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Michael Sohn / AP

The European Commission announced Tuesday that five countries will have to phase out extra border checks they've been using in the Schengen zone by November this year, Reuters reports.

The countries: Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway. France, which added border controls after the November 2015 terror attacks, is exempted since it remains in a state of emergency.

The emergency checks were allowed to start in 2015 in response to the refugee crisis, when more than a million people sought asylum in Northern Europe, straining the countries' capacities to deal with that influx. Of the countries concerned, Germany took the most migrants.

Germany is not on board with loosening its border controls now, even though migrant flows have been down, claiming it needs to protect against terrorism.

Why it matters: This could have repercussions in the domestic politics of Germany and other E.U. countries, where immigration and terrorism are hot button issues.

Go deeper

12 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.