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Expand chart
Data: Brennan Center for Justice; Note: The chart reflects primary emergency declarations, not those amending existing emergencies; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon, Chris Canipe/Axios

President Trump's decision Friday to declare a national emergency is the latest in a series of emergencies that are used for international crises or urgent domestic dangers.

Why it matters: Most experts agree that Trump's use of a national emergency is a legally questionable use of emergency powers. The Brennan Center for Justice has found 123 emergency powers the president can invoke. There are one or two powers that Trump could use that are related to military construction.

  • Those emergency construction powers have only been used twice: by George H.W. Bush during the Gulf War and then by George W. Bush after 9/11. Those orders aren't listed in the graphic because they were just amendments to earlier emergency declarations.

The backstory: Over the past 40 years, the National Emergencies Act has become a common tool for U.S. presidents to quickly enact foreign sanctions, especially when their views conflict with Congress. Of the 58 national emergencies in the data, 44 have been foreign sanctions.

Some examples:

Other uses of emergency powers:

  • In response to clashes between U.S. and Cuban vessels, Clinton invoked a power allowing the Transportation Department to better regulate the movement and inspection of ships.
  • During the H1N1 virus outbreak in 2009, Obama allowed the Department of Health and Human Services to modify or waive some Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP requirements to implement emergency plans.
  • To stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Clinton empowered the Commerce Department to control any exports that could aid countries in producing those weapons.

Go deeper: What's next on the wall showdown

Go deeper

Cyberattack forces shutdown of major U.S. fuel pipeline

A police officer stands guard inside the gate to the Colonial Pipeline Co. Pelham junction and tank farm in Pelham, Alabama, in 2016. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A major U.S. fuel pipeline running from Texas to New York has been taken offline by its operator because of an apparent cyberattack.

The big picture: Colonial Pipeline "carries 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel supplies," the N.Y. Times reports.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Health

The end of quarantine

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Long quarantines were a necessary tool to slow the COVID-19 pandemic during its first phases, but better and faster tests — plus vaccines — mean they can be scaled back considerably.

Why it matters: Quick tests and regular surveillance methods that identify who is actually infectious can take the place of the two-week or longer isolation periods that have been common for travelers and people who might have been exposed to the virus, speeding the safe reopening of schools and workplaces.

Amazon rollups are the hottest deals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new generation of companies is forming to scoop up Amazon marketplace sellers — and venture capital firms are writing big checks to support the effort.

Why it matters: These e-commerce aggregators are all about data and using it to optimize and turbocharge sales, which means they’re using Amazon’s own playbook.