IRS employees protest the government shutdown. Photo: Natalie Behring/Getty Images

The Internal Revenue Service is calling back around 60% of its furloughed workforce — amounting to 46,000 employees — to work on tax refunds without pay, AP reports.

Why it matters: The White House announced last week that the IRS will send out federal income tax returns, with a very real possibility that the government shutdown will continue past Jan. 28 — the official start of tax filing season.

Go deeper: All the ways Americans are feeling the effects of the shutdown

Go deeper

26 mins ago - World

Massive explosion rocks Beirut

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion has slammed central Beirut, Lebanon, and damaged buildings as far as several miles away.

Driving the news: The cause of the explosion is unknown, as are details of potential deaths and injuries. It comes as Lebanon grapples with a crippling financial crisis and the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 18,340,451 — Total deaths: 695,318 — Total recoveries — 10,946,462Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 4,727,879 — Total deaths: 155,814 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. States: New York City health commissioner resigns in protest of De Blasio's coronavirus response.
  4. Public health: 40% of Americans continue to put off medical care.
  5. Politics: Trump tells "Axios on HBO" that pandemic is "under control," despite surges in infections and uptick in deaths.
  6. Business: Low-income households are struggling to pay energy bills — Construction spending falls for 4th straight month.

Trump's new TikTok threat

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump said twice Monday that the U.S. Treasury would need to get a portion of the sale price of TikTok, as a condition of regulatory approval.

Why it matters: This is akin to extortion — the sort of thing you'd expect to hear on a wiretap, not from the White House in front of reporters.