Jul 21, 2017

Rep. Upton weighs joining climate caucus

Carlos Osorio / AP

Axios sat down with Rep. Fred Upton yesterday, the former Energy and Commerce Committee chairman who now leads the energy subcommittee. A few notes from our conversation in the Michigan Republican's office:

Upton revealed he may join the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, which currently has 48 members split evenly between the parties.Why it matters: Membership from Upton would add stature to the group, given his longtime prominence on energy policy and seniority in GOP circles.Upton said Democrat Jan Schakowsky approached him this week about joining, and that he's "running the traps" on the idea. (Note: It's a "Noah's Ark" caucus with equal party representation, so members join in bipartisan pairs.)

Paris: Upton is "disappointed" that President Trump is abandoning the Paris climate accord. He noted that the agreement does not impose emissions mandates or penalties, and noted the provisions that improve monitoring of China's and India's emissions."I didn't think it was worth joining Syria and Nicaragua as being the only two other countries that were not signatories to it," he said.Go deeper: Upton was among the 46 Republicans who broke with most of their colleagues by voting last week to support new Defense Department's work to assess the national security threat of climate change.

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Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 16 mins ago - Politics & Policy

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,446 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Heat wave melts 20% of snow cover from Antarctic island in days

The effects of February's record heat wave on Eagle Island in Antarctica. Photo: NASA

Antarctica's Eagle Island now has a side that's almost ice-free following this month's searing heat wave in the region, images released by NASA show.

Why it maters: "The warm spell caused widespread melting on nearby glaciers," NASA said in its report. It's the third major melt event of the 2019-2020 Southern Hemisphere summer, following warm spells in January and last November, according to the United Nation's World Meteorological Organization (WMO).