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Photo: Kent Gidley/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

The University of Alabama's football coach Nick Saban and athletic director Greg Byrne said in statements Wednesday that they have tested positive for COVID-19.

The big picture: Both the 68-year-old Saban and 48-year-old Byrne said that they immediately left work to isolate at home after receiving their positive tests and that neither are experiencing symptoms.

  • Alabama is currently the No. 2-ranked college football team in the country, and it's dominated the sport for most of the 14 years that Saban has been head coach.
  • It's unclear how the infections will affect Alabama's scheduled game on Saturday against the No. 3-ranked University of Georgia, or whether other players or staff members have contracted the virus.

Go deeper

Alabama will be the new home of U.S. Space Command

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama will serve as the headquarters for U.S. Space Command, the Air Force announced Wednesday, after a hard-fought lobbying campaign.

The big picture: The U.S. military relies on space assets for all types of warfighting, and Space Command — which was established in 2019 as a unified combatant command — is designed to help protect those assets, treating space as a theater of war in much the same way air and sea are.

2 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

2 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.