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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) rejected a push from the right in a divisive vote on Tuesday, electing a president who has prioritized racial reconciliation and approving a measure that rejects any view of racism as "anything other than sin," AP reports.

Why it matters: Ed Litton, as the new SBC president, will have the power to determine committee appointments, which can set the tone for the country's largest Protestant denomination. The SBC is comprised of 14 million members.

  • Over 15,000 delegates attended Tuesday's meeting, the SBC's largest gathering in decades, per AP.

The big picture: Litton is a white pastor from Alabama who was nominated by Fred Luter, the only Black pastor to serve as SBC president. Litton narrowly defeated Mike Stone, a Georgia pastor backed by the far right, according to Washington Post.

  • Stone supported a push for the convention to denounce critical race theory, the belief that systemic racism has been baked into legal and other institutions to maintain white power. The measure did not pass on Tuesday.

Worth noting: Delegates also affirmed a 1995 resolution apologizing for "condoning and/or perpetuating individual and systemic racism in our lifetime" as well as the denomination's history of support for slavery, per the AP.

Yes, but: "Several Black pastors have voiced frustration over such debates playing out in the SBC instead of the denomination confronting systemic racism itself," AP writes.

Go deeper

Updated 57 mins ago - Health

CDC: Vaccinated people in COVID hotspots should resume wearing masks

CDC director Rochelle Walensky and top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci at a Senate HELP committee hearing. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated guidance on Tuesday recommending that vaccinated people wear masks in indoor, public settings if they are in parts of the U.S. with substantial to high transmission, among other circumstances.

Why it matters: The guidance, a reversal from recommendations made two months ago, comes as the Delta variant continues to drive up case rates across the country. Millions of people in the U.S. — either by choice or who are ineligible — remain unvaccinated and at risk of serious infection.

Olympics medal tracker

Data: International Olympic Committee; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. students fell 4 to 5 months behind during pandemic

An empty classroom in Pinole, Calif. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Elementary school students in the U.S. ended the school year four to five months behind their expected level of academic achievement, according to a new report.

Why it matters: Months of school closures and often inferior remote education eroded what schoolchildren would have learned since the pandemic began, and caused some to go backwards.