🚨 Breaking: Health officials in California, Oregon and Washington state worry about the coronavirus spreading in the West after at least three patients were infected by unknown means. Details.
🎬 Sneak peek: See a clip from Alexi McCammond's "Axios on HBO" interview with Harvey Weinstein prosecutor Cyrus Vance Jr., who tells us how the convictions could impact future sex-crime cases. Season 3 premieres tomorrow at 6 p.m. ET/PT.
The U.S. has signed a deal with the Taliban aimed at ending its war in Afghanistan after 18 years, starting with the withdrawal of around 4,000 troops "within months."
Between the lines: The agreement has lots of wiggle room for interpretation, so we recommend the "healthy dose of skepticism" that retired Army four-star Gen. Jack Keane advised on Fox News on Feb. 16 as progress became apparent.
What to watch: As the U.S. begins to pull troops out, the Taliban has agreed to prevent terror groups from filling the void and to enter negotiations with the Afghan government.
What they're saying:
How it happened: Negotiations began in September 2018, led by veteran U.S. diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad.
The big picture: Since the American invasion in the wake of 9/11, 3,500 U.S. and allied troops have been killed, tens of thousands of Afghans have lost their lives, and the U.S. has spent $2 trillion.
🥊 A Trump administration official told me this is a "huge milestone moment, while at the same time being the beginning of the process":
Sen. Bernie Sanders is trying to rebrand socialism in the U.S., but he'll have to overcome common fears about the word — fears the Trump campaign is hungry to exploit, Stef Kight writes as part of our "What Matters 2020" series.
Between the lines: No nuance will stop the Trump campaign, or Republicans in general, from painting Sanders as a dangerous threat.
Defining the term: Sanders' democratic socialism is more about softening capitalism and compensating for growing economic inequality.
Generational divide: Many Americans, especially older generations, can't shake socialism's associations with communism and strict government control.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
Most Joe Biden admirers Axios interviewed in South Carolina, where he's vowed to win today's primary, said they're unfazed by his embarrassing losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, Alexi McCammond reports from Columbia.
The state of play: If Biden wins South Carolina commandingly, he has momentum for Super Tuesday, three days from now. But if Sanders manages to even come close, it'll fuel his juggernaut.
By the numbers: Real Clear Politics polling averages have Sanders in the lead in California, Virginia, Texas and North Carolina — all big Super Tuesday states.
What we're seeing: Unlike in Iowa and New Hampshire, where voters shop around to the end, some South Carolinians we met had already voted early and were still showing up to their candidates' events.
Joe's hand: Many voters said they felt a personal connection with Biden because of his longtime ties to the state.
Bernie's hand: The fact that Sanders is in second place in South Carolina — after being crushed there in 2016 — shows how fast Democratic politics are changing.
The stock market is heading south with unprecedented velocity. Does that mean it's crashing? Are we in a recession? Is this a financial crisis?
How it works: A stock-market crash happens when the market plunges suddenly, often for no particular reason.
Where are we now? Stocks are down, but it's a relatively orderly (if fast) decline, without a lot of panic selling. Financial analyst Josh Brown calls it "Panic Holding."
Context: The market is still about 30% higher than it was when Trump took office.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
In 1945, engineer and science administrator Vannevar Bush laid out a framework for support of science in the U.S. that drove prosperity and American dominance for 75 years.
For years, America's proportion of global R&D spending has been declining.
Food delivered via an app can cost as much as 91% more than ordering the same dish in the restaurant, the N.Y. Times' Brian X. Chen found:
Chen used Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash and Postmates to fetch turkey sandwiches from Subway, and a "family value meal" from Panda Express.
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