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)

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The Supreme Court said Thursday that it will not block Rhode Island's move to ease its requirements for absentee voting during November's election.

Why it matters: The decision is a loss for Republicans, who had requested an emergency order as the state is expected to begin mailing out its ballots.

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Uber and Lyft are ratcheting up the fight with California’s state government over the classification of drivers with a move that would deprive Californians of their ride-hailing services (and halt driver income).

Driving the news: On Wednesday, both companies said that if a court doesn’t overturn or further pause a new ruling forcing them to reclassify California drivers as employees, they’ll suspend their services in the state until November’s election, when voters could potentially exempt them by passing a ballot measure.

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Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu, Trump and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto; Samuel Corum; Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

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Why it matters: This is a major breakthrough for Israel, which lacks diplomatic recognition in many Middle Eastern countries but has been steadily improving relations in the Gulf, largely due to mutual antipathy toward Iran.