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Meadows: White House and Democrats are "nowhere close to a deal" on coronavirus stimulus

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters after meeting with Democratic leaders on Wednesday that the two sides are "nowhere close to a deal" on a coronavirus stimulus bill, and acknowledged that extra unemployment benefits will expire on Friday.

Why it matters: More than 32 million Americans are currently receiving some form of unemployment benefits, according to the most recent Labor Department data. Democrats had hoped to extend the $600 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit passed in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, but the Senate GOP remains extremely divided.


The state of play: The White House has repeatedly floated the option of passing a "skinny" bill to extend unemployment benefits, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has rejected that option as unacceptable: "We have to have a comprehensive full bill," she said.

  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters, "They're tied in a total knot because of the disunity in their caucus, their inability to gather votes."
  • "We want to come back and keep talking to them but they don’t have anything to say," Schumer added.

The bottom line: Asked what would be necessary to achieve a breakthrough, Meadows replied, "I don't know that anything does."

Go deeper ... "This is not going to be the bill": GOP senators criticize their own stimulus proposal

Aug. 4 primaries: Voters visit the polls in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington

Primary elections on Tuesday in fives states see crowded fields of both Republicans and Democrats hoping to make the ballot in 2020.

What to watch: Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is "fighting for her political life" in a tight primary race against Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, who Tlaib beat by 900 votes in 2018, The New York Times writes. Senate Republicans are also watching the primary race in Kansas to see who could replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.

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"Mulan" will head to Disney+, home to more than 60 million subscribers, for $29.99

Disney announced Tuesday that its most highly-anticipated blockbuster of the year, the live-action remake of "Mulan," is heading to Disney+ on Sept. 4 for consumers to purchase for a premium access fee of $29.99. The movie's theatrical debut had previously been delayed four times.

Why it matters: It's a huge blow to movie exhibitors across the country that were relying on the Disney hit to come exclusively to theaters for at least a few months before being made available to consumers at home via streaming.

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Local governments go to war over schools

The next big coronavirus battleground will be over who has the final say on whether schools can stay open.

Why it matters: This involves the safety of young children and their parents, not to mention older educators and staff, and comes at the same time as many of the parents are out of work.

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Podcast: The debate over COVID-19 liability protections

Stimulus talks continue to move slowly, with Democrats and Republicans unable to agree on whether or not to include coronavirus-related liability protections for businesses, health facilities and schools.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the debate, which could reset the cost-benefit analysis for businesses thinking about reopening and employees thinking about returning.

The U.S. is at risk of attacks in space

Other nations are catching up to U.S. capabilities in space, potentially putting American assets in orbit at risk.

Why it matters: From GPS to imagery satellites and others that can peer through clouds, space data is integral to American national security.

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Massive explosion rocks Beirut

A major explosion has slammed central Beirut, Lebanon, and damaged buildings as far as several miles away.

Driving the news: The cause of the explosion is unknown, as are details of potential deaths and injuries. It comes as Lebanon grapples with a crippling financial crisis and the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Trump's Treasury demand poses another threat to a potential TikTok sale

President Trump said twice Monday that the U.S. Treasury would need to get a portion of the sale price of TikTok, as a condition of regulatory approval.

Why it matters: This is akin to extortion — the sort of thing you'd expect to hear on a wiretap, not from the White House in front of reporters.

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Ford names James Farley as new CEO amid ongoing turnaround effort

Ford announced Tuesday that James Farley will take over as its next CEO, replacing James Hackett, 65, who is retiring after three years in the job.

Why it matters: It leaves Farley to complete the company's ongoing turnaround effort. The transition will be that much harder as the industry tries to navigate the coronavirus-induced economic slowdown which shuttered Ford plants for two months on the eve of some of its most important vehicle launches.

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