Apr 8, 2019

Europe's populists form right-wing alliance ahead of EU elections

Populist leaders of Finland, Germany, Italy and Denmark join hands at the announcement of a new euroskeptic alliance. Photo: Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images

Italy's far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini announced the formation of a new populist alliance — titled the "European Alliance of Peoples and Nations" — that will compete in next month's European Parliament elections on an anti-migration, pro-borders platform.

The big picture: Salvini, with whom fellow nationalist Steve Bannon has forged a close relationship, will be joined by euroskeptic parties from Germany, Finland, Denmark, France, Austria and the Netherlands. May's elections will be the first since the 2016 Brexit referendum, and will be a test for an EU threatened from within by newly empowered strands of anti-migrant nationalism.

  • "As interior minister for 10 months, the No. 1 risk in Italy and Europe is Islamic extremism, Islamic fanaticism, Islamic terrorism," Salvini declared at the press conference.
  • Salvini said if the group wins a parliamentary majority, it would seek to block the process of Turkey — a Muslim-majority country — joining the EU.

What to watch: One of Europe's most notorious nationalist parties, Hungary's Fidesz, was recently suspended from the powerful, center-right European People's Party for "rule of law" violations. If Fidesz and its ultra-nationalist Prime Minister Vikor Orbán decide to leave the EPP for good, the Salvini-led alliance would be a likely landing spot.

Go deeper: Europe's future on the ballot

Go deeper

Trump's new purge

Michael Atkinson, arrives in October for closed-door questioning about the whistleblower complaint. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sources close to President Trump expect him to fire more inspectors general across his government.

What they're saying: Conservative allies of the president have told him that these IGs are members of the “deep state” trying to undermine him. Trump appears to have embraced that view.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Axios Visuals

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 1,140,327 — Total deaths: 60,887 — Total recoveries: 233,930Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 278,568 — Total deaths: 7,163 — Total recoveries: 9,920Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The federal government will cover the costs of COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured.
  4. 2020 latest: "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said of the 2020 election, as more states hold primaries by mail. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday that every county in the state has opted to expand mail-in voting for the state's June 2 primary.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: A pivotal Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Military updates: Senators call for independent investigation into the firing of Navy captain of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt. The U.S. military is struggling to find new recruits as enlistment stations are shut down.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: New York reports record 630 deaths in 24 hours

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York reported 630 new deaths in 24 hours, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday — an "all-time increase" that beat the previous day's record of 562 deaths in one day.

The big picture: As expected, COVID-19 death tolls are rising in the U.S., killing more than 7,100 people in total, and over 1,000 in 24 hours alone. The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread, marking a significant change in messaging from the Trump administration.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 51 mins ago - Health