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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio during a press conference on the coronavirus. Photo: EuropaNewswire/Gado/Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference Tuesday that he plans to release from Rikers Island some 300 nonviolent inmates who are over 70 years old as a measure against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: There's been an outbreak on Rikers and a New York City Department of Correction officer stationed there died last week — one of 13 deaths related to COVID-19 in the city, which has at least 14,000 cases. Those imprisoned for domestic violence or sexual assault offenses won't be freed. To meet release requirements, prisoners must have at least five pre-existing health conditions and less than a year to serve. "We want to identify anyone in those categories and get them released immediately," de Blasio said. 75 inmates have been released already.

Go deeper

Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law

Protesters at a rally at the Texas State Capitol. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.

Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.

20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden bombs with Manchin

Then-Vice President Joe Biden conducts a ceremonial swearing-in for Sen. Joe Manchin in 2010. Photo: Tom Williams/Roll Call

President Biden failed to persuade Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to agree to spending $3.5 trillion on the Democrats' budget reconciliation package during their Oval Office meeting on Wednesday, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Defying a president from his own party — face-to-face — is the strongest indication yet Manchin is serious about cutting specific programs and limiting the price tag of any potential bill to $1.5 trillion. His insistence could blow up the deal for progressives and others.

Biden blindsides Europe with new AUKUS alliance on China

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Biden is constructing and deepening new alliances to strengthen the U.S. position in its showdown with China, but he risks alienating longstanding allies in the process.

Why it matters: Biden heralded a new agreement to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines as part of a trilateral security pact with the U.K. and the U.S. as an "historic step" to update U.S. alliances to face new challenges. The message from French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, was quite different.