Former President Obama at an Obama Foundation event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in December. Photo: Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Former President Obama tweeted Wednesday the U.S. is still waiting for a "coherent national plan" to manage the novel coronavirus, as he praised Massachusetts for its response to the pandemic.

Why it matters: Obama rarely comments on Trump administration policies, though he did call for Americans last month to stay home and maintain social distancing protocols. He also urged mayors at a town hall this month to "speak the truth" about the outbreak.

The big picture: Obama's comments come as President Trump and some governors look to reopen economies. Massachusetts has implemented strict measures to curb COVID-19's spread. The state has extended orders to close schools, along with businesses like bars and restaurants, until May.

  • Its contact-tracing program was the first statewide effort in the U.S., and it's "still rapidly bringing on staff," the Boston Globe notes.

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Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  6. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.
Dave Lawler, author of World
46 mins ago - World

U.S.-brokered ceasefire collapses in Nagorno-Karabakh

Volunteer fighters in Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh. Photo: Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S.-brokered ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh crumbled within hours on Monday, leaving the month-old war rumbling on.

Why it matters: Nearly 5,000 people have been killed, according to Vladimir Putin’s rough estimate, including more than 100 civilians. Between 70,000 and 100,000 more are believed to have fled the fighting.

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Japan's big new climate goal

Climate protest in Tokyo in November 2019. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Japan's new prime minister said on Monday the nation will seek to become carbon neutral by 2050, a move that will require huge changes in its fossil fuel-heavy energy mix in order to succeed.

Why it matters: Japan is the world's fifth-largest source of carbon emissions. The new goal announced by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is stronger than the country's previous target of becoming carbon neutral as early as possible in the latter half of the century.