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Photo: Soeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images.

Commerce Department official Earl Comstock, who rankled others in the Trump administration on telecom policy issues including 5G, is resigning effective Friday, Reuters reports.

The big picture: Comstock was a controversial figure at the center of battles over how to free up airwaves for 5G as well as the administration's overall direction on the next-generation wireless networks. The friction has repeatedly spilled out in public and led to the resignation of Commerce's top telecom official last year.

What they're saying: In a statement, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross thanked Comstock for the three years he served as the director of policy and strategic planning.

  • "I value his wise counsel, his deep policy expertise, his innovative thinking and leadership, and I thank him for his service to the American people," Ross said in the statement. "I know he will excel in whatever new role he takes on and wish him the very best."
  • The Commerce Department declined further comment.

Go deeper

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat — Study: Trump campaign rallies likely led to over 700 COVID-related deaths.
  2. World: Boris Johnson announces month-long lockdown in England — Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections.
  3. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  4. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.

North Carolina police pepper-spray protesters marching to the polls

Officers in North Carolina used pepper spray on protesters and arrested eight people at a get-out-the-vote rally at Alamance County’s courthouse Saturday during the final day of early voting, the City of Graham Police Department confirmed.

Driving the news: The peaceful "I Am Change" march to the polls was organized by Rev. Greg Drumwright, from the Citadel Church in Greensboro, N.C., and included a minute's silence for George Floyd. Melanie Mitchell told the News & Observer her daughters, age 5 and 11, were among those pepper-sprayed by police soon after.

7 hours ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.