Updated Jul 15, 2018

Trump-Putin summit could be a last stand for nuclear arms control

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

At his press conference at the NATO meeting in Brussels, President Trump said he would discuss with Vladimir Putin both Russia's violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, originally negotiated in 1987 by President Reagan, and the potential extension of the 2010 New START accord.

Why it matters: Trump and Putin together control more than 90% of the world’s nuclear stockpile, and it's Russian nuclear weapons pointed toward the U.S. that present the greatest existential threat to its national security.

The INF treaty eliminated all American and Soviet ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. New START reduced both countries’ strategic nuclear arsenals while advancing robust inspections. Both agreements made the world safer, yet Russia may be violating the INF treaty and New START is set to expire in two years.

Why it matters: If Trump and Putin do not address these nuclear issues, their failure would not only betray the hollowness of their claims to a strong working relationship but would also pose grave risks to global security. European confidence in American support would disintegrate, skepticism about America’s willingness to stand up to Russian aggression would intensify and critical strategic pillars of U.S.–Russian nuclear stability would go up in smoke.

Joel Rubin is the president of the Washington Strategy Group and a former deputy assistant secretary of state.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Ivanka Trump plans focus on coronavirus recovery for small businesses

Ivanka Trump speaks at yesterday's White House videoconference with bank and credit card executives. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Ivanka Trump personally lobbied top bank executives to line up the $1.5 billion in commitments to small business that were announced yesterday at a videoconference among the bank executives and President Trump — stoking competitive juices among the execs to drive up their commitments.

The state of play: Ivanka, who has had workforce development in her portfolio going back to 2017, plans an increasing emphasis on small businesses in the weeks ahead as they navigate the rescue bill’s Payroll Protection Program, sources tell me.

Public transit's death spiral

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Public transit systems across the country are experiencing a painful trifecta: Ridership has collapsed, funding streams are squeezed, and mass transit won't bounce back from the pandemic nearly as fast as other modes of transportation.

Why it matters: Transit agencies could see an annual shortfall of as much as $38 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to TransitCenter. At the same time, they're more important than ever, with more than 36% of essential workers relying on public transportation to get to work.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: London mayor says U.K. nowhere near lockdown lifting

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern offered hope in the fight against the novel coronavirus, saying she believes New Zealand has "turned a corner" after two weeks of strict lockdown measures. But London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said the U.K. is "nowhere near" lifting restrictions.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed over 82,000 people and infected 1.4 million others globally as of early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Global recoveries have surpassed 301,000. Spain has reported the most cases outside the U.S. (more than 141,000) and Italy the most deaths (over 17,000). Half the planet's population is on lockdown.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health