Demonstrators during the Native Nations Rise protest on March 10, 2017. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

The Keystone XL pipeline was approved to run through Nebraska on Friday, as the project faces a federal lawsuit in Montana and landowners refuse to approve easements, the New York Times reports.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Amy Harder: The political relevance of this project has taken on a life far larger than its actual impact. Expect this to be a focus in the 2020 presidential general election, given it's a clear differentiator between President Trump and all the Democratic candidates.

Where it stands: "Protesters, including from Native American tribes in Nebraska and South Dakota, have promised to mobilize if construction begins," per the Times. The pipeline, delayed by former President Obama after it was proposed in 2008, would transport crude oil from Canada to southern Nebraska.

Go deeper: Judge blocks construction of controversial Keystone XL pipeline

Go deeper

17 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 38 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.