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Progressive leaders see Sen. Kamala Harris, if she's elected vice president, as their conduit to a post-Biden Democratic Party where the power will be in younger, more diverse and more liberal hands.
- Why it matters: The party's rising left sees Harris as the best hope for penetrating Joe Biden's older, largely white inner circle.
If Biden wins, Harris will become the first woman, first Black American and first Indian American to serve as a U.S. vice president — and would instantly be seen as the first in line for the presidency should Biden decide against seeking a second term.
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Wall Street is digging in for a potentially rocky period as Election Day gets closer.
Why it matters: Investors are facing a "three-headed monster," Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO Capital Markets, tells Axios — a worsening pandemic, an economic stimulus package in limbo, and an imminent election.
Four more years of President Trump would almost certainly kill the Iran nuclear deal — but the election of Joe Biden wouldn’t necessarily save it.
The big picture: Rescuing the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is near the top of Biden's foreign policy priority list. He says he'd re-enter the deal once Iran returns to compliance, and use it as the basis on which to negotiate a broader and longer-lasting deal with Iran.
- Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
- Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
- World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
- 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.
Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.
Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.
Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.
An appeals court on Thursday ruled that Minnesota absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.
Why it matters: The ruling, which comes just five days before the election, blocks the state's plan to count absentee ballots arriving late so long as they're postmarked by Nov. 3 and delivered within a week of the election. Now those ballots must be set aside and marked late.
Twitter on Thursday labeled a tweet from Russian state media outlet RT (formerly Russia Today) that included a video implying widespread voter fraud is plaguing, and potentially delegitimizing, the U.S. election.
Why it matters: It's the first time Twitter has labeled RT's account with a civic integrity label, or a designation used to highlight efforts to manipulate or interfere in elections or other civic processes.
The United States reported 88,452 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, setting a single-day record, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.
The big picture: The country confirmed 1,049 additional deaths due to the virus, and there are over 46,000 people currently being hospitalized, suggesting the U.S. is experiencing a third wave heading into the winter months.
Crafting successful public health measures depends on the ability of top scientists to gather data and report their findings unrestricted to policymakers.
State of play: But concern has spiked among health experts and physicians over what they see as an assault on key science protections, particularly during a raging pandemic. And a move last week by President Trump, via an executive order, is triggering even more worries.
Apple on Thursday reported quarterly sales and earnings that narrowly exceeded analysts estimates as the iPhone maker continued to see strong demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
What they's saying: The company said response to new products, including the iPhone 12 has been "tremendously positive" but did not give a specific forecast for the current quarter.
The state of play: The state's deadline had been extended from 3 days to 9 days post-Election Day.
The coronavirus pandemic is worsening, both in the U.S. and abroad, with cases, hospitalizations and deaths all rising.
Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of global vaccine development — including why the U.S. and China seem to going at it alone — with medicinal chemist and biotech blogger Derek Lowe.
The trillion-dollar gap between actual GDP and potential GDP is a gap made up of misery, unemployment, and unfulfilled promise. It's also a gap that can be eradicated — if central banks embrace unconventional monetary policy.
- That's the message from Eric Lonergan and Megan Greene, two economists who reject the idea that central banks have hit a "lower bound" on interest rates. In fact, they reject the idea that "interest rates" are a singular thing at all, and they fullthroatedly reject the idea — most recently put forward by New York Fed president Bill Dudley — that the Fed is "out of firepower."
Why it matters: If Lonergan and Greene are right, then central banks have effectively unlimited ammunition in their fight to increase inflation and employment. They are limited only by political will.
Apollo Global Management CEO Leon Black on Thursday said during an earnings call that he made a "terrible mistake" by employing Jeffrey Epstein to work on personal financial and philanthropic services.
Why it matters: Apollo is one of the world's largest private equity firms, and already has lost at least one major client over Black's involvement with Epstein.
The U.K. Labour Party has suspended its former leader, Jeremy Corbyn, after a watchdog report found that the party failed to properly take action against allegations of anti-Semitism during his time in charge.
Why it matters: It represents a strong break by Keir Starmer, Labour's current leader, from the Corbyn era and one of the party's most persistent scandals.
The U.S. economy grew at a 33.1% annualized pace in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.
The state of play: The record growth follows easing of the coronavirus-driven lockdowns that pushed the economy to the worst-ever contraction — but GDP still remains well below its pre-pandemic level.
The massive losses in oil prices and U.S. and European equities were not countered by gains in traditional safe-haven assets on Wednesday.
Why it matters: The unusual movement in typical hedging tools like bonds, precious metals and currencies means they are not providing investors an asset that will appreciate in the event of a major equity selloff.
Sports team owners in the four largest North American leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL) have donated over $46 million in federal elections since 2015, according to research conducted by ESPN and FiveThirtyEight.
By the numbers: Over the past three elections, $35.7 million of that money (77.4%) has gone to Republican campaigns and super PACs, compared to $10.4 million (22.6%) to Democrats.
Many of the states where coronavirus cases have recently skyrocketed are also seeing the highest death rates in the nation, a painful reminder that wherever the virus goes, death eventually follows.
Between the lines: Deaths usually lag behind cases by a few weeks. Given America's record-high case counts, it's reasonable to expect that death rates across the country will continue to rise in tandem.
The pandemic is throwing a wrench into Americans' understanding of science, which has big implications for climate change.
Driving the news: Recent focus groups in battleground states suggest some voters are more skeptical of scientists in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, while surveys reveal the persistence of a deep partisan divide.
Spotify is getting slammed for allowing Joe Rogan, one of its most popular podcasters, to host far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on his show.
Why it matters: The company, which still distributes mostly music, will begin to encounter more of these types of problems as it expands its podcast business.
In the final week before Election Day, new coronavirus infections have soared to an all-time high — virtually guaranteeing that the pandemic will be the most prominent issue in America as voters prepare to choose the next president.
The big picture: Cases are surging and local hospitals are straining at the very moment that voters are choosing between President Trump, who continues to insist that the pandemic is almost over, and Joe Biden, who has made the crisis a centerpiece of his campaign.
Joe Biden's team is spending tens of millions of dollars on a national digital ad campaign in the final days before Election Day — but highlighting a plethora of voters from Pennsylvania in particular, underscoring how critically important the state is.
Why it matters: Biden's team is betting that COVID-19 is on the ballot, and amplifying the stories of those affected by the pandemic with an emphasis on persuading voters in key battlegrounds to support the former VP.
Joe Biden is planning to confront China across the globe, embracing some of President Trump's goals but rejecting his means.
The big picture: By starting a trade war with China, Trump has fundamentally altered the U.S.- China relationship — and forced both Republicans and Democrats to accept a more confrontational approach towards Beijing.
Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.
The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.
Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.
Why it matters: Nowhere else has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing" and the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus for the achievement, per Bloomberg.
NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association on Wednesday he doesn't expect a COVID-19 vaccine to be ready until January 2021 or later.
What he's saying: Fauci said during the interview that the U.S. was in a "bad position" after failing to keep case numbers down post-summer. "We should have been way down in baseline and daily cases and we’re not," he said.