Bullit Marquez / AP

Here's White House spokesman Sean Spicer today when asked about how the U.S. would deal with Chinese claims in the South China Sea:

Areas in the South China Sea that are part of international waters and international territories, I think the U.S. is going to make sure we protect our interests there. So, it's a question of if those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of China proper than yeah we're going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country.

Why this matters: New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof:

For more details on the issue see the Axios Facts Matter on the South China Sea.

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.

Biden to Trump: "I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life"

Former VP Joe Biden pushed back Thursday against allegations from President Trump, saying he had never profited from foreign sources. "Nothing was unethical," Biden told debate moderator Kristen Welker about his son Hunter's work in Ukraine while he was vice president.

Why it matters: Earlier on Thursday, Hunter Biden's former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, released a statement saying Joe Biden's claims that he never discussed overseas business dealings with his son were "false."

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