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Pope Francis with a statue depicting migrants and refugees. Photo by Vincenzo Pinto/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis in a sermon at St. Peter’s Square on Sunday criticized countries that produce and sell weapons for wars beyond their borders and then refuse to admit refugees fleeing those same conflicts, according to Reuters.

Why it matters: The Argentine pope, whose parents were Italian immigrants, has used his pontificate to defend migrants and scorn strict immigration policies enacted by President Trump and populist anti-immigrant politicians in Europe, per Reuters.

What they're saying: "Wars only affect some regions of the world, yet weapons of war are produced and sold in other regions which are then unwilling to take in the refugees generated by these conflicts," Francis said.

  • The solution, he said, was "being a neighbor to all those who are mistreated and abandoned on the streets of our world, soothing their wounds and bringing them to the nearest shelter, where their needs can be met."

Of note: Pope Francis also inaugurated a statue in St. Peter’s Square depicting migrants and refugees from different faiths and different periods of history to mark the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

Go deeper: Big Oil backs carbon pricing, climate disclosures in meeting with Pope Francis

Go deeper

21 mins ago - Economy & Business

Clean trucks are paving the road to the electric vehicle era

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The electric vehicle revolution is underway, led by the un-sexiest of plug-in models: the commercial truck.

Why it matters: Growing demand for cleaner trucks means 2021 will be a pivotal year for electric vehicles — just not the kind you might have expected.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The fragile recovery

Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits is falling but remains remarkably high three weeks before pandemic assistance programs are set to expire. More than 1 million people a week are still filing for initial jobless claims, including nearly 300,000 applying for pandemic assistance.

By the numbers: As of Nov. 14, 20.2 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits of some kind, including more than 13.4 million on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs that were created as part of the CARES Act and end on Dec. 26.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The top candidates Biden is considering for key energy and climate roles

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has urged President-elect Joe Biden to nominate Mary Nichols, chair of California's air pollution regulator, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The reported push by Schumer could boost Nichol's chances of leading an agency that will play a pivotal role in Biden's vow to enact aggressive new climate policies — especially because the plan is likely to rest heavily on executive actions.