A fracking site is situated on the outskirts of town in the Permian Basin oil field. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

"The world’s largest oil companies this week posted some of their best earnings in years as they control costs and ride rising oil prices that are nearing $70 a barrel," the Houston Chronicle's Jordan Blum writes on the front page.

Why it matters: "The improved earnings are another sign that the energy industry recovery is gaining momentum. U.S. oil production and exports are at record highs, and both Exxon and Chevron are investing billions of dollars to develop their holdings in the Permian Basin in West Texas."

By the numbers: "Chevron [yesterday] said its first quarter profit surged by 36 percent from a year ago to $3.6 billion, its best report since the peak of the last oil boom in the summer of 2014."

  • "To get a sense of the newfound strength of the industry, consider this: analysts and investors were deeply disappointed by the earnings of Exxon Mobil, which said it profits rose 16 percent to nearly $4.7 billion in the first three months of the year. Flat or falling earnings from refining and chemicals profits kept Exxon from generating even more extravagant returns."

Why it happened: "The strong profits are largely a product of higher oil prices, which are nearly $20 a barrel higher than a year ago and more than $40 above the low point of the recent oil bust — $26 a barrel in early 2016."

  • "The majors also are exploring again. Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Shell, the British company BP and the French company Total have all announced significant offshore discoveries in recent months, in the Gulf of Mexico and North Sea, and off the coast of Guyana."

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Americans reflect on Independence Day amid racism reckoning

A Black Lives Matter banner and a United States flag on the facade of the U.S. embassy building in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Simon Shin/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

America's leaders are rethinking how they view Independence Day, as the country reckons with the historic, unequal treatment of people of color during a pandemic which has disproportionately affected nonwhite Americans.

Why it matters: The country’s legacy of racism has come into sharp focus in the weeks of protests following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody. From Confederate statues to Mount Rushmore, Americans are reexamining the symbols and traditions they elevate and the history behind them.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 10,945,600 — Total deaths: 523,035 — Total recoveries — 5,797,206Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 2,767,669 — Total deaths: 128,951 — Total recoveries: 781,970 — Total tested: 33,462,181Map.
  3. Public health: The states where face coverings are mandatory Fauci says it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
  4. Economy: The economy may recover just quickly enough to kill political interest in more stimulus.
  5. States: Florida reports more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases, and its most-infected county issues curfew.
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Washington Redskins to review team name amid public pressure

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins have announced they will be conducting a review of the team's name after mounting pressure from the public and corporate sponsors.

Why it matters: This review is the first formal step the Redskins are taking since the debate surrounding the name first began. It comes after weeks of discussions between the team and the NFL, the team said.