Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

With a new year comes a new title for 2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg: former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

The big picture: Buttigieg's term as mayor will end Wednesday as James Mueller, who served in Buttigieg's administration as chief of staff, is set to be sworn in. Buttigieg announced he would not run for re-election in 2018.

  • Mueller received Buttigieg's endorsement in February 2019. He won a crowded primary for the city's Democratic nomination in May.

Why it matters: The title change frees up Buttigieg's schedule at a vital time in the presidential race. While he hadn't been tied to his desk in South Bend, hometown commitments occasionally took him off the trail. Most notably, he paused campaigning in June after protests broke out in South Bend in the wake of an officer-involved shooting of a black man.

  • Buttigieg is now free to spend all his time in Iowa just weeks away from its first-in-the-nation caucuses on Feb. 3.
  • Buttigieg also holds an advantage over the five senators also competing for the nomination. The pending impeachment trial of President Trump would force Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet to remain in Washington.

Go deeper: Pete Buttigieg on the issues, in under 500 words

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Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid

President Trump speaking during a press conference on Aug. 8. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday signed four executive actions to provide relief from economic damage sustained during the coronavirus pandemic after talks between the White House and Democratic leadership collapsed Friday afternoon.

Why it matters: Because the Constitution gives Congress the power to appropriate federal spending, Trump has limited authority to act unilaterally — and risks a legal challenge if congressional Democrats believe he has overstepped.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 19,451,097 — Total deaths: 722,835 — Total recoveries — 11,788,665Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2. p.m. ET: 4,968,413 — Total deaths: 161,858 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective.
  4. Science: Indoor air is the next coronavirus frontline.
  5. Schools: How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.
4 hours ago - World

What's next for Lebanon after the Beirut explosion

Photo: Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Beirut residents are still clearing rubble from streets that appear war-torn, days after a blast that shocked the country and horrified the world.

Why it matters: The explosion is likely to accelerate a painful cycle Lebanon was already living through — discontent, economic distress, and emigration.