Hassan Ammar / AP

Russian got a big news pop early afternoon by claiming it has completed its first combat mission with the U.S.-led coalition in Syria, according to the AP.

Caveat: The U.S. is denying it, with a coalition spokesman calling the report "rubbish" and flatly saying the "Department of Defense is not coordinating airstrikes with the Russian military in Syria."

Why this matters: Trump and Putin have talked about working together to wipe out ISIS, but Russia and the U.S. have backed different sides of the fight in Syria, with Russian forces taking out the American-backed rebels in Aleppo just a few weeks ago.

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Mayors plan multifront attack on census shutdown

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A growing number of mayors are banding together to fight what they consider to be an inaccurate and abruptly curtailed 2020 census, using an arsenal of legal, legislative and congressional efforts.

Why it matters: The outcome may determine whether President Trump or Joe Biden controls the redistricting process, which governs everything from congressional representation and redistricting to funding for schools and Head Start.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  4. Health: Many U.S. deaths were avoidable — The pandemic is getting worse again.
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Facebook Oversight Board begins hearing appeals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Facebook Oversight Board announced Thursday that some Facebook and Instagram users can now submit appeals to the Oversight Board for an independent review of their own content removals.

Why it matters: The board, a first-of-its-kind internet governance body, will begin hearing cases from users ahead of the U.S. election.