EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency downplayed the role that human activity has played in accelerating climate change in talking points distributed via an internal memo, reports The Huffington Post. One of the memo's talking points says that "human activity" impacts climate change in "some manner," adding, "The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of that impact, and what to do about it, are subject to continuing debate and dialogue."

Why it matters: Axios' Amy Harder says the very existence of these talking points puts on paper the phrasing that EPA chief Scott Pruitt has been using for months. For that reason, it's one of the most concrete public signs that the EPA's effort to dismiss climate change is coordinated and not haphazard.

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3 mins ago - World

Trump announces normalization of ties between Israel and UAE

Trump with Netanyahu at the White House. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump announced a "historic" deal Thursday which will see Israel and the UAE open full diplomatic relations, and Israel suspend its annexation plans in the West Bank.

Why it matters: This is a major breakthrough for Israel, which does not have diplomatic recognition in many Middle Eastern countries but has been steadily improving relations in the Gulf, largely due to mutual antipathy toward Iran.

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump vows to block stimulus funding for mail-in voting and USPS

President Trump on Thursday told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo that Democratic demands to fund mail-in voting and the U.S. Postal Service in ongoing coronavirus stimulus negotiations were a non-starter.

Why it matters: Trump directly linked Democrats' desired $3.6 billion for mail-in voting and $25 billion for the USPS to his continued baseless claims that increased mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud.

Wind and solar power hit record global market shares in first half of 2020

Reproduced from Ember; Chart: Axios Visuals

A steep decline in coal-fired power combined with rising wind and solar output drove the carbon-free sources to record global market share in the first half of 2020, per a new analysis from the environmental think tank Ember.

Why it matters: The report shows how the coronavirus pandemic is speeding the ongoing shakeup of the global power mix — but also how it's occurring too slowly to reach international climate goals.