers and acquisitions in the sector.
The White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) is promoting the economic benefits and costs of providing green cards to millions of unauthorized immigrants in a blog post being released on Friday, according to a draft provided to Axios.
Why it matters: The post comes as the fate of millions of immigrants, including those with Temporary Protected Status or DACA protections, rests with Congress — and the Senate parliamentarian.
Facebook is essential to our lives. Facebook is ruining our lives. Holding both these truths at once will make your head hurt.
While covering the Olympics in Tokyo, I spent a ton of time on Facebook. Each day, during several hourlong bus rides, I would see who was online in Messenger and share photos and stories there with family and friends. I also posted frequently on my news feed.
Why it matters: None of these outcomes were expected when the pandemic began. All of them are the result of massive government programs.
The future of television likely rests on the winner of an intense bidding war for one of the most sought-after programming packages in America: NFL Sunday Ticket.
Why it matters: The winner of this multi-billion-dollar battle between tech giants and traditional media companies will have an enormous advantage as premium sports content goes digital.
Children and teens gained weight at a more "alarming" rate during the pandemic, especially those who are overweight or obese, a CDC report out Thursday shows.
Why it matters: The study, which analyzed more than 430,000 kids ages two- to 19-years-old, supports warnings by experts who said the nationwide closures of schools and early child care settings may have reduced the ability for children to have regular physical activity and access to healthy meals.
Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) announced his retirement on Thursday, declining to run against a Trump-backed primary challenger in 2022.
Why it matters: Gonzalez has suffered politically since siding with House Democrats to impeach the 45th president after the Capitol riot.
All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.
Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.
President Biden failed to persuade Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to agree to spending $3.5 trillion on the Democrats' budget reconciliation package during their Oval Office meeting on Wednesday, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.
Why it matters: Defying a president from his own party — face-to-face — is the strongest indication yet Manchin is serious about cutting specific programs and limiting the price tag of any potential bill to $1.5 trillion. His insistence could blow up the deal for progressives and others.