Trump holds up a 'Trump Digs Coal' sign at a rally. Photo: Dominick Reuter/AFP via Getty Images

The Tennessee Valley Authority's board voted Thursday to close 2 coal plants in a lopsided decision that thwarted President Trump's pressure to support coal.

Why it matters: The TVA votes underscore the tough economics facing coal-fired power, which is steadily losing market share to gas and renewables despite White House efforts to revive the sector.

  • "Both are older coal generating units that were not designed to efficiently respond to today’s continually fluctuating power needs of customers," the independent government corporation said in announcing the retirement of the two plants in Kentucky and Tennessee.

The intrigue: The Washington Post's Steven Mufson writes up a good account of Thursday's decisions...

Three of the four people appointed by Trump to the TVA board joined the 6-1 majority voting to close down the Paradise coal unit, and all four joined the unanimous vote to retire Bull Run.
Trump, who vowed during his campaign to help the coal industry, set up a clash with the TVA with his call to keep open the Paradise 3 unit, which buys much of its coal from a mining company chaired by Robert E. Murray, one of the president’s major donors and supporters.

Go deeper: With natural gas on the rise, U.S. market is moving against coal

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Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 11,520,461 — Total deaths: 535,499 — Total recoveries — 6,231,052Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 2,911,888 — Total deaths: 130,101 — Total recoveries: 906,763 — Total tested: 35,515,075Map.
  3. Public health: Case growth outpacing testing in hotspots.
  4. States: West Virginia becomes latest state to mandate facial coverings in public.
  5. Politics: Cuomo accuses Trump of "enabling" the coronavirus surge — Sen. Chuck Grassley opts out of attending GOP convention over coronavirus concerns.

Trump ramps up culture war attacks

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump's attacks are spreading to sports that are cornerstones of rural, conservative white American life.

Why it matters: The culture war that engulfed the NBA and NFL is reaching other major leagues, with teams that stonewalled activists for years suddenly showing a willingness to listen.

Foreign students could be forced to leave U.S. if colleges move online

Harvard University campus. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Foreign college students could be forced to leave the U.S. or transfer schools if their universities move classes entirely online this fall, according to guidance released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday.

Why it matters: Several U.S. colleges and universities — most recently Harvard — have announced plans to move most or all courses online this fall due to coronavirus concerns. Many institutions rely heavily on tuition from international students.