Axios Aug 12
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Virginia state of emergency declared after alt-right rally

Steve Helber / AP

White nationalists protested last night and continued this morning at the University of Virginia. They're protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park. After things turned violent this morning (protestors and counter protestors clashed), Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency.

What that means: Local officials can request more resources from the government to help them regain control of the protest in Virginia.

Update: A car plowed into a crowd of protestors this afternoon, AP reported. Various videos and images from the scene posted online showed ambulances rushing to the scene and injured protestors being carried away on stretchers.

Erica Pandey 35 mins ago
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How China became a powerhouse of espionage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

As China’s influence spreads to every corner of the globe under President Xi Jinping, so do its spies.

Why it matters: China has the money and the ambition to build a vast foreign intelligence network, including inside the United States. Meanwhile, American intelligence-gathering on China is falling short, Chris Johnson, a former senior China analyst for the CIA who's now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, tells Axios: "We have to at least live up to [China's] expectations. And we aren't doing that."

Caitlin Owens 1 hour ago
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Congress doesn't love the spending bill, but it passed anyway

Congressional leaders
Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. (Photo: Matt McClain / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

House Speaker Paul Ryan touted the defense spending increase, Sen. Rand Paul angrily tweeted about arcane government spending, and Democrats shook their head at the lack of gun control measures. But most members of Congress accepted the omnibus spending bill for what it is: A giant collection of what has to get done to keep the government functioning, while mustering enough votes to pass.

Why it matters: This is a $1.3 trillion dollar bill affecting every branch of government that passed mostly because it had to. Members voted on it without really reading it, as it was released Wednesday night and passed the Senate shortly after midnight Friday.