Putin and Macron shake hands at Versailles in May, 2017. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Russia claims Presidents Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron agreed on a phone call to stay in “close contact” and coordinate their actions to avoid military escalation in Syria, per the AP. The French readout did not mention coordination.

What it means: Trump is also coordinating next steps with the French, along with the British. If Russia is being kept in the loop, that reduces the likelihood of escalation. But if strikes only target the Assad regime and not Russia and Iran, “it will not harm Assad’s backers and therefore is unlikely to weaken [Assad's] resolve,” according to Jenny Cafarella of the Institute for the Study of War.

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Post-debate poll finds Biden strong on every major issue

Joe Biden speaks Friday about "The Biden Plan to Beat COVID-19," at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

This is one of the bigger signs of trouble for President Trump that we've seen in a poll: Of the final debate's seven topics, Joe Biden won or tied on all seven when viewers in a massive Axios-SurveyMonkey sample were asked who they trusted more to handle the issue.

Why it matters: In a time of unprecedented colliding crises for the nation, the polling considered Biden to be vastly more competent.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
3 hours ago - Science

The murder hornets are here

A braver man than me holds a speciment of the Asian giant hornet. Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

Entomologists in Washington state on Thursday discovered the first Asian giant hornet nest in the U.S.

Why it matters: You may know this insect species by its nom de guerre: "the murder hornet." While the threat they pose to humans has been overstated, the invading hornets could decimate local honeybee populations if they establish themselves.

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