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America's nightmare foretold: Trump to call election results fraudulent no matter the margin

President Trumpmade it clear at the debate that he’ll continue to call the results fraudulent — and contest the outcome in key states — no matter how wide the margin. That’ll be amplifiedby a massive amount of disinformation, even though the platforms are trying to curtail it.

Why it matters: Back in 2000, we didn’t know Bush v. Gore was going to happen. We know this is going to happen.


  • Trump is telegraphing with clarity that even if he gets blown out, he’ll claim the election was rigged and votes were stolen.

Election officials, especially in areas with significant minority voting populations, need to prepare for an increased danger of "rogue Trump supporters taking matters into their own hands," said Rick Hasen, a national election law expert at UC Irvine.

Pennsylvania, with a GOP legislature that could try to bolster Trump in the case of contested results, is a major focus of both parties' post-election planning.

  • Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told Axios: "The president’s statements, in combination with real activity on the ground in Philadelphia, has us sounding an alarm today and escalating our efforts to understand what’s happening."

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon told Stef Kight: "What is distressing about the president’s remarks is I fear his supporters will take it upon themselves to mobilize large numbers to go to the polls" as poll watchers.

  • Simon said they'll be denied access: Minnesota allows only one poll watcher (called a challenger) per political party at each polling station.
  • Simon added: "I fear, to be fair, that folks on the other side will feel the need to counter mobilize."

Margaret Talev and Alayna Treene contributed reporting.

"Nine minutes and 29 seconds": Prosecutors begin closing arguments in Chauvin trial

Steve Schleicher, an attorney for the prosecution in Derek Chauvin's trial, began closing arguments on Monday by describing in detail George Floyd's last moments — crying out for help and surrounded by strangers, as Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds.

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial, seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades, will reverberate across the country and have major implications in the fight for racial justice.

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European soccer goes to war over wealthy clubs' plans for exclusive "Super League"

Europe's biggest soccer clubs have established The Super League, a new midweek tournament that would compete with — and threaten the very existence of — the Champions League.

Why it matters: This new league, set to start in 2023, "would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history," writes NYT's Tariq Panja.

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81% of S&P 500 companies have reported a positive earnings surprise for Q1

First-quarter earnings so far have been very strong, outpacing even the rosy expectations from Wall Street and that's a trend that's expected to continue for all of 2021. S&P 500 companies are on pace for one of the best quarters of positive earnings surprises on record, according to FactSet.

Why it matters: The results show that not only has the earnings recession ended for U.S. companies, but firms are performing better than expected and the economy may be justifying all the hype.

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NASA's Mars helicopter takes flight as first aircraft piloted on another planet

NASA successfully piloted the Ingenuity Mars helicopter for its first experimental flight on Monday, briefly hopping the aircraft as NASA's Perseverance rover collected data.

Why it matters: Ingenuity's short flight marks the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.

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All U.S. adults now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine, meeting Biden's April 19 deadline

All 50 U.S. states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, have now made U.S. adults over the age of 16 eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, meeting President Biden's April 19 deadline.

Why it matters: The landmark speaks to the increased pace of the national vaccination campaign, but will increase pressure on the federal government, states and pharmaceutical companies to provide adequate vaccine supply and logistics.

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Minneapolis braces for a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial

Minneapolis is waking up to images of an occupied city on Monday, as the city and the world await a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

What it's like: Residents running errands, picking up dinner and heading to the dog park in recent days encountered heavily-armed National Guard troops stationed throughout the city.

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Russian authorities say jailed opposition leader Navalny has been transferred to hospital

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been hospitalized, one day after his doctor warned that the jailed Putin critic "could die at any moment," Russia's prison service said Monday.

Why it matters: News that Navalny's condition had severely deteriorated on the third week of a hunger strike prompted outrage from his supporters and international demands for Russia to provide him with immediate medical treatment.

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The state worst hit by the pandemic

Data: Hamilton Place Strategies; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the job facing governments was to save lives and save jobs. Very few states did well on both measures, while New York, almost uniquely, did particularly badly on both.

Why it matters: The jury is still out on whether there was a trade-off between the dual imperatives; a new analysis from Hamilton Place Strategies shows no clear correlation between the two.

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