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The Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Charlottesville City Council voted Monday to remove two statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from the city's public parks, according to the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The statues were the flashpoint for the violent "Unite the Right" rally in the city in August 2017 during which a self-professed neo-Nazi killed counter-protester Heather Heyer by driving his car into counter-protesters.

Context: The city planned to remove the statues after the rally, but a group of residents sued the city to block the removals.

  • The Virginia Supreme Court ruled in April that the city is allowed to remove the statues, which advocates say pay deference to America's legacy of slavery and racism.
  • The removal of such statues became the focal point during racial justice protests in 2020.

The big picture: The council held a public hearing before the vote, during which tens of residents asked that the statues be removed, according to the Post.

  • Residents now have 30 days to propose new plans for the statues, such as relocating them to museums, after their removals, according to CNN.

Go deeper: Civil rights figures are replacing Confederates on monuments

Go deeper

Virginia to remove Richmond's Robert E. Lee statue this week

Workers install an eight-foot fence around the Robert E. Lee monument on Jan. 25 in Richmond, Virginia, amid preparations for its removal. Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

Richmond's Robert E. Lee statue will come down on Wednesday, days after the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the state could remove the 60-foot-tall monument.

Why it matters: The 130-year-old statue is "Virginia's largest monument to the Confederate insurrection," Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement Monday. "This is an important step in showing who we are and what we value as a Commonwealth."

Go deeper: Floyd's death set historic pace for Confederate removals

15 mins ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Tax season nightmare ahead for understaffed IRS

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The IRS will start accepting 2021 tax returns in less than a week, and the filing delays and administrative headaches to come might eclipse last year — which was “one of the worst filing seasons," according to an independent advocacy agency within the IRS.

Why it matters: For taxpayers, especially with complex or paper filings, this means headaches, delayed refunds, and mistakes.