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Blue skies ahead? Opposition leader Bill Shorten addresses the media from a backyard in Melbourne. Photo: Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, of the conservative Liberal Party, has called a general election for May 18. He'll face off against Bill Shorten of the opposition Labor Party.

Where things stand: Morrison starts a few points back in the polls. His pitch to voters is that Labor would endanger strong economic growth. Whoever wins might not last long. Australia has had a revolving door of prime ministers in recent years — Morrison is the 5th since 2013.

Climate change is expected to play a role after a year of extreme weather events.

  • Health care, education and jobs are also on voters' minds. And immigration is also a factor. Morrison, a former immigration minister, is associated with a crackdown on asylum seekers.

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. 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.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

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.

8 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

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.