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Menendez and Rubio in 2013. Photo: Douglas Graham / CQ Roll Call

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to raise the issue of potential Russian interference in upcoming Latin American elections — including July's presidential election in Mexico — during a trip to the region this week, per CBS News. The bipartisan legislators want to encourage Western Hemisphere allies to count on funding assistance from the United States to bolster the security of their democratic processes.

Why it matters: The senators argue that electoral systems in developing countries are less advanced than those here in the U.S., leaving them more vulnerable to foreign hacking and manipulation by hostile actors.

Quotes from Rubio and Menendez's letter to Tillerson:

  • "We are increasingly concerned about growing efforts to undermine these hard-fought and widely supported advances, particularly those emanating from outside the region."
  • "Weak electoral systems can be easily exploited and manipulated by malicious actors like Russia. As such, we believe it is critical that USAID continue to play an active role in providing technical assistance, education and training to support countries' efforts to strengthen electoral systems."

Go deeper

Biden's Day 1 challenges: The immigration reset

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President-elect Biden has an aggressive Day One immigration agenda that relies heavily on executive actions to undo President Trump's crackdown.

Why it matters: It's not that easy. Trump issued more than 400 executive actions on immigration. Advocates are fired up. The Supreme Court could threaten the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and experts warn there could be another surge at the border.

10 hours ago - Sports

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with all Denver Broncos quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucusColorado Governor and partner test positive.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday as crisis engulfs league, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.