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For the first time, the United States is one of the world’s deadliest countries for journalists after six reporters were killed in the line of duty in 2018, according to Reporters Without Borders' annual report.

The big picture: The report states there is an "unprecedented" level of worldwide hostility against members of the media, highlighting that the number of journalists killed while doing their jobs spiked 8% to 80 in 2018. In addition, 348 journalists are currently in prison across the globe, and 60 are being held hostage.

  • Afghanistan was the world’s deadliest country for journalists in 2018 with 15 killed, followed by Syria (11), Mexico, (nine), Yemen (eight), and the U.S. and India (six).
  • Four of the deaths in the U.S. occurred during the Capital Gazette shooting in Maryland — two others occurred while covering Subtropical Storm Alberto in North Carolina.

Some deaths of prominent journalists this year also had wide-ranging international impacts, which are highlighted in the report, including Saudia Arabia's Jamal Khashoggi and Slovakia's Jan Kuciak.

The bottom line from the report: "Amplified by social networks, which bear heavy responsibility in this regard, these expressions of hatred legitimize violence, thereby undermining journalism, and democracy itself, a bit more every day."

Go deeper: United States ranks 45th in press freedom

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"— COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear themU.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Italy tightens restrictions Spain declares new state of emergency.

Amy Coney Barrett's immediate impact

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In her first week on the job, Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.

Texas Democrats beg Biden to spend now

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The Biden campaign is rebuffing persistent pleas from Texas Democrats to spend at least $10 million in the Lone Star state, several people familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: If Texas — which has 38 electoral votes and is steadily getting more blue, but hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976 — flipped to the Biden column, it would be game over. But the RealClearPolitics polling average stubbornly hovers at +2.6 for Trump — and Team Biden appears more focused on closer targets.