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The collision of urbanization, population growth and the rapid movement of people and goods across borders is heightening global pandemic risk.
Why it matters: Aside from the tragic human cost, outbreaks such as the coronavirus, and the fear that accompanies them, are threatening to roil geopolitics and the global economy.
What's happening: A number of factors are exacerbating risk.
At the same time, advancements in medicine are making us more resilient to new diseases.
"The hysteria associated with an outbreak like this probably could cause more damage than the virus itself," Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, told reporters.
The hysteria around the outbreak could even accelerate the ongoing "decoupling" of the U.S. and China, as American companies ponder moving their factories and supply chains out of the country to hedge against the risk of the pandemic.
The bottom line: It's crucial for health officials around the world to be as transparent as possible when dealing with such an outbreak, but the coronavirus cases come as tensions between Washington and Beijing are peaking.
Be smart: While this new strain of coronavirus has killed 132 people so far, this flu season took 8,200 lives in the U.S. alone, reports Axios' Bob Herman.
Go deeper with the latest on the outbreak from Axios' breaking news team.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
The fate of the national race to build 5G wireless service depends on how effectively the guts of the network — namely, hundreds of thousands of bulky antennas — are placed in cities, Axios' Kim Hart reports.
Why it matters: While global tensions mount over pressure to build 5G networks as fast as possible, U.S. cities are in a fight of their own with telecom carriers and federal regulators over how new 5G antennas — or small cells — will be scattered throughout downtowns and neighborhoods.
Driving the news: Next month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California, will hear the case between cities and the Federal Communications Commission over the placement of 5G antennas.
Context: Wireless companies say one of the biggest hurdles to deploying 5G networks is the need to negotiate with city officials for permission to install small cells and that some cities were charging excessive fees for access to city property.
The other side: City leaders, however, say the one-size-fits-all rules undermine their authority to charge market rates for property access. They also say the mandated fee structure weakens their leverage to negotiate wider 5G build-outs that, for example, cover poor neighborhoods as well as rich ones.
What's happening: Two Georgia towns, 10 miles apart in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, have drastically different reactions to the realities of deploying 5G networks:
What's next: A decision in the lawsuit over 5G infrastructure placement is expected later this year. Until then, the litigation creates uncertainty for both cities and carriers during what is supposed to be a critical time for 5G rollouts.
"I don't think, sitting here in Washington, we have the right to tell cities what to do," said Democratic FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who voted against the 2018 order. "We've created a lot of anger in cities and states across this country who want to play a role in figuring out what the future of their infrastructure looks like."
Go deeper with Kim's full story.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Big Tech is getting greener — but that’s not keeping it out of climate advocates’ crosshairs, Axios' Ben Geman reports.
The state of play: Even as major tech companies announce new green ambitions — and evince existing ones — they're facing heightened pressure to walk the walk when it comes to their products and clients.
The big picture: New data shows that Google was the global leader in corporate renewable energy procurement last year, signing contracts for 2.7 gigawatts of capacity. The next three biggest buyers were Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, per a BloombergNEF report that underscores Big Tech's years-long push into renewables.
The other side: Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor, who heads the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, this week urged Google to curb false climate information on YouTube. She called for steps including...
Also this week, hundreds of Amazon employees, defying their communications rules, put their names on statements criticizing Amazon policies on climate (among other topics).
The bottom line: Big Tech companies have some of the corporate world's most aggressive climate targets and programs. But this is hardly inoculating them against criticism.
Facebook's pop-up location last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Photo: Ina Fried/Axios
How Big Tech used Davos in 2020 (Ina Fried — Axios)
Free trade is dead (Peter Coy — Bloomberg)
Science ranks grow thin under Trump (Annie Gowen, Juliet Eilperin, Ben Guarino, Andrew Ba Tran — WashPost)
How the GOP became the party of the left-behind (Eduardo Porter — NYT)
The outsize influence of your middle school friends (Lydia Denworth — The Atlantic)
Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
A fascinating new project from the rental search platform Apartment List pulls together piles of data to show where renters in every U.S. metro are moving to and from.
Some of the big ones...
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