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French workers striking in 1995 carry a banner of Marx. Photo: Steve Eason/Hulton Archive via Getty Images

"As Germany prepares to mark Karl Marx's 200th birth anniversary [Saturday; born May 5, 1818], the revolutionary philosopher's legacy remains divisive more than a quarter century after the fall of the Berlin Wall," AFP reports.

The big picture: "With scars from the Cold War still fresh, people from capitalist former West Germany and the once communist East are of two minds about the 19th-century philosopher ... Some hail Marx as a visionary scholar who foretold the ills of the market economy, while others revile him for inspiring Stalinist regimes."

"In the western town of Trier, the icon's birthplace which is planning 600 events for his bicentenary, it is not lost on critics that the centerpiece of the celebrations is a gargantuan statue offered as a gift from communist China":

  • Why it matters: "Over the last decade in particular, unbridled capitalism and its discontents have fueled renewed interest in Marx's work on the oppression of the working class and inequality."
  • "The theories, developed as the Industrial Revolution gathered pace in the 19th century, find resonance today as societies once again see social and political upheaval."

Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
3 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

4 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.