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Jeff Sessions loses Alabama Senate primary runoff

Jeff Sessions. Photo: Michael DeMocker/Getty Images

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has lost the Republican nomination for Senate to Tommy Tuberville in Alabama in Tuesday night’s primary runoff, AP reports.

Why it matters: Sessions had been the underdog in the race against former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who had the backing of President Trump. Tuberville will now face off against Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in November, who is considered to have one of the most vulnerable Democratic Senate seats in the country.

Listen to “Axios Today”
Host Niala Boodhoo discusses the impact of a new ICE policy on international students from China and Hong Kong.
Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 13,273,537 — Total deaths: 577,006 — Total recoveries — 7,367,106Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 3,424,304 — Total deaths: 136,432 — Total recoveries: 1,049,098 — Total tested: 41,764,557Map.
  3. Politics: Biden welcomes Trump wearing mask in public but warns "it’s not enough"
  4. Public health: Four former CDC heads say Trump's undermining of agency puts lives at risk — CDC director: U.S. could get coronavirus "under control" in 4–8 weeks if all wear masks.

Bank CEOs brace for worsening economic scenario

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: J. Lawler Duggan/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Wells Fargo swung to its first loss since the financial crisis — while JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup reported significantly lower profits from a year earlier — as the banks set aside billions of dollars more in the second quarter for loans that may go bad.

Why it matters: The cumulative $28 billion in loan loss provisions that banks have so far announced they’re reserving serves as a signal they’re preparing for a colossal wave of loan defaults as the economy slogs through a coronavirus-driven downturn.

11 hours ago - Health

Moderna's vaccine spurred immune system response to coronavirus

Moderna's stock rose 16% after hours on this news. Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Healthy volunteers who took Moderna's coronavirus vaccine candidate appeared to generate an immune system response to the virus, and there were "no trial-limiting safety concerns," according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Why it matters: The phase one trial is still small and does not definitively determine how effective the vaccine is. But Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, which is running the trial, told the Wall Street Journal that these data make it "pretty clear that this vaccine is capable of inducing quite good [levels] of neutralizing antibodies."

11 hours ago - World

Trump signs bill sanctioning China over Hong Kong security law

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump announced Tuesday that he has signed a bill sanctioning Chinese officials in response to Beijing's national security law for Hong Kong, which dramatically curbs the city's political freedoms. He also signed an executive order ending preferential treatment for Hong Kong.

Why it matters: The bill, which will sanction both Chinese individuals interfering in Hong Kong's affairs and the banks that support them, has broad bipartisan support in Congress. Its passage into law is the latest escalation by the Trump administration against the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to strip Hong Kong of its autonomy.

11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Ruth Bader Ginsburg admitted to hospital for possible infection

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for DVF

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on Tuesday morning for treatment of a possible infection, according to the Supreme Court. She is "resting comfortably" and will remain in the hospital for a few days.

Why it matters: The 87-year-old liberal justice has battled health complications for years, including a cancer diagnosis that she beat in January of this year. In May, Ginsburg was hospitalized and received nonsurgical treatment for a gallbladder condition.

11 hours ago - Health

Fauci on who to trust amid coronavirus: "Stick with respected medical authorities"

When asked on Tuesday who the public can trust during the coronavirus pandemic, Anthony Fauci said that people "can trust respected medical authorities ... who have a track record of giving information and policy and recommendations based on scientific evidence and good data."

Why it matters: Fauci's comments come as the White House tries to sideline the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director in the middle of the pandemic. Multiple media outlets received a statement on Monday from an unnamed White House official that listed each time Fauci was "wrong on things" in COVID-19's early days.

12 hours ago - Health

Cleanest trains in memory

A contractor cleans a subway car at the 96th Street station in NYC. Photo: John Minchillo/AP

Transit authorities are busting out every trick in the book to coax riders back on trains and buses.

Why it matters: In regular times, riding on a subway car is dramatically safer than driving a car to the office. But social distancing is next to impossible on mass transit, especially during an airborne pandemic

Trump deflects on why Black people are killed by police: "And so are white people"

Asked by CBS News' Catherine Herridge on Tuesday why Black Americans are still dying at the hands of police, President Trump responded: "And so are white people. So are white people. What a terrible question to ask."

