Photo: Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg via Getty Images

It's not often that Big Tech calls for more government action. But two top Microsoft executives — Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer, and Carol Ann Browne, director of executive communications — write in a tech trends forecast out today.

  • "2018 will be a year when democratic governments can either work together to safeguard electoral processes or face a future where democracy is more fragile."
  • "[T]his needs to include work to protect campaigns from hacking, address social media issues, ensure the integrity of voting results, and protect vital census processes."
  • "While technology companies have a high responsibility to help, there is no substitute for the effective and unified voices of democratic governments themselves."

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Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:15 p.m. ET: 33,477,825 — Total deaths: 1,003,922 — Total recoveries: 23,209,109Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:15 p.m. ET: 7,176,111 — Total deaths: 205,676 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  5. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  6. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.

Mueller defends Russia investigation in rare public statement

Photo: David Hume Kennerly/GettyImages

Former special counsel Robert Mueller in a statement on Tuesday defended his team's handling of the Russia investigation after Andrew Weissmann, a former prosecutor in his office, wrote in a new book that investigators should have done more to hold President Trump accountable.

Driving the news: In the tell-all book, “Where Law Ends,” released on Tuesday, Weissman addresses what he calls the special prosecutor office's failures in its investigation.

Biden releases 2019 tax returns ahead of debate

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign released his 2019 tax returns on Tuesday, showing that he and his wife, Jill, paid nearly $300,000 in federal taxes last year.

Why it matters: The release, timed just hours before the first presidential debate, comes days after a bombshell New York Times report said that President Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017. Biden's team is hoping to make the tax contrast a sticking point during their showdown tonight.