May 21, 2019

California sues Trump admin. for rescinding high-speed rail funding

Construction workers in the Frenso Trench build a portion of the high-speed railway line. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

California sued to block the Trump administration from pulling $929 million for a statewide high-speed rail project on Tuesday, describing the funding cancellation as political retribution for California's resistance to President Trump's immigration policies, reports NBC.

Why it matters: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has previously sparred with Trump, but this move is consistent with how the president tries to reprimand leaders of left-leaning states, per the Washington Post.

“This is California’s money, appropriated by Congress, and we will vigorously defend it in court.”
— Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement

Context: The Trump administration officially canceled the funding for the transit project on May 16 and has long been against the project, per the Washington Post. The U.S. Department of Transportation said California hadn't made any "reasonable progress" to merit continued funding, per the Washington Post.

Details: California has also requested a temporary restraining order on the nearly $1 billion in funding so the federal government can't allocate it to other projects. The transit plan was announced in February, designed to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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Schools get creative to keep students connected

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

School districts are exploring ways to keep their homebound pupils connected to the classroom, even though many students don't have the internet service or devices they need to do assignments.

Why it matters: All teachers face the problem of "summer slide" — when students lose skills during summer breaks. This year will be doubly hard because students are losing between one and three additional months of in-classroom instruction due to coronavirus-driven closures.

U.S.-led coalition in Iraq withdraws from 3rd base this month

A soldier stands guard at the Qayyarah airbase in southern Mosul on March 26. Photo: Murtadha Al-Sudani/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The United States-led coalition in Iraq withdrew from K-1 Air Base in the northern part of the country on Sunday, AP reports.

Why it matters: It's the third site that coalition forces have left this month as the U.S. gathers troops in Baghdad and at Ain al-Asad Air Base.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 679,977 — Total deaths: 31,734 — Total recoveries: 145,625.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 124,686 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per CDC, those residents should "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska issues a stay-at-home order — New York tries to nearly triple hospital capacity in less than a month and moved presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's initial handling of the virus balk at call for U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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