Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russian news agency Interfax said that Russian authorities formally brought espionage charges against American citizen Paul Whelan on Thursday, per the New York Times.

The backdrop: Whelan, a former U.S. Marine, was arrested in Moscow last Friday and could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. Intelligence experts believe he may have been detained as retribution for the arrest of confessed Russian agent Maria Butina. Whelan pleaded not guilty to espionage charges, according to his lawyer.

Go deeper: American detained in Russia visited by U.S. ambassador

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4 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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