Drilling, oil wells in southern Kuwait along the Saudi border. Photo: Dominique BERBAIN / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The U.S. government has asked Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries to increase oil production, according to Bloomberg.

Why it's happening: The Trump administration is likely reacting to the fact that gasoline prices just spiked to their highest level in the U.S. in more than three years and they are likely concerned about potential political backlash, Axios' Amy Harder notes.

Why the prices might be spiking in the first place: The U.S. announced it would be withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, which is curtailing crude supplies and which is likely driving the U.S. request. It highlights the delicate politics of the White House moves to punish Iran's energy sector with renewed sanctions, Axios’ Ben Geman notes.

Don't forget:

  • Venezuela. Venezuelan output has been declining due to instability and an economic crisis there, driving prices up.
  • OPEC has been operating under an oil cut production agreement, which has been affecting prices, too. OPEC will have a chance to review this agreement later this month.

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8 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began —AstraZeneca to resume vaccine trial in U.S.How to help save 130,000 lives.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.