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Podcast: Savannah Mayor Van Johnson on Georgia's face mask fight

Public health officials almost all agree that wearing face masks in public could help flatten the coronavirus curve, but not all elected officials are willing to require mask use.

Axios Re:Cap digs in with Savannah Mayor Van Johnson after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp moved to overrule his city's emergency mask mandate.

Mayors plan multifront attack on census shutdown

A growing number of mayors are banding together to fight what they consider to be an inaccurate and abruptly curtailed 2020 census, using an arsenal of legal, legislative and congressional efforts.

Why it matters: The outcome may determine whether President Trump or Joe Biden controls the redistricting process, which governs everything from congressional representation and redistricting to funding for schools and Head Start.

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Facebook Oversight Board begins hearing appeals

The Facebook Oversight Board announced Thursday that some Facebook and Instagram users can now submit appeals to the Oversight Board for an independent review of their own content removals.

Why it matters: The board, a first-of-its-kind internet governance body, will begin hearing cases from users ahead of the U.S. election.

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U.S. cities' lagging climate progress

Reproduced from a Brookings Institution report; Chart: Axios Visuals

A just-published Brookings Institution analysis of U.S. cities' pledges to cut carbon emissions reveals very mixed results.

Why it matters: The potential — and limits — of city and state initiatives have gotten more attention amid President Trump's scuttling of Obama-era national policies.

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New state unemployment filings fall to 757,000

First-time applications for unemployment fell last week, according to Department of Labor data released on Thursday.

Between the lines: The overall number of Americans relying on unemployment also fell to a still-staggering 23 million. But there are continued signs of labor market strain, with more people shifting to an unemployment program designed for the long-term jobless.

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Biden says he will appoint bipartisan commission on Supreme Court reform

Joe Biden told CBS' "60 Minutes" this week that if elected, he would put together a bipartisan commission to study the federal court system and make recommendations for reform.

Why it matters: Biden has come under pressure to clarify his position on court packing after some Democrats suggested expanding the court if Senate Republicans confirm President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

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Wall Street still prefers bonds

Investors' return on U.S. corporate bonds has been falling since its August peak, but buying has only accelerated, especially in investment grade bonds that are offering historically low yields.

The state of play: Since hitting its 2020 high on Aug. 4, the benchmark Bloomberg Barclays U.S. bond aggregate has delivered a -2.2% return. (For comparison, the S&P 500 has gained 3.9% during the same time period.)

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U.S.-Israeli delegation secretly visits Sudan ahead of possible normalization announcement

A joint U.S.-Israeli delegation traveled secretly on Wednesday to Sudan for talks on a possible announcement on "ending the state of belligerence" between the countries that could be released in the next few days, sources briefed on the trip told me.

The big picture: President Trump announced earlier this week he is ready to remove Sudan from the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list once Sudan pays $335 million in compensation to American terror victims.

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Long-awaited crackdown on white-collar crime arrives right before election

America has waited a decade for an aggressive government crackdown on white-collar crime. Now, just before the election, and in the middle of a bull market, it has arrived.

Why it matters: When times are good, investors become more trusting and more greedy. That makes them more likely to put their money into fraudulent or criminal enterprises.

  • After a decade-long bull market, there is no shortage of those frauds to prosecute.
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