Updated Nov 15, 2018

Fox News competitor OANN backs Trump White House against CNN

The conservative One America News Network is breaking with most media organizations by supporting the White House against CNN in the legal battle over correspondent Jim Acosta's suspended press badge.

"WE are going to file in the CNN vs White House court an Amicus Brief in favor of the White House. Acosta’s actions are stopping our people from getting their questions answered, so that we can give our audience the real news direct from our President. ... Can’t believe Fox is on the other side, but they have direct communication to the President. We are lucky if we get a five minute interview once a quarter."
OANN CEO Robert Herring

Between the lines: OANN is a competitor to Fox News and is struggling to pull itself from the bottom of the cable ratings. But Marc Fisher of the Washington Post writes, "it is nonetheless one of President Trump's favorite media outlets."

  • "[CEO Robert Herring] often said OAN’s purpose was to give viewers the news they needed to make educated choices. But he increasingly directed the newsroom to cover stories that reflected his personal views," WaPo reports.
  • The network focuses on conservative topics such as anti-abortion issues and defending police in shootings.
  • It reportedly minimizes coverage of the Russia investigation and refrains from covering the troubles of the White House.

Thought bubble from Axios' Sara Fischer: Conservative outlets are trying to ensure that they have support from the press corps should they face adversity from a Democratic-leaning administration in the future. Fox News received support from the White House press corps in 2009 amid friction with the Obama administration.

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American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday, while Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 as of Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

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Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."