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Paul Manafort arrives for a court hearing. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Prior to his conviction last week, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's legal defense team discussed a potential plea deal with prosecutors in the hopes of avoiding a second trial, but the negotiations failed, the Wall Street Journal's Aruna Viswanatha reports.

Why it matters: President Trump praised Manafort following his guilty verdict, calling him a "brave man" for not caving into pressure to make a deal — unlike Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to his charges.

The details: The plea negotiations took place while the Virginia jury was deliberating over Manafort's verdict, writes Viswanatha, but failed due to issues raised by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It's unclear what those issues were.

What's next: Manafort faces a second round of charges in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. in September

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
11 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.