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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay Grand Start torchbearers from Japan's women's national soccer team, or Nadeshiko Japan, lead the torch relay in Naraha, Fukushima prefecture on March 25. Photo: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Tokyo Olympic torch relay began Thursday in Fukushima prefecture, Japan, one year after the world’s largest sporting event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the record: The relay underscores the Japanese government's resolve to forge ahead with the Olympics despite the pandemic. Confirmed deaths from the coronavirus in Japan remain under 9,000, but officials are still reporting more than 1,000 new cases a day — prompting health experts to warn that "a fourth wave is in sight," per the New York Times.

Azusa Iwashimizu (L), member of Japan women's soccer national team, lights the torch from the cauldron at the J Village March 25 in Naraha. Fukushima was chosen as the relay's starting place to mark the region's recovery from the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. Photo: Kim Kyung-Hoon - Pool/Getty Images
Members of the Spa Resort Hawaiians Dancing Team "Hula Girls" perform during an opening ceremony on the first day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch relay in Naraha, Fukushima prefecture on March 25. Photo: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Japanese torchbearer Azusa Iwashimizu (C), a member of Japan women's national soccer team, passes the Olympic flame to high school student and Fukushima native Asato Owada (L) at a torch kiss point on day one of the torch relay outside J-Village National Training Centre in Naraha on March 25. Photo: Philip Fong/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Members of Shinehago Equestrian Association perform during an opening ceremony on the first day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch relay in Naraha, Fukushima prefecture on March 25, 2021. Photo: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Japanese torchbearer Mahiro Abe (C), a member of Japan's Self-Defense Forces, carries an Olympic torch during the first day of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games torch relay in Naraha on March 25. Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images

Go deeper: Overseas spectators banned from Tokyo Olympics over COVID fears

Go deeper

White House unveils landmark reports on climate links to security, migration

Photo Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Biden administration on Thursday released a sweeping set of assessments on how to view threats that climate change poses to national security and its role in fueling migration.

Why it matters: One of the key products, a formal National Intelligence Estimate on climate change, marks the first time all 18 elements of the U.S. intelligence community have released a consensus report on the topic.

Scoop: Garland defends DOJ's handling of Jan. 6 probe

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland will tell the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday that federal prosecutors "are doing exactly what they are expected to do" in seeking accountability for the "intolerable assault" on the Capitol on Jan. 6, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Allies of former President Trump, including Republican congressmen, have criticized the department's treatment rioters charged with crimes, and sought to recast the insurrection as a righteous protest. Garland's testimony with be his first appearance before the panel.

Updated 52 mins ago - World

Police charge man with murder of British MP David Amess

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Police said Thursday that Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British man, has been charged with the murder of David Amess, a Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K.

The big picture: Last week, the Metropolitan Police declared the fatal stabbing a terrorist incident, saying that they had found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

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