Mary Altaffer / AP

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley told CNN's Jake Tapper the administration thinks regime change is on the horizon for Syria:

Regime change is something we think is going to happen because parties are going to see Assad is not the leader.

On Russia and Iran: "I don't think anything is off the table" in terms of stepping up sanctions against Russia, Iran, and others who support Assad.

On next steps: Haley said if Trump "needs to do more, he will do more" beyond Thursday's strikes, but added on Meet the Press: "We're going to keep all of our thoughts and plans close to the chest."

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster also said "we're prepared to do more," on Fox News Sunday but Rex Tillerson was more cautious in his Sunday show appearances, saying ISIS was the priority and not directly calling for regime change.

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Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.

Senate passes bill funding government through December

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Where it stands: The legislation will avert a government shutdown before funding expires Wednesday night and before the Nov. 3 election. The House passed the same measure last week by a vote of 359-57 after House Democrats and the Trump administration agreed on the resolution.

  • Both sides agreed early in negotiations that the bill should be a "clean" continuing resolution — meaning each party would only make small changes to existing funding levels so the measure would pass through both chambers quickly, Axios' Alayna Treene reported last week. The bill now goes to President Trump for his signature.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

The age of engineering life begins

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Synthetic biology startups raised some $3 billion through the first half of 2020, up from $1.9 billion for all of 2019, as the field brings the science of engineering to the art of life.

The big picture: Synthetic biologists are gradually learning how to program the code of life the way that computer experts have learned to program machines. If they can succeed — and if the public accepts their work — synthetic biology stands to fundamentally transform how we live.