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Trump administration to allow yearlong renewals for current DACA recipients

The Trump administration is allowing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to renew their protections under the program for one year as officials begin a review of DACA and how the administration attempted to end it, a senior administration official announced Tuesday.

Between the lines: Despite the Supreme Court ruling that Trump illegally ended the Obama-era program in June and a federal judge ruling earlier this month that it must be restored to its full status, the administration will continue to reject new applications, according to the official.


  • A more detailed memo is expected later Tuesday.
  • DACA renewals typically extend for two years — not just one.

"These actions will limit the scope of the program while DHS and the administration review its legality, justifications for a possible wind down and other considerations relevant to deciding whether to keep or wind down the DACA policy," the senior administration official said.

  • The official added that the administration expects to face legal challenges.

The big picture: President Trump and key immigration enforcement leaders have lambasted the court's June decision.

  • Trump tweeted the day after that the administration would be "submitting enhanced papers shortly in order to properly fulfill the Supreme Court’s ruling & request of yesterday."
  • But over the past few weeks, as Axios reported, the White House has been eyeing the same decision as inspiration for a series of controversial executive actions —including one that would offer some kind of protections for DACA recipients.

What's next: The review process means that DACA will be in place — at least for current recipients — through Election Day, meaning that its ultimate fate could be decided at the ballot box in November.

Trump agency head who often skips mask tests positive for coronavirus

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of top administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

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COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

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Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.

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Trump pardons Michael Flynn

President Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts.

Why it matters: It is the first of multiple pardons expected in the coming weeks, as Axios scooped last night.

This is a breaking story and will be updated with more details.

The emerging cybersecurity headaches awaiting Biden

The incoming administration will face a slew of cybersecurity-related challenges, as Joe Biden takes office under a very different environment than existed when he was last in the White House as vice president.

The big picture: President-elect Biden's top cybersecurity and national security advisers will have to wrestle with the ascendancy of new adversaries and cyberpowers, as well as figure out whether to continue the more aggressive stance the Trump administration has taken in cyberspace.

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Past friction between Biden and Erdoğan foreshadows future tensions

Ankara — The incoming Biden administration's foreign policy priorities and worldview will collide with those of the Turkish government on several issues.

Why it matters: The U.S. needs its NATO ally Turkey for its efforts to contain Russia, counter Iran and deal with other crises in the Middle East. But relations between Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are expected to be strained.

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Tesla's wild rise and European plan

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Tesla's market capitalization blew past $500 billion for the first time Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's just a number, but kind of a wild one. Consider, via CNN: "Tesla is now worth more than the combined market value of most of the world's major automakers: Toyota, Volkswagen, GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and its merger partner PSA Group."

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China's Xi Jinping congratulates Biden on election win

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to President-elect Biden on Wednesday to congratulate him on his election victory, according to the Xinhua state news agency.

Why it matters: China's foreign ministry offered Biden a belated, and tentative, congratulations on Nov. 13, but Xi had not personally acknowledged Biden's win. The leaders of Brazil, Mexico and Russia are among the very few leaders still declining to congratulate Biden.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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