An Iraqi man walks over the rubble in the old city of Mosul. Photo: AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP / Getty Images

In December, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi proclaimed the end of the nearly four-year-long war against ISIS, five months after al-Abadi announced victory in the city of Mosul.

Why it matters: Since Iraq's second-largest city was liberated, around 327,000 of the 1 million people who left the city have returned, ABC reports. And while the people of Mosul are beginning their lives again, after three years of ISIS control the conditions of the city still pose challenges and dangers to its residents.

Mosul, after ISIS
  • Lise Grande, the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, said in a statement that eastern and western Mosul are facing different challenges: "Ninety-seven percent of the population has returned to their homes in eastern Mosul. People are rebuilding their lives there...Conditions in western Mosul are very difficult...Families are worried about booby-traps, security and services."
  • More than 270,000 people were "living in 18 camps and emergency sites surrounding the city," per a U.N. report from October.
  • ABC reports that repairing the basic infrastructure in the city will cost more than an estimated $1 billion.
  • Corruption in the Iraqi government has led citizens to doubt claims that "hundreds of millions of dollars of U.N. aid is being spent to rebuild Mosul," CNN reports.
  • As of October, the remains of 1,642 civilians had been found underneath rubble, the U.N. reported.
  • 60,000 homes are "uninhabitable," the New York Times reports, and "at least 20,000 commercial and government buildings" were destroyed.

Go deeper: Timeline: the rise and fall of ISIS in Iraq and Syria

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What Matters 2020

The missed opportunities for 2020 and beyond

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Jason Armond (Los Angeles Times), Noam Galai, Jabin Botsford (The Washington Post), Alex Wong/Getty Images

As the 2020 presidential campaign draws to a close, President Trump and Joe Biden have focused little on some of the most sweeping trends that will outlive the fights of the moment.

Why it matters: Both have engaged on some issues, like climate change and China, on their own terms, and Biden has addressed themes like economic inequality that work to his advantage. But others have gone largely unmentioned — a missed opportunity to address big shifts that are changing the country.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.