Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Washington Mystics overcame a second-half Connecticut Sun lead to win Game 5 of the WNBA Finals, 89-78, and claim the franchise's first championship.

Why it matters: This win delivers long-awaited titles to the WNBA's best player, Elena Delle Donne, as well as its all-time winningest coach, Mike Thibault.

Game notes:

  • League MVP: Delle Donne, who was limited all series by herniated disks in her back, played more aggressively knowing she had the offseason to recover and put up 21 points and 9 rebounds in 37 huge minutes.
  • Finals MVP: Belgian sensation Emma Meesseman, who assumed a more aggressive "Playoff Emma" persona during the title run, finished with a team-high 22 points and became the first bench player to ever win WNBA Finals MVP.

What they're saying: Here's Delle Donne, who had fallen short in 2 previous WNBA Finals appearances, on what it feels like to finally break through:

"It feels phenomenal, my goodness, feels so good. Hard to put it into words. To win it with such a great group of people. We wanted to win it for the person next to us. We'll remember this season. I'm kind of sad [it's] about to be over. My goodness, we sure ended this on a high note."

The big picture: This is the second time in 16 months that a D.C. sports team has won its first title (the Capitals won the Stanley Cup June 2018), and the second time in 2 days that a D.C. sports team played arguably its most memorable game (the MLB's Nationals on Wednesday).

Go deeper: Watch the celebration.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.