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Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Chart: Axios Visuals

As cases continue dropping in Japan, officials are considering allowing domestic spectators into next month's Olympics.

Why it matters: Just over a month ago, Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto said she was prepared to hold the Games in front of empty stadiums, reports the Asahi Shimbun.

By the numbers: This change of heart has coincided with the plummeting rate of new cases.

  • After peaking on May 14 with a record high seven-day average of 6,460 cases, that number has dropped by nearly two thirds, to just 2,320.
  • Vaccine rollout, meanwhile, has accelerated, as they've begun their under-65 inoculations and have a program in place to vaccinate people at workplaces and universities beginning June 21.

The state of play: Foreign spectators have long since been banned, and foreign media will be carefully monitored by GPS during their stay in Tokyo.

  • Yes, but: Having some semblance of fans is important because "the athletes will not be able to give their best performances with zero spectators," said one high-ranking official in the prime minister's office.

What to watch: A decision regarding spectators is expected by June 20, when the country's state of emergency is scheduled to end, but there are some who fear a surge in new cases will follow once those nationwide protocols are relaxed.

Go deeper: Tokyo was picked as the "safe" choice for the Olympics. Here's how everything changed (CNN)

Go deeper

Aug 29, 2021 - World

India reports more than 45,000 COVID-19 cases

A health worker checks temperature of a passenger before conducting COVID-19 test at Dadar station on Aug. 26 in Mumbai, India. Photo: Satish Bate/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India recorded more than 45,000 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, a day after it tallied a two-month high amid a new surge in infections, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: The surge is being largely driven by the southern state of Kerala after it hosted a major festival this month. The state's tally on Saturday made up nearly 70% of the country's new daily infections.

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 16 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.