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Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sen. Thad Cochran, a Republican from Mississippi and the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has announced his intent to resign April 1, citing health reasons. Gov. Phil Bryant will appoint someone to temporarily fill Cochran's seat until Nov. 6, at which point Mississippi will host a special election.

Why it matters: This leaves many speculating that Chris McDaniel will drop his primary challenge against incumbent Sen. Roger Wicker and instead run in November's special election. Mississippi is viewed as an incredibly safe Republican seat — but then again, so was the Alabama seat now occupied by Doug Jones.

Go deeper

D.C.'s building boom grinds to a halt

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The decades-long building boom that remade Washington D.C. is screeching to a halt, undone by broader construction trends and the legacy of the post-pandemic workplace.

Why it matters: Dizzying construction has reshaped the city, reinvigorated downtown and created bustling new communities. 

Facebook fights for its image

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Facebook is ditching apologies and taking a more combative stance against its critics as it faces a new barrage of negative coverage and leaked internal reports.

Driving the news: As part of the new posture, Facebook started testing placing positive messages about itself in users' News Feeds last month, according to a New York Times story Tuesday.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Charter schools boomed during the pandemic

Expand chart
Data: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools; Map: Sara Wise/Axios

Charter schools picked off hundreds of thousands of public school students across the U.S. during the pandemic, according to a new analysis from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

Why it matters: The pandemic has weakened America's public education system, as Zoom classes, teacher fatigue and student disengagement take their toll. And that hobbled system is shedding students to charter schools, private schools and homeschooling.