Bullit Marquez / AP

It's been a busy week, mostly preoccupied with James Comey's Senate testimony on Thursday and the subsequent updates. Here are the top defense stories you might have missed this week:

1. U.S.-backed Kurdish forces have entered Raqqa, the de facto capital of ISIS. ISIS "losing Raqqa is the beginning of the end for Daesh," via The Guardian.

2. Trump-Saudi $110 billion weapons deal revealed to Defense News: "Previously slim on specifics, includes seven THAAD missile defense batteries, over 100,000 air-to-ground munitions and billions of dollars' worth of new aircraft, according to a White House document obtained by Defense News and authenticated by a second source."

3. The U.S. vs. the Kurds: This September, the U.S. will oppose the Kurdish region's decision to hold a referendum on independence. A referendum is necessary because "Iraqi Kurds currently enjoy almost total autonomy, but tensions with the Baghdad government remain over control of oil reserves." More via RadioFreeEurope.

4. American military casualties abroad. Three U.S. soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack in Eastern Afghanistan. The Afghanistan soldier also wounded another U.S. soldier, per The Hill. Trump was "following the emerging situation in Afghanistan."

5. The U.S. helps Philippines in fight against ISIS. After recently threatening to kick U.S. military out of the region, the Philippines government is now accepting "technical support" from the U.S. as Islamic militants to continue to terrorize their country. "Nearly 140 militants and 60 government troops have been killed the fighting." More from The Atlantic.

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Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging. Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  4. World: Australian city to exit one of world's longest lockdowns — In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe
  5. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposure
  6. Nonprofit: Rockefeller Foundation commits $1 billion for COVID-19 recovery
Erica Pandey, author of @Work
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The dangerous instability of school re-openings

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Schools across the country have flip-flopped between in-person and remote learning — and that instability is taking a toll on students' ability to learn and their mental health.

The big picture: While companies were able to set long timelines for their return, schools — under immense political and social strain — had to rush to figure out how to reopen. The cobbled-together approach has hurt students, parents and teachers alike.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump doesn't have a second-term economic plan

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump has not laid out an economic agenda for his second term, despite the election being just eight days away.

Why it matters: This is unprecedented in modern presidential campaigns, and makes it harder for undecided voters to make an informed choice.