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

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Photo: Vishal Bhatnagar/NurPhoto via Getty Images

India began to relax its lockdown measures on Saturday in some parts of the country, as the government slowly allows neighborhood stores to reopen outside known hotspots, AP reports.

Why it matters: India had among the strictest stay-at-home orders in the world and the measures, introduced March 24, have taken their toll economically, forcing millions of people to rely on government food handouts and other subsidies.

Driving the news: In an announcement Friday evening, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs said it would let shops in rural areas resume.

  • Even though the government is easing the lockdown, that does not apply to hundreds of quarantined towns and other hotspots.
  • Shopping malls and liquor stores will remain closed, but families that own small retail businesses will experience some economic relief.
  • India allowed manufacturing and farming activities in rural areas to restart last week so daily-wage earners could get some relief.

Go deeper: What world leaders are doing and saying about coronavirus

Go deeper

Aug 2, 2020 - Health

Birx: U.S. has entered new phase of coronavirus pandemic

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx said Sunday on CNN that the U.S. has shifted into a new phase of the coronavirus pandemic, as infections have spread further into rural areas than in March and April.

Why it matters: Coronavirus infections in rural communities have surpassed the number of cases in big cities — and areas in the U.S. with fewer coronavirus testing sites were predominately rural as of May.

5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Rail's big moment is arriving

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Passenger rail could be the big winner if Congress moves ahead with President Biden's ambitious infrastructure plan.

Why it matters: There's long been bipartisan support for rebuilding America's crumbling infrastructure, but under Biden, the focus has shifted to sustainable projects that fulfill both his climate and equity goals, such as rail transit.

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.