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Fiat Chrysler confirmed that it withdrew its 50-50 merger offer with Renault late on Wednesday, after the French automaker's board failed to agree on the proposal in their second day of negotiations.

Details: Two Nissan Motor Co. representatives on Renault’s board refused to throw their support behind the deal, raising concerns about Nissan's commitment to maintaining the decades-long alliance should the $40 billion merger move forward. The French government asked for a delay on the merger vote, resulting in Fiat pulling out of the deal, sources said.

  • Nissan had previously resisted Renault's push for a full merger between the French and Japanese partners, opening the door for FCA to move in.

Why it matters: "The negotiations represented a test of the European auto industry’s ability to overcome national economic rivalries and establish a European champion, akin to Airbus SE in aviation," per the Wall Street Journal.

Our thought bubble, per Axios' Felix Salmon: The Japanese government is being as aggressive with FCA and Renault as it had previously been with Carlos Ghosn, Nissan's former chairman. And the French — along with FCA — decided they didn’t have the appetite for a fight.

Go deeper: Between the lines on Fiat Chrysler's proposed merger with Renault

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17 mins ago - World

U.S. threatens to veto UN peacekeeping in Lebanon over Hezbollah concerns

Peacekeepers with Lebanese troops in southern Lebanon. Photo: Jalaa Marey/AFP via Getty

The Trump administration is threatening to veto a resolution to extend the UN's long-standing peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon if its mandate isn't changed, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: The U.S. is the main funder of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has an annual budget of $250 million. The veto threat is a tactical move, and part of a broader effort to put pressure on Iran and its proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 20,388,408 — Total deaths: 743,599— Total recoveries: 12,616,973Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 5,150,590 — Total deaths: 164,681 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits — U.S. producer prices rose last month by the most since October 2018.
  4. Public health: America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.

Trump congratulates QAnon conspiracy theorist on GOP runoff win

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday tweeted congratulations to Marjorie Taylor Greene, a vocal QAnon conspiracy theorist who won the Republican nomination in Georgia's deep-red 14th Congressional District runoff.

Why it matters: The president's approval illustrates how the once-fringe conspiracy theory has gained ground within the GOP. Greene is among the at least 11 GOP candidates for Congress who have openly supported or defended the QAnon movement or some of its tenets, per Axios' Jacob Knutson.