Oct 26, 2018

New Jersey Senate race is now a toss-up

Sen. Bob Menendez. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The New Jersey Senate race is now looking like a toss-up, according to the the Cook Political Report a sign that Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez is in serious trouble after years of questions about his ethics.

Why it matters: If Republicans pick up that seat, a Senate majority would be out of reach for the Democrats. Federal prosecutors dropped their corruption charges against Menendez earlier this year, but the Senate Ethics Committee admonished him for accepting gifts from a friend. What the race comes down to is Menendez "and his ethics problems," Cook reports, and if the "voter who goes to the polls...decides to send Menendez a message."

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Snapchat will no longer promote Trump's account in Discover

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Snapchat will no longer promote President Trump's account on its "Discover" page of curated content, a spokesperson tells Axios, after Trump tweeted comments that some suggested glorified violence amid racial justice protests.

Why it matters: Snapchat is taking action on the president's account for comments he made elsewhere. That's going farther than other big tech firms and signals a commitment to aligning content served to users with core values, rather than making moderation decisions based narrowly on each post made on its own platform.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Esper catches White House off guard with opposition to military use, photo op

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at a press briefing Wednesday that he does not support invoking the Insurrection Act, an 1807 law that permits the president to use active-duty troops on U.S. soil, in order to quell protests against racial injustice.

Why it matters: President Trump threatened this week to deploy military forces if state and local governments aren't able to squash violent protests. Axios reported on Wednesday that Trump is backing off the idea for now, but that he hasn't ruled it out.

Chinese coronavirus test maker agreed to build a Xinjiang gene bank

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A leading Chinese gene sequencing and biomedical firm that said it would build a gene bank in Xinjiang is supplying coronavirus tests around the world.

Why it matters: U.S. officials are worried that widespread coronavirus testing may provide an opportunity for state-connected companies to compile massive DNA databases for research as well as genetics-based surveillance.