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Per the New York Times, "Exxon Mobil and other oil companies opened their wallets at an offshore oil auction in Brazil on Thursday in a sign that the industry was stepping back into the deepwater drilling business."

One reason it matters: The auction comes just a week after a big Interior Department lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico brought in just $125 million in total winning bids.

  • The contrast shows how, despite the Interior Department's promotion of drilling on U.S. public lands and waters, companies have a wealth of other attractive options like offshore Brazil and onshore shale plays that are largely on state and private lands in Texas and elsewhere.

What happened: The oil giant and its partners offered eight winning bids totaling 640,000 acres, including one bid of $848 million. BP, Shell and Chevron were among the other companies snapping up acreage, and Reuters reports that the sale netted Brazil's government $2.4 billion.

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Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 18,359,053 — Total deaths: 695,709 — Total recoveries — 10,952,311Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 4,738,853 — Total deaths: 156,041 — 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 — New York ER doctor on pandemic advice: "We know what works"
  4. Public health: 59% of Americans support nationwide 2-week stay-at-home order in NPR poll Atrium Health CEO says "virtual hospital" has treated 13,000 COVID patients.
  5. Politics: Trump tells "Axios on HBO" that pandemic is "under control," despite surges in infections and uptick in deaths.
Updated 17 mins ago - World

Massive explosion rocks Beirut

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion has slammed central Beirut, Lebanon, damaging buildings as far as several miles away and injuring scores of people.

Driving the news: The cause of the explosion is unknown. It's also unclear how many people were killed or wounded, but the Lebanese Red Cross has told AP that casualties number in the hundreds. Reuters reports that at least 10 people have been killed, citing security sources.

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

The U.S. is at risk of attacks in space

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Other nations are catching up to U.S. capabilities in space, potentially putting American assets in orbit at risk.

Why it matters: From GPS to imagery satellites and others that can peer through clouds, space data is integral to American national security.