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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Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage"

Former President Barack Obama launched a blistering attack on President Trump while campaigning for Joe Biden in Orlando on Tuesday, criticizing Trump for complaining about the pandemic as cases soar and joking that he's "jealous of COVID's media coverage."

Driving the news: Trump has baselessly accused the news media of only focusing on covering the coronavirus pandemic — which has killed over 226,000 Americans so far and is surging across the country once again — as a way to deter people from voting on Election Day and distract from other issues.

Wisconsin Democrats: Don't return absentee ballots by mail

Signs for Joe Biden are seen outside a home in Coon Valle, Wisconsin, on Oct. 3. Photo by KEREM YUCEL via Getty

Wisconsin Democrats are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes after a Supreme Court decision on Monday prevented the state from extending its deadline for counting absentee ballots, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: 1,344,535 of the 1,706,771 Wisconsin voters who requested absentee ballots have returned them, according to the Times. The remaining 366,236 could prove critical in the battleground state, where President Trump won by a thin margin in 2016.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are surging, with cold weather arriving before even the best-case scenario for a widely distributed vaccine. Now we're also beginning to see an increase in coronavirus-related startup funding, focused on both testing and pharma.

Driving the news: Gauss, a Silicon Valley computer vision startup focused on health care, tells Axios that it's raised $10 million to accelerate development and commercialization of an at-home rapid antigen test for COVID-19.