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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Jake May / The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP

More than 8,000 residents of Flint, Michigan were informed in April they may lose their homes if they don't pay their water bills, according to The Washington Post. Michigan just ended the program that was paying most of the city's water bills even though the water flowing through Flint's lead-contaminated pipes has not been declared safe to drink without a filter yet. Flint's water crisis has been linked to a dozen deaths.

The water: Although Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's office said the water now meets the standards under the Lead and Copper Rule and Safe Drinking Water Act, residents don't trust the government or their pipes to serve up safe drinking water, and many don't want to pay for the tainted water. As one resident told the Toronto Star:

We just don't want to pay to have ourselves killed.

The $: More than $5.8 million in water and sewer charges still need to be collected. Residents have until February of next year to pay up.

An update on city and state accountability:

  • The city is getting water from Detroit now.
  • A resident and other plaintiffs successfully sued the city in March to begin replacing the 18,000 tainted pipes. The state is paying for it along with some of the funds Congress set aside last year for Flint.
  • More than a dozen state and local officials have been charged with crimes, like ignoring signs of danger in the new water source and knowingly putting residents at risk.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 4: Trump turns on Barr

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Drew Angerer, Pool/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 4: Trump torches what is arguably the most consequential relationship in his Cabinet.

Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit."

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters gathered outside fortified statehouses across the U.S. over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
8 hours ago - World

China's economy grows 6.5% in Q4 as country rebounds from coronavirus

A technician installs and checks service robots to be be used for food and medicine delivery in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China, on Sunday. Photo: Hu Xuejun/VCG via Getty Images

China's economy grew at a 6.5% pace in the final quarter of 2020, the national statistics bureau announced Monday local time, topping off a year in which it grew in three of four quarters and by 2.3% in total.

Why it matters: No other major economy managed positive growth in 2020. Although the COVID-19 pandemic was first detected in China, the country got the virus under control and became one of the main positive drivers of the global economy even as the rest of the world was largely under lockdown.

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