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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Department of Justice spokesperson Kerri Kupec signaled in a tweet Saturday upcoming DOJ action against local authorities that have cracked down on religious services as part of restrictions to combat the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: While many religious leaders have moved to online services, some churches and conservatives are pushing back against local government orders preventing them from holding in-person gatherings during the pandemic.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Driving the news: After a warrant was issued for the arrest of Florida megachurch pastor Rodney Howard-Browne for refusing to cancel his packed services and obey coronavirus physical distancing orders, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a directive that the state's stay-at-home-order exempts religious gatherings.

  • In Louisiana, the pastor of a megachurch near Baton Rouge told Reuters he expected more than 2,000 worshippers on Easter Sunday.
  • In Kansas, the state's Supreme Court announced late Saturday it had upheld Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's executive order preventing religious services of more than 10 people after the Republican-controlled legislature overturned her ban.
  • In Kentucky, a federal judge granted on Saturday a temporary restraining order filed by a Louisville church against Mayor Greg Fischer who announced a ban on an Easter Sunday drive-in service. The judge stated in a memorandum that the mayor's decision was "unconstitutional," per Fox News.
  • In Greenville, Mississippi, two churches said police threatened to fine worshippers at their drive-in services following a ban on the practice announced by the local mayor and city council, Fox News notes.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper: God and COVID-19

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the Kansas Supreme Court ruling.

Go deeper

Biden: There won't be "American forces moving into Ukraine"

President Joe Biden told reporters Tuesday that he does not foresee U.S. troops moving into Ukraine.

Why it matters: Biden's comments come as tensions between Russia and Ukraine persist, and a Russian invasion of Ukraine appears increasingly likely.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers — New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

The Robinhood M&A rumor mill churns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Robinhood's valuation is now just over $11 billion, a fraction of where it traded in August and below that of its last private round of funding. Cue the M&A mongers.

Why it matters: It's not just Robinhood—falling values of growth-oriented tech stocks have raised speculation that formerly high-flying fintechs could be snapped up by more well-capitalized buyers.

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