Updated Jun 16, 2018

The big picture: Mexican politicians being killed at staggering rates

Photo: Francisco Robles/AFP/Getty Images

Since September, 113 candidates, pre-candidates, and current and former politicians in Mexico have been killed ahead of its elections, according to Etellekt, a policy consultancy in the country — and there are still about two weeks to go.

Why it matters: The violence is not just killing people, it is acting as a deterrent to would-be politicians. About 600 candidates of different parties have backed out of running in the last few months out of fear for their safety, per BuzzFeed News.

  • Volunteers haven’t been handing out flyers in Durango State because it has been too dangerous, Carlos Figueroa Ibarra, the head of human rights at Morena, the party leading presidential polls, told BuzzFeed News.
  • The Party of the Democratic Revolution did not put forward candidates in parts of Sinaloa State due to lack of security.

Context: Although running for office is in Mexico is known to be a violent affair riddled with criminal gang violence, this year is possibly more violent because it is the largest election in the country's history — the number of open roles exceeds 3,400. There has also been an uptick in violence and murders more generally in Mexico due to the recent fragmentation of cartels.

The violence

By the numbers: It’s not just about politics — Mexico is on track to pass 30,000 murders this year, which would transcend its record for murders last year.

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Bernie's plan to hike taxes on some startup employees

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sens. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced legislation that would tax nonqualified stock options at vesting, rather than at exercise, for employees making at least $130,000 per year.

The big picture: Select employees at private companies would be taxed on monies that they hadn't yet banked.

Judge rules against Trump policy limiting public comment on energy leasing

Photo: Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday overturned a 2018 Trump administration directive that sought to speed up energy leases on public land by limiting the amount of time the public could comment.

Why it matters: U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush's decision voids almost a million acres of leases in the West, according to The Washington Post. It's a victory for environmentalists, who tried to block the change as part of an effort to protect the habitat of the at-risk greater sage grouse.

  • The ruling invalidated five oil and gas leases in Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, and affected 104,688 square miles of greater sage-grouse habitat, per The Associated Press.
  • Leases in greater sage-grouse habitat will return to allowing 30 days of public comment and administrative protest.

The big picture: From Axios' Amy Harder, this is the latest in a long and convoluted list of regulatory rollbacks the Trump administration is pursuing on environmental rules that courts are, more often than not, rebutting. With Congress gridlocked on these matters, expect the courts to be the default way Trump's agenda faces checks (unless, of course, a Democrat wins the White House this November).

Your best defense against coronavirus

Photo: Adrian Greeman/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Washing your hands is the best way to protect against the novel coronavirus, according to doctors and health officials, as the virus continues to spread around the globe.

Why it matters: Frequent hand washing can stop germs from spreading in a community, a known preventative for COVID-19 and influenza.