President Trump signed an executive order on Friday to denounce protesters that have vandalized Civil War and World War II monuments, although most statues that have been torn down in recent weeks have been symbols of the Confederacy.

The big picture: Black Lives Matter protests against police violence and racism have exacerbated a long-standing debate about the place for and relevancy of Confederate-era monuments and iconography.

Driving the news: At least 29 Confederate monuments have been yanked down or removed by protesters and state or city officials since Memorial Day, according to the Washington Post.

  • Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced that the state will get rid of the famous statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Richmond's historic Monument Avenue.
  • City officials in Mobile, Alabama, removed the statue of Confederate Adm. Raphael Semmes, Mayor Sandy Stimpson tweeted.
  • In Boston, protester vandalized the Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial earlier this month. The monument is dedicated to Black soldiers who fought in the Civil War, as Trump's executive order points out.
  • In San Francisco, a statue of former President Ulysses S. Grant, a Union general, was toppled last week, which the executive order references. Grant was the last U.S. president to own a slave.
  • The U.S. Navy and Marines, as well as corporations and organizations like Walmart, the NCAA and NASCAR, have all issued policies this month to ban Confederate symbols on their properties, in response to protests.
  • A spokesperson for Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said he's open to a "bipartisan discussion" about renaming the military bases and facilities that are named after Confederate leaders, including Fort Bragg and Fort Benning.

Details: The executive order stresses that, under the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act, defacing monuments that commemorate the service of anyone in the U.S. armed forces can be imprisoned for at least 10 years and fined.

What he's saying:

"They’re tearing down statues, desecrating monuments, and purging dissenters. It’s not the behavior of a peaceful political movement; it’s the behavior of totalitarians and tyrants and people that don’t love our country."
— Trump said in a statement on Friday

Go deeper: Trump says he will "not even consider" renaming bases named for Confederate leaders

Go deeper

Sen. Duckworth: "We should listen to the argument" on removing Washington statues

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that "we should listen to the argument" for removing George Washington statues.

Why it matters: Statues of Confederate soldiers and historical figures who were slave owners have been a flashpoint in the protests against racism and police brutality. President Trump has taken to defending the monuments — a stance highlighted by his Mount Rushmore speech on Friday.

16 mins ago - Technology

U.S. pushes homegrown drone industry amid China battle

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Alarmed at the prospect of relying on Chinese-made drones for public safety and monitoring critical industries, U.S. investors and the federal government are newly backing a domestic drone industry of hardware and software companies.

The big picture: The moves come as the industry continues to be led by DJI, a Chinese hardware maker — and as concerns grow both in China and the U.S. about reliance on the other country's technology.

Exclusive: The N.Y. Times doubles down on TV and film ambitions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

One of the country's oldest and most established media companies is starting to look more like a Hollywood studio than a traditional newspaper.

Driving the news: The New York Times has 10 scripted TV show projects in development, as well as 3 feature documentaries coming out this year and several other documentary projects in development and production, executives tell Axios.