Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Papa John's founder John Schnatter will step down as CEO in January, about two months after he criticized the NFL leadership over their players’ national anthem protests, the AP reports.

Why it matters: Papa John's is a sponsor and advertiser of the NFL. Earlier this year, Schnatter blamed slow earnings on players kneeling during the national anthem, a gesture that upset some fans.

Papa John's later apologized, after white nationalists praised Schnatter's remarks.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first kneeled during the national anthem to bring attention to police mistreatment of black men. Other players then started doing the gesture in subsequent games.

What's next: He will be replaced as chief executive by Chief Operating Officer Steve Ritchie on Jan. 1. Schnatter, who is the company's biggest shareholder, remains chairman of the board, per the AP. Ritchie declined to say if the controversial comments played a role in Schnatter stepping down, per the AP.

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Coronavirus cases rise in 25 states

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

New coronavirus infections rose over the past week in half the country.

Why it matters: The U.S. remains largely unable or unwilling to control the spread of the virus.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 33,976,447 — Total deaths: 1,014,266 — Total recoveries: 23,644,023Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,233,945 — Total deaths: 206,959 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.
Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump signs stopgap bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding after funding expired briefly, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Why it matters: The move averts a government shutdown before the Nov. 3 election. The Senate on Wednesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

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