Photo: Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook is doing away with the controversial "Trending" news section next week, the company announced on Friday.

Why it matters: The section, which it introduced in 2014, was meant to help users get an easy view of the top news during the day, but Facebook says that it ultimately drove less than 1.5% of clicks to publishers on average. The feature has also come under fire more than once — most heavily in 2016, when Gizmodo reported on the human curators' practices and raised charges that the social network suppressed conservative news.

Why now: There are two motivations for Facebook. One, it has said it is looking to decrease news overall in favor of posts from friends. Second, by removing trending it won’t be criticized for promoting fake news or bad sources.

Between the lines: Facebook, like other giant tech companies, has always maintained that it's not a media company and doesn't want to make news judgments, but instead should serve as a platform for news organizations to reach the public — and for users to make choices among those publishers. The company says it is planning to give publishers new tools to flag breaking stories and feature local news content.

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48 mins ago - World

U.S. policy shift will allow taxpayer funding for projects in West Bank settlements

Friedman (L) with Netanyahu. Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel will announce tomorrow that they are expanding three agreements on scientific cooperation to include Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is a substantial policy shift for the U.S., which did not previously allow its taxpayers' money to be spent in the Israeli settlements.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

McConnell: Confirming Amy Coney Barrett will help GOP retain Senate

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed no regrets about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's controversial confirmation, telling Politico in an interview that he believes the decision to place her on the Supreme Court just a week before the election will help Republicans retain the Senate.

Why it matters: With a week to go until Election Day, many Republicans are concerned that President Trump's unpopularity could cost them the Senate. McConnell has long viewed the transformation of the federal judiciary through the confirmation of young conservative judges as his defining legacy.