Why it matters: A 2018 study found that Black men are about 3.5 times more likely to be killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts.

12 hours ago - Podcasts

Behind the gun sales spike

Gun sales in America have surged since the coronavirus pandemic began, with 7.8 million background checks run for firearm purchases between March and June.

Axios Re:Cap digs into what's driving the sales, around 40% of which are by first-time buyers, with Wall Street Journal reporter Zusha Elinson.

Trump administration rescinds foreign student visa guidance

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Trump administration is rescinding new guidance from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement that would have forced some international students to transfer schools or leave the U.S. if their classes were held completely online in the fall.

Why it matters: The guidance was immediately met with broad backlash and lawsuits backed by more than 200 universities and 18 states. The decision to rescind the guidance and return to the policy in place since March was announced in a Tuesday hearing for the lawsuit brought by Harvard and MIT.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Judge denies bail for Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell

Maxwell. Photo: Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

A federal judge has denied bail to Ghislaine Maxwell, who pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges brought earlier this month that allege she conspired with billionaire Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse underage girls. Maxwell's trial is scheduled to begin July 12, 2021.

The latest: In handing down her ruling, Judge Alison Nathan said "the risks are simply too great" and ordered Maxwell to be jailed pending trial. Prosecutors from the Southern District of New York called Maxwell an "extreme flight risk" whose "significant and unexplained wealth" and lack of ties to the U.S. give her few reasons not to attempt to flee the country.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden unveils $2 trillion clean energy and infrastructure plan

Joe Biden expanded his energy and climate plans Tuesday with a call for spending $2 trillion over four years on climate-friendly infrastructure — a proposal the campaign is casting as part of a wider economic recovery package.

The latest: "Look, these aren’t pie in the sky dreams," Biden said in a speech outlining the proposal on Tuesday. "These are actionable policies that we can work on right away."

17 hours ago - Health

4 former CDC heads say Trump's undermining of agency puts lives at risk

CDC director Robert Redfield and President Trump. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Four former directors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention blasted the Trump administration's "repeated efforts to subvert" agency guidelines related to reopening schools, accusing the White House in a scathing Washington Post op-ed of undermining science with "partisan potshots."

Why it matters: Former directors Tom Frieden, Jeffrey Koplan and David Satcher and acting head Richard Besser served in parts of the Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations. They said they "cannot recall over our collective tenure a single time when political pressure led to a change in the interpretation of scientific evidence."

17 hours ago - World

Chinese students at U.S. colleges face deep uncertainty

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A new visa guideline issued last week would strip international students in the U.S. of their student visa if their college classes are online-only amid the pandemic.

Why it matters: More than 360,000 Chinese students are enrolled at U.S. colleges. Many of them could be forced to return to China if the rule change is implemented.

Pelosi "absolutely" would skip August recess to reach coronavirus stimulus deal

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told CNN on Tuesday she would "absolutely" be willing to forgo the House's August recess to reach a deal for another relief package to help the country battle the health and economic crises caused by the coronavirus.

The big picture: Pelosi indicated the package would earmark money for coronavirus testing and contact tracing, as well as assistance for state and local governments whose budgets are in dire financial straits due to revenue shortfalls caused by the recession.

Dave Lawler, author of World
18 hours ago - World

The U.K. was the most-prepared country for a pandemic — until it wasn't

Photo: Julian Simmonds/WPA Pool/Getty Images

One country was easily the best-prepared in the world to respond quickly to and mitigate the spread of an epidemic, according to the 2019 Global Health Security Index: Great Britain.

Reality check: When the coronavirus struck, the U.K. had arguably one of the least effective responses among rich countries, despite decades of preparation for just such an event. Its death toll ranks behind only the U.S. and Brazil.

Competitors ready to pounce on TikTok bans

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Growing security and privacy concerns over Chinese-owned short-video app TikTok have given a lift to alternatives like Byte and Dubsmash, which have seen spikes in downloads from smartphone users recently, according to data from SensorTower.

Why it matters: If TikTok's meteoric rise in popularity among U.S. youth gets slowed by rising tensions with China, or ended by a threatened ban by the Trump administration, American teens will still have to get their hits of meme-laden video somewhere.

