House lawmakers approved a bill Wednesday that will allow federal authorities to supersede some state standards for self-driving vehicles in an early attempt to avoid a patchwork of regulations that could hinder the prospects of the nascent technology.

What's next: Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is expected to announce updated guidance for self-driving vehicles next week. And a group of Senators are working on their own legislative package to tackle the issue. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune said Wednesday that draft text of that proposal could come "by the end of this week."

The flashpoint: Trucks. Senate Democrats are under pressure from labor unions who want them to follow their House colleagues in excluding from their bill commercial vehicles like trucks and buses, where automation could eliminate a significant number of jobs. Thune sounds skeptical. "That's what the Democrats want but at some point we have to address trucks," he told reporters, noting his committee had scheduled a hearing on the trucking issue for next week.

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Federal judge blocks DOJ from defending Trump in Carroll rape defamation case

E. Jean Carroll in Warwick, New York. Photo: Eva Deitch for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed the Justice Department's attempted intervention on behalf of President Trump in writer E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuit against him, after she accused him of raping her in a dressing room in the mid-1990s.

Catch up quick: The agency argued that Trump was "acting within the scope of his office" as president when he said in 2019 that Carroll was "lying" about her claim.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.
  7. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

Pre-bunking rises ahead of the 2020 election

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Tech platforms are no longer satisfied with debunking falsehoods — now they're starting to invest in efforts that preemptively show users accurate information to help them counter falsehoods later on.

Why it matters: Experts argue that pre-bunking can be a more effective strategy for combative misinformation than fact-checking. It's also a less polarizing way to address misinformation than trying to apply judgements to posts after they've been shared.