Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama hit the campaign trail Monday with Democratic Senate candidate Jacky Rosen to urge Nevadans to vote this November and fight the Republicans' stronghold.

Why it matters: Obama has stepped back into the limelight recently to help boost Democratic turnout for the midterms, particularly by campaigning for candidates in tight races. Getting voters out to the polls is more crucial than ever, given recent polls show Republicans have narrowed the enthusiasm gap.

  • “I want this to be the capital of voting," Obama told the crowd. "I’m here just to get one thing from you — this is for you to vote. This November’s elections are more important than any in my lifetime, and that includes when I was on the ballot.”
  • “The consequences of you staying home would be profoundly dangerous for our country, for this democracy."
  • "The powerful, the privileged, they fight hard to keep what they got, and they fight hard to divide us … because that helps them keep power and their privileges. And we’re in one of those moments right now."
  • "Ultimately there is only one real check on abuses of power … and that is you and your vote."

Note: Former Vice President Joe Biden also hit the trail Monday, appearing in Tampa for a rally with the Democratic candidates for governor and U.S. Senate.

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Updated 29 mins ago - World

China says U.S. is "endangering peace" with high-level visit to Taiwan

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar during a June briefing in Washington, DC. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced Tuesday night he will lead a delegation to Taiwan "in the coming days."

Why it matters: It's the highest-level visit by a U.S. cabinet official to Taiwan since 1979. Azar is also the first U.S. Cabinet member to visit the island state in six years. The visit has angered China, which views Taiwan as part of its territory. Chinese officials accused the U.S. Wednesday of "endangering peace" with the visit, AFP reports.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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At least 100 killed, 4,000 injured after massive explosion rocks Beirut

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion has slammed central Beirut, Lebanon, damaging buildings as far as several miles away and injuring scores of people.

Driving the news: At least 100 people have been killed and over 4,000 injured in the blast — and the death toll is likely to rise, the Lebanese Red Cross said, per AP. Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the explosions occurred at a warehouse that had been storing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate for the past six years.