Photo: Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images

Military troops that have been assisting in border protection at the request of President Trump will begin returning home as early as this week, Politico reports, with all active-duty troops expected to be back by Christmas.

The big picture: Trump ordered troops to be sent to the border as a caravan of Central American migrants began its journey through Mexico toward the U.S. and shortly before the midterm elections. The U.S. Northern Command said through a spokesperson that they are continuing to "assess the situation" and plan to continue supporting Customs and Border Protection until at least Dec. 15 as originally scheduled.

Between the lines: The troops may be leaving, but the caravans are still coming —causing U.S. officials to close a popular port of entry near San Diego.

  • Trump has insinuated that troops should open fire on the caravan if they get violent and throw rocks.
  • Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, in charge of the mission, confirmed to Politico reports that DHS had requested that troops back up Border Patrol agents in case of any violence at the border. That request was denied, Buchanan said.
  • Trump tweeted Monday afternoon an image of a border fence covered in barbed wire, saying, "no climbers anymore under our Administration!"
  • Reality check: Since the U.S. military has been sent to the border, 12.5 miles (of the roughly 2,000 miles of U.S. border) of fencing has been covered in barbed wire, a Homeland Security official told Axios.

Go deeper:

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Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. EST: 32,135,220 — Total deaths: 981,660 — Total recoveries: 22,149,441Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m EST: 6,975,980 — Total deaths: 202,738 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,481,026Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats prepare new $2.4 trillion coronavirus relief package.
  4. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  6. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  7. Sports: Pac-12 will play this fall despite ongoing pandemic — Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
  8. Science: Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China — During COVID-19 shutdown, a common sparrow changed its song.
8 hours ago - Sports

Pac-12 will play football this fall, reversing course

A view of Levi's Stadium during the 2019 Pac-12 Championship football game. Photo: Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Pac-12, which includes universities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington state, will play football starting Nov. 6, reversing its earlier decision to postpone the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The conference's about-face follows a similar move by the Big Ten last week and comes as President Trump has publicly pressured sports to resume despite the ongoing pandemic. The Pac-12 will play a seven-game conference football season, according to ESPN.

Dave Lawler, author of World
8 hours ago - World

Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China

Data: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A global initiative to ensure equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines now includes most of the world — but not the U.S., China or Russia.

Why it matters: Assuming one or more vaccines ultimately gain approval, there will be a period of months or even years in which supply lags far behind global demand. The COVAX initiative is an attempt to ensure doses go where they're most needed, rather than simply to countries that can produce or buy them at scale.

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