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President Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

With midterms on the horizon and Republicans struggling to make gains with voters despite a robust economy, the GOP is now trying to turn voters against their opposition by painting them as dangerous, reports the LA Times.

Why it matters: Republicans are spending millions of dollars on this effort, but Democrats remain optimistic ahead of the midterms.

The state of play: Democratic confidence is high — particularly in campaigns working closely with women. Meanwhile, the president's approval ratings continue to sink.

The fallout: The uncertainty facing the GOP in midterms is putting the White House's current affairs on hold. China has called off planned trade talks and likely won't return to the negotiating table until after mid-term elections, Bloomberg reports.

Go deeper

6 mins ago - Sports

Where it stands: Weed policies by U.S. sports league

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With public support for marijuana legalization nearing unanimity, and more athletes using cannabis to treat pain, the four major U.S. sports leagues continue to reduce restrictions and punishments.

Driving the news: NBA players won't be subject to random marijuana testing this season, an extension of an agreement between the league and its players' union that began ahead of the 2020 Orlando restart.

3 hours ago - World

Scoop: Jake Sullivan discussed Saudi-Israel normalization with MBS

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg and Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised normalization with Israel during his recent meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, three U.S. and Arab sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia would be the biggest regional player to sign onto the "Abraham Accords" peace agreement with Israel, and such a major breakthrough would likely convince other Arab and Muslim countries to follow suit.

Tech's leaky world

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Tech companies are learning what everyone in Washington already knows: Leaks of confidential info are inevitable, and "plumbing" operations to close them rarely work.

Why it matters: Most tech firms talk up the power of transparency but prefer to keep details of their operations secret from competitors and the public. Researchers, regulators and the media are increasingly relying on information provided by dissident employees and whistleblowers to see inside companies' workings.

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