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Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A new study shows the consistent loss of local newspapers and journalists has contributed to political polarization, AP reports .

The big picture: Fewer local newspapers means people have to turn to national news sources like cable news to understand national politics, according to the research published in the Journal of Communication. People are applying those issues to their own city councils or state legislatures, leaving more local topics to the wayside.

Details: Researchers compared voting data from 66 communities where newspapers have closed in the past two decades to 77 areas where local newspapers continue to operate.

Yes, but: Dwindling journalism on a local level is just one piece of political polarization. Other factors include less voter participation where local offices are decided and increased government spending in communities where investigative journalists have departed.

Go deeper: StoryCorps aims to counter online platforms' "scary" polarization

Go deeper

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Google's parent shuts down effort to deliver internet via balloons

Image: Loon

Alphabet is shutting down Loon, one of its "moonshots," which aimed to deliver internet service via high-altitude balloons.

Why it matters: The effort was one of several approaches designed to get high-speed connectivity to some of the world's most remote spots and proved useful in the aftermath of disasters that shut down traditional infrastructure.

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What has and hasn't changed as Biden takes over U.S. foreign policy

Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden swiftly recommitted the U.S. to the Paris climate pact and the World Health Organization, but America's broader foreign policy is in a state of flux between the Trump and Biden eras.

Driving the news: One of the most striking moves from the Biden administration thus far was a show of continuity — concurring with the Trump administration's last-minute determination that China had committed "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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