Ina Fried, author of Login
19 hours ago - Technology

U.S. pushes homegrown drone industry amid China battle

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Alarmed at the prospect of relying on Chinese-made drones for public safety and monitoring critical industries, U.S. investors and the federal government are newly backing a domestic drone industry of hardware and software companies.

The big picture: The moves come as the industry continues to be led by DJI, a Chinese hardware maker — and as concerns grow both in China and the U.S. about reliance on the other country's technology.

19 hours ago - Economy & Business

Exclusive: The N.Y. Times doubles down on TV and film ambitions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

One of the country's oldest and most established media companies is starting to look more like a Hollywood studio than a traditional newspaper.

Driving the news: The New York Times has 10 scripted TV show projects in development, as well as 3 feature documentaries coming out this year and several other documentary projects in development and production, executives tell Axios.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
19 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric vehicle companies are reeling in cash without producing a car

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

These are heady days for electric vehicle companies, with a lack of actual car production becoming a popular norm.

Why it matters: The capital infusion is the latest in a busy stretch of deals and market moves that suggest private investors and equity markets see big potential in technologies that now represent a tiny slice of the global vehicle fleet.

Updated 20 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Federal government carries out first execution since 2003

Lethal injection facility in San Quentin, California. Photo: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via Getty Images

The first execution carried out by the federal government since 2003 took place on Tuesday at a federal prison in Indiana after an early-morning Supreme Court decision allowed it to move forward, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: A lower court had delayed the execution, saying inmates had provided evidence the government's plan to carry out executions using lethal injections "poses an unconstitutionally significant risk of serious pain."

U.K. bans Huawei from its 5G network

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The U.K. said Tuesday that it will no longer allow Chinese tech company Huawei to access its 5G network amid growing pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take a stand against Beijing, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: It's a big win for the Trump administration, which has sought to firewall Huawei from networks around the world and put intense pressure on its closest ally to make such a move.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
20 hours ago - Sports

The NBA's YouTube generation documents life in Orlando bubble

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The NBA bubble at Walt Disney World demands a documentary and will surely get its own "30 for 30" one day. But as the action begins to unfolds, it's clear that the players, themselves, will be the primary storytellers.

Why it matters: The most unique sporting event in history (just ahead of every other event this year) will be documented by its participants, making it less of a traditional "sports season" and more of a must-see reality show.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
21 hours ago - Economy & Business

PPP was not enough for small businesses

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has left much to be desired for needy small businesses around the U.S., and the overwhelming majority of recipients are about to exhaust their funding and may start laying off employees.

Why it matters: The PPP has been derided by some economists and researchers as inefficient and ineffective, but a new Goldman Sachs survey shows that even for the businesses and employees it helped, it has not been enough.

23 hours ago - Health

More Republicans say they're wearing masks

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Nearly two-thirds of Americans — and a noticeably increasing number of Republicans — say they’re wearing a face mask whenever they leave the house, according to the latest installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: A weakening partisan divide over masks, and a broad-based increase in the number of people wearing them, would be a welcome development as most of the country tries to beat back a rapidly growing outbreak.

23 hours ago - Economy & Business

Buildings are getting tested for coronavirus, too

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Testing buildings — not just people — could be an important way to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: People won't feel safe returning to schools, offices, bars and restaurants unless they can be assured they won't be infected by coronavirus particles lingering in the air — or being pumped through the buildings' air ducts. One day, even office furniture lined with plants could be used to clean air in cubicles.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
23 hours ago - Science

The summer of Mars

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Three missions from three different nations are heading to Mars in the next month — including one from the United Arab Emirates, a newer player in planetary exploration that is expected to launch its first spacecraft to the Red Planet Thursday.

Why it matters: More nations are now going to space as the costs of launch and development are driven down. Mars is a step farther that is reserved for those with the most ability and resources — missions to the planet are a mark of scientific and technical prowess on the global stage.

Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans fear return to school


Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±7% margin of error; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Most U.S. parents say it would be risky to send their children back to school in the fall — including a slim majority of Republicans and a staggering nine in 10 Black Americans — in this week's installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have threatened to withhold federal funds from schools that don't reopen. The new findings suggest that this pressure campaign could backfire with many of the voters to whom Trump is trying to appeal ahead of the election.