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Why it matters: The U.S. has responded to standoffs with North Korea, Russia, Iran and Venezuela in unorthodox and unpredictable ways. Alliances are rupturing, authoritarians are rising, and China is steadily becoming the most powerful rival America has ever faced.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 18,224,253 — Total deaths: 692,679 — Total recoveries — 10,865,548Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 4,713,500 — Total deaths: 155,401 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  5. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.

Navarro on TikTok: "The mothers of America" have to worry about China tracking their kids

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Monday that the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok poses a threat to privacy and national security, telling the Axios Re:Cap podcast, "Let's not downplay the threat here: the mothers of America have to worry about whether the Chinese Communist Party knows where their children are."

Why it matters: Navarro, a fervent China hawk, is among the voices shaping White House policy on TikTok, which President Trump said Monday must be sold by Sept. 15 in order to avoid a U.S. ban. Navarro suggested that if Microsoft is allowed to buy TikTok, the company should be forced to make unrelated concessions related to its China operations.

9 hours ago - World

Hollywood's international game of chicken

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

If all goes to plan, Christopher Nolan's thrice-delayed "Tenet" will be the first blockbuster to receive a proper worldwide theatrical release amid the coronavirus pandemic at the end of this month.

Why it matters: It'll be playing a $200 million game of chicken, hoping to prove that people across the globe are still willing to trek to theaters to see a splashy new movie.

9 hours ago - World

Massive ISIS attack in Afghanistan kills 29, frees hundreds of prisoners

Afghan soldiers arrive at the prison in Jalalabad. Photo: Noorullah Shirzada/AFP via Getty Images

An Islamic State attack on a prison in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, turned into a nearly daylong gun battle that saw more than 1,000 Islamic State and Taliban prisoners escape, report the New York Times' Zabihullah Ghazi and Mujib Mashal.

Driving the news: The attack, which started with a car bomb before morphing into an ongoing battle with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, left at least 21 people dead and 43 people wounded.

11 hours ago - Podcasts

White House adviser Peter Navarro talks TikTok

President Trump has relaxed his threat to immediately ban the popular social media app TikTok, giving Microsoft room to negotiate an acquisition from Chinese tech giant ByteDance.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the situation with Peter Navarro, the White House's top trade adviser and a noted China hawk, who suggests Microsoft should be forced to make unrelated concessions related to its China operations.

A wild weekend for Microsoft's play for TikTok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While its Big Tech rivals were testifying in front of a congressional antitrust committee last week, Microsoft was negotiating what could be the largest — and most politically perilous — tech acquisition of 2020.

The state of play: The hullabaloo surrounding Microsoft picking up TikTok has undergone a flurry of twists and turns over the weekend, as both the White House and the tech giant reacted in real time.

17 hours ago - Health

At least 41 people test positive for coronavirus aboard Norwegian cruise ship

The Hurtigruten Roald Amundsen is moored on August 3, 2020 in Tromsø, Norway. Photo: Terje Pedersen/NTB Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

At least 5 passengers and 36 crew members aboard a Norwegian cruise ship have tested positive for the coronavirus, and authorities fear the outbreak may have spread to towns along the country's western coast, AP reports.

Why it matters: Cruise ships have shown to be a prime vector for coronavirus spread. Hundreds were infected aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in the early days of the pandemic.

Updated Aug 3, 2020 - World

Australia's Victoria enacts strict new measures as coronavirus cases surge

Australian soldiers patrol the streets on Monday of Melbourne, Australia. They and police are imposing the city's 8pm–5am curfew that came into effect Sunday night. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Victoria's premier Dan Andrews said Monday all retailers except for essential services like grocery stores in state capital Melbourne must shut for six weeks, effective Aug. 7, as cases continue to surge in Australia's second-most populous state.

The big picture: A day after he declared a disaster in Victoria to enacted tougher measures, Andrews told a briefing, "we need to dramatically reduce people moving in the community." Restrictions including a nightly curfew in Melbourne began Sunday. Andrews confirmed 429 new cases and 13 deaths from COVID-19 — equaling the state and national death toll record set last month. Australia looked set to suppress COVID-19 in May. Most places have had few or no cases, but Victoria's have spiked in recent weeks.

Aug 3, 2020 - World

Kosovo prime minister the latest leader to test positive for coronavirus

Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti during a press conference in Pristina, Kosovo, in July. Photo: Armend Nimani/AFP via Getty Images

Kosovo's Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti announced on Facebook late Sunday that he's in isolation and will work from home for two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19, adding, "I have no signs, except a very mild cough."

The big picture: Kosovo has reported almost 8,800 cases and 249 deaths from the novel coronavirus, per Johns Hopkins data. The Kosovar government reintroduced lockdown measures last week for its population of 1.8 million amid surging cases, AP notes.

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