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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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David Beasley in Cuba. Photo: Yamil Lage/AFP via Getty Images

The UN's World Food Program (WFP) was awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize in a pointed assertion that multilateralism is saving lives despite the nationalism espoused by leaders like President Trump.

What they're saying: "Multilateralism seems to have a lack of respect these days,” said Nobel Committee director Berit Reiss-Andersen. "The need for international solidarity and multilateral co-operation is more conspicuous than ever."

The flipside: The director of the WFP, former South Carolina governor David Beasley, was actually a Trump administration pick. Another former Republican governor of that state, Nikki Haley, nominated him for the Rome-based post while serving as America's UN ambassador.

  • While President Trump has announced America's withdrawal from the WHO and criticized other UN agencies, WFP has not attracted the president's ire. Washington remains the agency's largest donor.
  • Beasley noted in a conversation with Axios last year that U.S. funding for the program had actually increased on his watch.

Driving the news: The WFP is one of the world's largest humanitarian organizations, and its mission has grown during the pandemic.

  • It began to fly medical workers and supplies all over the world after most other planes were grounded.
  • Beasley, meanwhile, has warned of a "hunger pandemic" as the pandemic's economic repercussions push tens of thousands of people into extreme poverty.
  • WFP received the award "for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict," per the committee.

Beasley was in Niger when he received the news. He described the scene during a congratulatory call from the Nobel Committee.

  • "I'm literally in a meeting in Niger and somebody walked in and said, 'the Nobel Peace Prize!' I said, 'yeah, what about it?' They said, 'we won!'" Beasley said he didn't believe it at first.
  • "I believe that what the committee has done today is give recognition to the fact that we can't forget about the poor, the needy, the vulnerable that are suffering around the world," he said.
  • "The message to the world is powerful, and the world needs a good message right now."

Go deeper

Scoop: Caitlyn Jenner makes it official for California governor

Caitlyn Jenner. Photo: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Former Olympic decathlete and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner has filed her initial paperwork to run for governor of California and will officially announce her bid later today, her campaign tells Axios.

The big picture: Jenner, a longtime Republican, is seeking to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall election, hoping her celebrity status and name recognition can yield an upset in the nation's most populous state.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
41 mins ago - Sports

New laws, new rules bring big changes to college sports

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The college sports landscape could change more in the next six months than it has in the last 50 years, as the NCAA grapples with new competition, new laws and new rules.

How it works... 1. Startup leagues: Investors are flocking to new leagues that aim to compete with the NCAA, evidence of just how much opposition there is to the amateurism model — and how much belief there is in new ones.

2 hours ago - Health

Malaria vaccine from Oxford highly effective in early trials

Family in Brazil under a malaria net. Photo: J R Ripper/Brazil Photos/LightRocket via Getty Images

A malaria vaccine developed by Oxford University was found to have "high-level efficacy" in phase II trials, according to a pre-print study released on Friday.

Why it matters: Malaria kills over 400,000 people a year, more than half of them children under the age of 5. Deaths have fallen in half over the past 20 years thanks to investment in prevention and drugs, but a truly effective malaria vaccine would represent one of the greatest victories in the history of public health.

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