Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Expand chart
Data: U.S. government press releases; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The travel itineraries of the Biden administration’s top foreign policy officials show a clear pattern.

The big picture: Early engagement with long-standing partners in Europe, the Middle East and East Asia; An effort to deepen relationships in Southeast Asia; Limited emphasis on Latin America beyond migration issues.

  • Little high-level attention at all on sub-Saharan Africa.

Breaking it down: With the pandemic still a concern, President Biden has traveled only for summits: NATO in Belgium, the G7 in the U.K., and Vladimir Putin in Geneva. He’s expected to return to Europe for the G20 in Italy (Oct. 29–Nov. 1) and the UN climate summit in the U.K. (Nov. 1–3).

  • Secretary of State Tony Blinken has visited 22 countries, mostly in Europe, the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific, with one stop in Latin America (Costa Rica).
  • India, Japan and South Korea have all hosted multiple high-level visitors, and several officials have made trips to Southeast Asia, all of which underscore Biden’s focus on China.
  • Worth noting: No senior officials have visited Canada, though Biden met virtually with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and saw him at the G7.

For an administration that is trying to shift attention and resources away from the Middle East, there have been quite a few high-level visits to that region (some came in the context of the Afghanistan withdrawal).

  • National security adviser Jake Sullivan this week became the most senior Biden official to visit Saudi Arabia and meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
  • Meanwhile, with the exception of Egypt, none of the eight senior officials whose travels we tracked have stepped foot in Africa.

State of play: The administration has not ignored the continent entirely.

  • Victoria Nuland, the third-ranking State Department official, visited four African countries in August, and Biden held virtual “visits” to Nigeria and Kenya in April.
  • The civil war and humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia has attracted significant high-level attention, as well as visits from USAID administrator Samantha Power (who has also visited Sudan) and Jeffrey Feltman, special envoy for the Horn of Africa.

Yes, but: “As long as aid and not investment is the basis of the relationship, making the case for Africa’s strategic importance will be difficult,” says Gyude Moore, a fellow at the Center for Global Development. “It is a bit disappointing since Biden was supposed to be an improvement on Trump.”

  • By contrast, Chinese foreign ministers typically take their first overseas trip to Africa, other top officials visit regularly, and African and Chinese leaders will gather in Senegal later this year for a triennial summit.
  • Just 4% of China's global trade is with Africa, Moore says, but “you wouldn’t know from the attention China lavishes on the continent.”

The bottom line: “It’s difficult to convince the U.S. government that Africa is important enough to warrant these exchanges,” says Moore, who is also a former Liberian government minister. “This is not a Biden problem. This is an American government problem.”

  • The White House and State Department did not comment for this story.

Editor's note: In addition to Biden, Sullivan, Blinken and his deputy Wendy Sherman, we tracked the travels of Vice President Harris, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield. We also included climate envoy John Kerry, who has Biden’s ear and is keeping a particularly busy travel schedule.

Go deeper

The biggest headline from Biden's town hall

President Biden greets attendees during a commercial break in Baltimore last night. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

What matters from President Biden's town hall with CNN's Anderson Cooper at Baltimore Center Stage on Thursday:

The biggest headline: Biden is jettisoning the corporate tax increases that White House officials have insisted, for the past 10 months, are wildly popular across the country. He admitted he doesn't have the votes.

1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Facebook exec warns of "more bad headlines"

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In a post to staffers Saturday obtained by Axios, Facebook VP of global affairs Nick Clegg warned the company that worse coverage could be on the way: “We need to steel ourselves for more bad headlines in the coming days, I’m afraid.”

Catch up quick: Roughly two dozen news outlets had agreed to hold stories based on leaked materials from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for Monday publication — but the embargo fell apart Friday night as participating newsrooms posted a batch of articles ahead of the weekend.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.