Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump attend the "Howdy, Modi!" rally at NRG Stadium in Houston Sunday. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump declared in front of a 50,000-strong crowd at a Houston event honoring Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, "India and the United States understand that to keep our communities safe, we must protect our borders."

Why it matters: Trump's comments at the "Howdy Modi" rally that border security is "vital" to the U.S. and India come weeks after India sent thousands of troops to the Indian-administered Kashmir and erased the special status of the majority-Muslim state — escalating tensions with Pakistan in the disputed region.

  • As Bloomberg notes, Trump's remarks risk being perceived as supporting India over Pakistan's in a dispute that he's offered to help mediate, a proposal India rejected.

The big picture: Kashmir has been a source of conflict between India and Pakistan since partition in 1947 and is now effectively split between the countries.

  • Per Axios' Dave Lawler, "Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly compared India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to the Nazis and warned without evidence of an 'impending genocide' in Kashmir."
  • The Houston Chronicle notes 2 Kashmiri citizens are suing Modi in federal court in Texas for alleged human rights abuses in Kashmir.
In photos: "Howdy Modi" rally
Protesters outside the Texas rally. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images
Modi's supporters inside the stadium. Photo: Thomas B. Shea/AFP/Getty Images
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with Modi. Photo: Thomas B. Shea/AFP/Getty Images
Dancers perform at the stadium. Photo: Thomas B. Shea/AFP/Getty Images
Audience members listen to Modi at the event. Photo: Thomas B. Shea/AFP/Getty Images

Go deeper: Pakistan struggles to rally the world against India's Kashmir crackdown

Go deeper

2 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 3 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.