Jul 29, 2019

2 U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan, bringing 2019 total to 14

Soldiers are seen in the Achin district in Afghanistan in 2017. Photo: Zabihullah Ghazi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Two U.S. service members stationed in Afghanistan were killed in action on Monday, NATO Resolute Support said in a statement. The identities of the service members will be withheld for 24 hours until the next of kin is identified.

Why it matters: The war in Afghanistan is America's longest by far, with the number of service members killed in 2019 — 17 years after Operation Enduring Freedom began — now totaling 14. Most Americans view the war as a failure. The announcement comes on the same day that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said President Trump has directed him to reduce the number of troops stationed in Afghanistan by the 2020 election, the Washington Post reports.

Go deeper: U.S. pushes toward “face-saving way out" of Afghanistan

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The business of tear gas

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. forces yesterday used tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House gates, prior to a declared curfew, clearing a path for President Trump to visit a riot-damaged church for a photo opportunity.

The state of play: Two of the largest U.S. producers of tear gas are owned by private equity firms, but those firms have no interest in discussing their ownership.

Exclusive: Washington Post makes major move into local news

People entering the Washington Post building in D.C. in 2019. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The Washington Post has signed all 30 of McClatchy's local news outlets to its Zeus Performance product, a software that gives sites better speed, ad view-ability and performance, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: By adding more local news outlets, The Post can start to build a local news ecosystem within its tech stack.

Biden: George Floyd's last words are "a wake-up call for our nation"

Former Vice President Joe Biden meets with clergy members and community activists during a visit to Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. on June 1, 2020. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden will call George Floyd’s dying words “a wake-up call for our nation,” and criticize President Trump’s decision to unleash tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House, in a civil rights speech from Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Biden in the address will seek to draw a sharp contrast between himself and Trump, whose first remarks addressing nationwide unrest Monday highlighted law and order, extreme demonstrations of militarized “strength” and other blustery threats.