Duterte spars with the media during a press conference. Photo: Manman Dejeto/AFP via Getty

The Philippines' telecommunications commission shut down the country's largest TV network on Tuesday, in a surprise move that follows other steps by President Rodrigo Duterte's government to put pressure on major media outlets.

Why it matters: The cease-and-desist order for broadcaster ABS-CBN follows legal threats on the Philippines' largest newspaper, which was sold under pressure to a Duterte ally, and legal cases against leading news site Rappler. It also removes a leading source of news from the airwaves during the coronavirus pandemic.

Where things stand: The order came a day after ABS-CBN's 25-year operating license from Congress expired. The renewal remains pending in Congress, which is filled with Duterte's allies.

The big picture: The network, which has become a cultural symbol and is watched by millions of Filipinos worldwide, was forced to sign off early Tuesday night, leaving the jobs of some 11,000 staff in peril.

What they're saying:

  • A presidential spokesperson backed the commission: “We thank the network for its services to the Filipino nation and people especially in this time of COVID-19. But in the absence of a legislative franchise, as we have earlier said, ABS-CBN’s continued operation is entirely with the National Telecommunication Commission’s decision."
  • The network also issued a statement, saying: "We trust that the government will decide on our franchise with the best interest of the Filipino people in mind, recognizing ABS-CBN’s role and efforts in providing the latest news and information during these challenging times."
  • Media organizations and human rights groups labeled the move an attack on freedom of the press and on the Southeast Asian country's fragile democracy.

Flashback: The media giant was shut down in 1972 during the dictatorial rule of Ferdinand Marcos and reopened after the 1986 People Power Revolution.

The big picture: Duterte has responded angrily to critical coverage, particularly of his violent drug war. He has warned that journalists "are not exempted from assassination."

Go deeper: Press freedom is eroding around the world

Go deeper

Updated 27 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

France reported more than 2,500 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours — the largest single-day number since May. French officials said the situation was "clearly worsening," per France 24.

By the numbers: Over 745,600 people have died of the novel coronavirus globally and over 20.4 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins. Almost 12.7 million have recovered from the virus.

Biden campaign raises $26 million in 24 hours after announcing Harris as running mate

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign announced on Wednesday that it raised $26 million in the 24 hours after revealing Sen. Kamala Harris as his vice presidential pick.

Why it matters: The cash influx signals that Harris has helped the Democratic presidential campaign pick up steam. Nearly 150,000 contributors were first-time donors, according to the campaign statement.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 20,456,016 — Total deaths: 745,600— Total recoveries: 12,663,206Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 5,190,948 — Total deaths: 165,883 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says Mnuchin told her White House is "not budging" on stimulus position.
  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
  5. Public health: America's two-sided COVID-19 response America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  6. Education: New Jersey governor allows schools to reopenGallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.