Photo: Ibrahim Amro/AFP/Getty Images

A proposal to tax WhatsApp calls has pushed an already struggling Lebanon over the edge. Thousands poured into the streets calling for the "fall of the regime" on Thursday and Friday, reports Al Jazeera.

Why it matters: These are the largest protests seen in years in Lebanon, where unemployment is growing and economic growth lagging amid regional conflict and instability. In a country often divided along sectarian lines, the wide reach of these protests "has been seen as a sign of deepening anger with politicians who have jointly led Lebanon into crisis," writes Al Jazeera.

WhatsApps' role: The Lebanese rely on WhatsApp‘s free messaging and calling system to save money.

  • The proposed bill, which has since been pulled, would've taxed WhatsApp users 20 cents for their first phone call every day, according to Fortune.

The big picture: Lebanon is one of the most heavily indebted countries in the world, and the government has declared a state of economic emergency, reports the Washington Post.

  • The country is struggling to fight its deficit since its currency remains pegged to the dollar, per the Post.

Go deeper: U.S. sanctions Lebanese bank for alleged Hezbollah ties

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 18,982,658 — Total deaths: 712,266— Total recoveries — 11,477,642Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 4,873,747 — Total deaths: 159,931 — Total recoveries: 1,598,624 — Total tests: 59,652,675Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi rips GOP over stimulus negotiations: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn" — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive.
  4. Public health: Majority of Americans say states reopened too quicklyFauci says task force will examine aerosolized spread.
  5. Business: The health care sector imploded in Q2More farmers are declaring bankruptcyJuly's jobs report could be an inflection point for the recovery.
  6. Sports: Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing.
2 hours ago - World

Nuclear free-for-all: The arms control era may be ending

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki have remained unreplicated for 75 years in part because the U.S. and Soviet Union — after peering over the ledge into nuclear armageddon — began to negotiate.

Why it matters: The arms control era that began after the Cuban Missile Crisis may now be coming to a close. The next phase could be a nuclear free-for-all.

Pelosi, Schumer demand postmaster general reverse USPS cuts ahead of election

Schumer and Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Thursday calling for the recent Trump appointee to reverse operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service that "threaten the timely delivery of mail" ahead of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: U.S. mail and election infrastructure are facing a test like no other this November, with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots expected as Americans attempt to vote in the midst of a pandemic.