Then-FBI Director Robert Mueller speaks during a news conference. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team is requesting that witnesses turn in their cellphones to look at their encrypted messaging apps including WhatsApp, Confide, Signal and Dust, reports CNBC.

Why it matters: Although findings of the inspections have not been disclosed, "investigators seem to be convinced that the apps could be a key to exposing conversations that weren't previously disclosed to them," adds CNBC. This follows an accusation by federal prosecutors working for Mueller that claimed Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, attempted to tamper with witnesses. The court documents said Manafort tried to contact them by phone and through an encrypted messaging program.

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Democrats and the Trump administration remain "miles apart" on negotiations over a coronavirus stimulus deal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday.

Driving the news, via Axios' Dion Rabouin: Congress' failure to renew enhanced unemployment measures for millions of Americans at the end of July is already affecting consumer spending patterns, holding down retail purchases and foot traffic, economists at Deutsche Bank say.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

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U.S. threatens to veto UN peacekeeping in Lebanon over Hezbollah concerns

Peacekeepers with Lebanese troops in southern Lebanon. Photo: Jalaa Marey/AFP via Getty

The Trump administration is threatening to veto a resolution to extend the UN's long-standing peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon if its mandate isn't changed, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: The U.S. is the main funder of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has an annual budget of $250 million. The veto threat is a tactical move, and part of a broader effort to put pressure on Iran and its proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah.