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Screenshot via FoxNews.com's top stories

Authorities in Iowa filed charges against an undocumented immigrant in connection with a recovered body believed to be that of 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared from her home a month ago.

The state of play: Former Speaker Newt Gingrich emailed Axios' Mike Allen to make sure that we'd be covering this story, which Fox News led with on air and online Tuesday evening, ahead of the Cohen-Manafort news. His take: "If Mollie Tibbetts is a household name by October, Democrats will be in deep trouble. If we can be blocked by Manafort-Cohen, etc., then GOP could lose [the House] badly."

  • "We are living in two alternative political universes. In one, Manafort-Cohen is dispositive. In the other, illegal immigrants killing Mollie Tibbetts is dispositive."

More on this story as indicative of today's partisan split:

  • "[T]he stunning news that a Mexican man living in the U.S. illegally has allegedly confessed to kidnapping and murdering her thrust the case into the middle of the ... immigration debate and midterm elections," per AP.
  • "Trump asked his audience at a rally [last evening] in Charleston, West Virginia, whether they had heard about the 'illegal alien' from Mexico." (AP)

Go deeper

Cyber war scales up with new Microsoft hack

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Last week's revelation of a new cyberattack on thousands of small businesses and organizations, on top of last year's SolarWinds hack, shows we've entered a new era of mass-scale cyber war.

Why it matters: In a world that's dependent on interlocking digital systems, there's no escaping today's cyber conflicts. We're all potential victims even if we're not participants.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
12 mins ago - Science

Spaceflight contests and our future in orbit

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wealthy private citizens are increasingly becoming the arbiters of who can go to space — and some of them want to bring the average person along for the ride.

Why it matters: Space is being opened up to people who wouldn't have had the prospect of flying there even five years ago, but these types of missions have far-reaching implications for who determines who gets to make use of space and for what.

1 hour ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: America looks for the exits after a year of COVID

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A year after the coronavirus abruptly shut down much of the country, Americans are watching for a clear signal of when the pandemic will be over — and most won't be ready to ditch the masks and social distancing until they get it, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: The poll found that more Americans are expecting the outbreak to be over sooner rather than later, as vaccinations ramp up throughout the country — but that very few are ready to end the precautions that have upended their lives.