Photo: Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images

Informants close to the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin who played a vital role in helping U.S. intelligence agencies warn the public of Russian meddling in the 2016 election have now gone silent, seemingly out of fear for their lives and personal safety, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The radio silence has left the CIA and other intelligence agencies with less information on what Putin’s plans could be for midterm elections this fall. Officials told the Times they don’t believe their sources have been compromised or killed, but the news comes after two former spies were poisoned in the U.K. presumably by Russia, U.S. intel agents were expelled from the country, and several political campaigns and tech companies have reported political hacking attempts from overseas.

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Boeing's one-two punch

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX was the worst crisis in the plane-maker’s century-long history. At least until the global pandemic hit.

Why it matters: Wall Street expects it will be cleared to fly again before year-end. Orders for what was once the company’s biggest moneymaker were expected to rebound after the ungrounding, but now the unprecedented slump in travel will dash airlines’ appetite for the MAX and any other new planes, analysts say — putting more pressure on the hard-hit company.

New downloads of TikTok, WeChat to be blocked in U.S. on Sunday

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Commerce Department issued Friday an order blocking new downloads of WeChat and TikTok in the U.S. as of Sept. 20.

The state of play: President Trump has been in a standoff with TikTok, threatening to ban the app if its Chinese owner, ByteDance, does not relinquish control to a U.S. company. A deal is in the works with the American tech company Oracle, but would need to go through before Sunday to prevent TikTok from being ousted from app stores.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 30,211,680 — Total deaths: 946,710— Total recoveries: 20,551,632Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 6,676,410 — Total deaths: 197,655 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 91,546,598Map.
  3. Politics: Trump vs. his own administration on virus response.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.