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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Efforts to widen internet access around the world can bring benefits and unexpected risks. In the Philippines, the price was heavy.

Why it matters: Connecting the world doesn't always turn out harmoniously.

The details: Facebook Basics is an app and mobile site that provides free access to a tightly curated set of web content and, naturally, Facebook itself.

  • Facebook promotes Free Basics as a bridge to the wider internet for consumers in developing nations.
  • But in practice the subsidized content can simply become the internet. That's what happened in the Philippines.

That particular kind of internet provided president Rodrigo Duterte with the perfect environment to wage a war of misinformation against his enemies and on behalf of his brutal drug war.

Worthy of your time: How Duterte Used Facebook To Fuel the Philippine Drug War (Buzzfeed News)

Go deeper

Updated 10 mins ago - World

German election: Exit polls show close race to succeed Angela Merkel

SPD leader Olaf Scholz. Photo: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BERLIN — Exit polls from Sunday's German elections showed the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) slightly ahead of the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) in a tight election race to succeed Angela Merkel.

State of play: Official results were still rolling in, but a partial count showed the SPD ahead with 26% of the vote and the CDU on just over 24%.

Updated 38 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Liz Cheney: Americans deserve better than choice of Biden or Trump

Rep. Liz Cheney talks with Lesley Stahl on CBS' "60 Minutes." Photo: CBS News

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) told CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday that Americans "deserve better than having to choose between" President Biden's "disastrous" policies and former President Trump, "who violated his oath of office."

Why it matters: Cheney made the remarks after CBS' Lesley Stahl put it to her in the interview that Republicans feel that her joining the House select committee in charge of investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot helps "keep the focus on Trump instead of on the shortcomings of the Biden administration."

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First look: The LCV's $4M ad buy

A screenshot from a new League of Conservation Voters ad supporting Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

The League of Conservation Voters and Climate Power are aiming another $4 million worth of ads at centrist House Democrats, urging them to support the climate provisions in President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Progressive groups are trying to counter the onslaught of conservative money pouring into swing districts. Both sides are trying to define Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda and pressure lawmakers to support — or oppose — the legislation scheduled for a vote in the House this week.