House and Senate leaders struck a deal late Wednesday night that would ramp up sanctions against Russia for its meddling in the 2016 election (in a package that also heightened sanctions on Iran and North Korea) while also limiting President Trump's power to nix them.

Where Europe comes in: European allies are concerned that the sanctions against Russia would inadvertently be damaging to their economies as well.

Here's why
  • The bill seeks to strike at the heart of Russia's economic lifeline, which is its sale of oil and natural gas. Oil and natural gas exports pay for half of the Russian state budget, and Russia's biggest customer is Europe.
  • It's not only Russia that is reliant: Europe depends on Russia for about a quarter of its energy supplies.
  • And some of Europe's biggest energy and construction companies have big contracts to build Nordstream 2, an enormous natural gas line under the Baltic Sea that's meant to allow Russia to finally all-but sever its dependence on export lines crossing Ukraine.

And they might retaliate: EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday, "If our concerns are not taken into account sufficiently, we stand ready to act appropriately within a matter of days. 'America First' cannot mean that Europe's interests come last." Juncker's warning is a dig at Trump, but...

Trump's hands might be tied: The White House doesn't like the bill either, arguing it limits Trump's abilities to deal with Russia. But he's likely to sign it anyway, given its popularity and the likelihood that lawmakers will have the votes to override a potential veto.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 20,755,406 — Total deaths: 752,225— Total recoveries: 12,917,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 5,246,760 — Total deaths: 167,052 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
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  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
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  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.