Boris Johnson. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

On the U.K. Parliament's last night before beginning a month-long suspension, Prime Minister Boris Johnson failed for the 2nd time to earn the two-thirds majority necessary to call a snap general election.

Why it matters: Johnson was hoping to use an election to circumvent a law passed by Parliament last week that will require him to seek a Brexit extension rather than crash out of the EU without a deal on Oct. 31. The prime minister has said he would rather be "dead in a ditch" than seek an extension, but he now appears to be left with little other choice outside of breaking the law.

The big picture: The opposition Labour Party, which has been clamoring for an election for the past 2 years, opted not to vote for Johnson's motion in fear that he would win a majority in the election, repeal the extension law and force a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31. Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he would still favor an election once no-deal Brexit is taken completely off the table.

  • Johnson's controversial move to suspend Parliament from Monday night until Oct. 14 was originally designed to thwart rebel attempts to block a no-deal Brexit, but it may end up weakening his own bargaining position.
  • Parliament will not meet again until 3 days before the European Council summit on Oct. 17 and 18, the last chance for Johnson and the EU to agree to a deal before Brexit day.
  • It's unclear what comes next. A wild showdown in October could see Johnson refuse to abide by the opposition's law — with consequences as severe as jail — or choose to resign rather than break his promise to deliver Brexit on Halloween, "do or die."

Worth noting: Amazingly, Johnson still has not won a vote in Parliament as prime minister. A bill passed Monday will require the government to release documents and communications related to its no-deal preparations, after a leak last month revealed that a cliff-edge Brexit could cause devastating food, fuel and drug shortages.

Go deeper: The Northern Ireland sticking point standing in the way of a Brexit deal

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Deadly Hurricane Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," it began lashing Alabama late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

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Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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