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Leader of the 5 Star Movement, Luigi Di Maio. Marco Cantile/LightRocket via Getty Images

Italy's president Sergio Mattarella has approved a populist coalition government put forward by the 5 Star Movement and the League.

The big picture: The two populist parties, big winners in March's elections, had agreed previously to govern together but had their cabinet vetoed by President Sergio Mattarella. The economic program of the two eurosceptic parties has caused a storm in European markets the last two weeks.

Political newcomer Giuseppe Conte is still slated to serve as prime minister, but the finance ministry will go to little-known economics professor Giovanni Tria after Mattarella rejected the previous nominee, an advocate of leaving the euro.

One happy man: Steve Bannon has been in Italy in recent days promoting the coalition-in-waiting. Sources tell Axios he met with Matteo Salvini, the leader of the League, in March and encouraged him to partner with Five Star.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

4 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.