Jul 26, 2019

Climate change's partial 2020 breakthrough

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The climate plans and views of 2020 White House hopefuls will soon get much more TV coverage — but not yet the way that many activists want.

Driving the news: CNN announced yesterday that it's holding a candidate forum "focused on the climate crisis" on Sept. 4 in New York. And MSNBC said it will be the media partner for a Sept. 19–20 candidates event on climate in D.C., hosted by a Georgetown University policy institute and the news site Our Daily Planet.

Why it matters: The twin announcements yesterday are the strongest sign yet that climate change, once an afterthought in national election cycles, has broken into the political mainstream.

But, but, but: The events won't be what climate activists and a bunch of candidates themselves — led by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee — have been pushing for: An actual debate where the 2020 hopefuls are onstage together.

  • Instead, in these looser "forums," candidates take questions in separate appearances onstage.
  • The Democratic National Committee has rebuffed calls for a climate debate. And under their rules, candidates who appear in unsanctioned debates can be barred from the formal prime-time network contests.

How it works: CNN is inviting only candidates with at least 2% support in 4 major polls by Aug. 28, which is the DNC's threshold for the September debates.

  • Right now that's Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
  • The intrigue: That means that Jay Inslee, who has put climate at the center of his campaign, does not yet make the cut. Nor does Tom Steyer, who is also focusing on the topic. But they have a month to qualify.

Meanwhile, MSNBC said the Georgetown forum would be streamed live on NBC's website and featured over 2 nights on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes," which airs at 8pm ET.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 5,383,582 — Total deaths: 344,077 — Total recoveries — 2,158,031Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,640,972 — Total deaths: 97,679 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Federal judge strikes down Florida law requiring felons to pay fines before voting

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: oe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Sunday ruled that a Florida law requiring convicted felons to pay all court fines and fees before registering to vote is unconstitutional.

Why it matters: The ruling, which will likely be appealed by state Republicans, would clear the way for hundreds of thousands of ex-felons in Florida to register to vote ahead of November's election.

White House announces new coronavirus travel restrictions on Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with Trump, March 19, 2019. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool via Getty Images

The White House announced that beginning at 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, President Trump would suspend entry of non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days in an effort to stop the imported spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Brazil has reported nearly 350,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the second-most in the world behind the U.S. — and has emerged as a Southern Hemisphere hotspot as other heavily affected countries in Asia and Europe have managed to get their outbreaks under control.