Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

In an interview with The Atlantic's McKay Coppins, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said his decision to call for a one-week FBI investigation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was motivated by a desire to preserve the credibility of two institutions: the Supreme Court and the Senate.

The big picture: Flake is a conservative who still plans on voting for Kavanaugh if the FBI investigation doesn't turn up any new evidence. But he said that the Supreme Court is "the lone institution where most Americans still have some faith," and that confirming Kavanaugh without an investigation would risk damaging its long-term credibility.

With respect to the Senate, Flake said there is "no market for reaching across the aisle." The Kavanaugh saga has driven an already-divided country deeper into chaos, and the toxic relationship between Democrats and Republicans in Congress is only making things worse.

"Just these last couple of days—the hearing itself, the aftermath of the hearing, watching pundits talk about it on cable TV, seeing the protesters outside, encountering them in the hall. I told Chris [Coons], 'Our country’s coming apart on this—and it can’t.'"
— Sen. Jeff Flake

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Deadly Hurricane Zeta pummels Alabama after Louisiana landfall

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," it began lashing Alabama late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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