Sep 8, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 500 words, a 2-minute read.

🚨Top police leaders in Rochester are retiring en masse amid criticism of the city’s handling of the suffocation death of Daniel Prude. (AP)

  • That includes the city’s police chief and deputy chief and possibly other senior commanders.

On tonight’s "Axios on HBO": I interview Mark Zuckerberg about right-wing dominance on Facebook, the CEO's view of his Silicon Valley competitors, and his relationship with President Trump (see clip).

  • Catch the full interview at 11 p.m. ET/PT on all HBO platforms.
1 big thing: America's great virtual-learning experiment

Andrew Burstein logs onto his eighth-grade class in Delray Beach, Fla. Photo: Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP

Round 2 of America's great virtual-learning experiment is off to a glitchy start.

  • Three of Texas’ largest school districts were hit with technical problems on the first day of classes, as were school systems in places such as Idaho and Kansas, AP reports.
  • North Carolina’s platform crashed on the first day of classes last month.
  • Seattle’s system crashed last week.

Why it matters: An estimated 62% of American schoolkids are starting the year virtually, with many of the rest facing the same fate should caseloads rise in their areas.

  • Only 19% have in-person school every day, with another 18% in hybrid formats, according to a Burbio tracker.

The big picture: These problems are particularly acute for parents of young kids.

  • Alessandra Martinez's 7-year-old has struggled with logins, passwords and connection problems, she told AP.
  • He had a meltdown when he was moved to a smaller breakout group but didn’t see the teacher and didn’t know what he was supposed to be doing.
  • “At their age, everything is amplified, and it feels like a big deal,” Martinez said.

The bottom line: Educators and parents alike are doing their best, and hopefully some of these issues can be fixed or minimized.

  • But as with just about every aspect of the coronavirus pandemic, its pain will be felt most by those with the fewest resources.
2. Pics du jour
Photos from top left: Anne-Christine Poujoulat, Kenzo Tribouillard, Marco Bertorello/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Scenes today from the 10th stage of the 107th Tour de France, from top left:

  • Riders take the start.
  • Team Trek rider Latvia's Toms Skujins rides after crashing.
  • Stage winner Team Deceuninck rider Ireland's Sam Bennett celebrates as he crosses the finish line.
  • The pack rides in La Rochelle with the Saint-Nicolas tower (L) and the Chain tower in the background.
3. Catch up quick
  1. Apple is countersuing Fortnite developer Epic. Go deeper.
  2. The signing ceremony of the U.S.-brokered normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates will take place at the White House on Sept. 15. Go deeper.
  3. The Biden campaign has tapped Bully Pulpit Interactive to run a new mobilization advertising program online. Go deeper.
  4. EA Sports added Colin Kaepernick to Madden NFL 21, marking his first appearance in the popular football video game series since 2016. Go deeper.
4. 1 smile to go: Chess has a moment

Hikaru Nakamura of USA competes against Levon Aronian of Armenia in 2017. Photo: Andrew Halseid-Budd/Getty Images

Blitz chess is enjoying a huge surge in interest, with Hikaru Nakamura as a top beneficiary, the N.Y. Times reports.

  • "From March through August, people watched 41.2 million hours of chess on Twitch, four times as many hours as in the previous six months."
  • "In June, an amateur chess tournament called PogChamps was briefly the top-viewed stream on Twitch, with 63,000 people watching at once."

Between the lines: "Each player has just a few minutes to complete all of his or her moves, leading to an aggressive, risky style of play that fans say is exhilarating to watch."

  • "A player’s timer stops only when it is the other person’s turn to move a piece, so planning ahead and making quick calls is vital to managing the clock. The climax often comes when mere seconds remain and the combatants exchange a rapid flurry of moves."
Mike Allen