Cliff Owen / AP

Just hours before their deadline, the Pentagon delayed an Obama-era rule that would've allowed transgender individuals to join the military, per WashPost. The military will now be able to delay processing these new recruits until January 1, which is the six-month delay the Joint Chiefs of Staff had requested.

What they're saying: "How will the decision affect the ability of America's military to defend the nation?" Defense Secretary Mattis said, according to the Post. "It is against this standard that I provide the following guidance on the way forward in accessing transgender individuals into the military Services."

Currently, the policy disallowed the military services from separating its members who came out as transgender and it granted them access to medical care as of last October 1. However, it also gave the Pentagon one year to decide how to process new transgender recruits, which they will now figure out over the next six months.

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Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

3 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.