Matt Hartman / AP

The U.S. intercepted a mock warhead Tuesday over the Pacific in a demonstration of the U.S. missile defense program, per the AP. The mock warhead was launched from a Pacific atoll, and the interceptor rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Why it matters: It's the first interception of an intercontinental range missile like the one North Korea is developing. Plus, it signals the Pentagon has fixed a system that worked in fewer than half of its previous nine tests.

What's next:

  • The Pentagon will be increasing the number of deployed interceptors in California and Alaska from 36 to 44 by the end of this year, with congressional support.
  • This comes the same day that the Missile Defense Agency announced it is ramping up its development of the Multi-Object Kill Vehicle (MOKV), an interceptor that can block several incoming warheads. This is key since it can block a warhead and several decoy warheads all at once, which is a capability North Korea is likely developing to be able to obfuscate which nuke is the real threat, per Defense One.

Go deeper

25 mins ago - Science

CRISPR co-discoverer on the gene editor's pandemic push

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired and BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the development of CRISPR-based tests for detecting disease — and highlighting how gene-editing tools might one day fight pandemics, one of its discoverers, Jennifer Doudna, tells Axios.

Why it matters: Testing shortages and backlogs underscore a need for improved mass testing for COVID-19. Diagnostic tests based on CRISPR — which Doudna and colleagues identified in 2012, ushering in the "CRISPR revolution" in genome editing — are being developed for dengue, Zika and other diseases, but a global pandemic is a proving ground for these tools that hold promise for speed and lower costs.

Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 18,912,947 — Total deaths: 710,318— Total recoveries — 11,403,473Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 4,867,916 — Total deaths: 159,841 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi rips GOP over stimulus negotiations: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn" — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive.
  4. Public health: Majority of Americans say states reopened too quicklyFauci says task force will examine aerosolized spread.
  5. Business: The health care sector imploded in Q2More farmers are declaring bankruptcyJuly's jobs report could be an inflection point for the recovery.
  6. Sports: Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing.

America's rush for young poll workers

Note: Colorado is a mail-in ballot state, but they also offer in-person polls.; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios (Clickable link)

Local elections officials are sprinting to recruit younger poll workers ahead of November after elderly staff stayed home en masse to avoid coronavirus during primary elections.

Why it matters: A Pew Research analysis reports that 58% of U.S. poll workers in the 2018 midterms were 61 or older. Poll worker shortages can cause hours-long voting lines and shutter precincts.