Updated Oct 29, 2018

Pentagon to deploy 5,200 troops to U.S.-Mexico border

Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

The Pentagon plans to deploy 5,200 troops to ports of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas, Arizona and California by the end of this week to support immigration authorities' efforts to stop Central American migrants headed for the U.S., officials announced Monday.

The details: Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, head of the U.S. Northern Command, told reporters that a group of 800 soldiers was already heading to Texas from Fort Campbell and Fort Knox. The announcement comes in the closing days of the midterm elections season, in which President Trump has said he will cut off federal aid to the countries from which migrants are fleeing. He is reportedly planning to deny any requests for asylum and close the southern border as a migrant caravan makes its way north.

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Public transit's death spiral

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Public transit systems across the country are experiencing a painful trifecta: Ridership has collapsed, funding streams are squeezed, and mass transit won't bounce back from the pandemic nearly as fast as other modes of transportation.

Why it matters: Transit agencies could see an annual shortfall of as much as $38 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to TransitCenter. At the same time, they're more important than ever, with more than 36% of essential workers relying on public transportation to get to work.

World coronavirus updates: London mayor says U.K. nowhere near lockdown lifting

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern offered hope in the fight against the novel coronavirus, saying she believes New Zealand has "turned a corner" after two weeks of strict lockdown measures. But London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said the U.K. is "nowhere near" lifting restrictions.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed over 82,000 people and infected 1.4 million others globally as of early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Global recoveries have surpassed 301,000. Spain has reported the most cases outside the U.S. (more than 141,000) and Italy the most deaths (over 17,000). Half the planet's population is on lockdown.

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Wisconsin may be the start of the 2020 election wars

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wisconsin voters braving lines in face masks — after a last-minute Supreme Court ruling against extending the absentee deadline — could foreshadow a nationwide legal struggle over how to conduct elections during the coronavirus outbreak, election experts say.

Why it matters: "It's a harbinger of what's to come in the next skirmishes in the voting wars" from now through November, Richard Hasen, a professor and national election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, told Axios.