Friday’s top stories

Stef W. Kight
Updated May 20, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Federal judge blocks Biden from ending COVID border policy

Immigrants wait to be processed by the U.S. Border Patrol. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

A federal judge has blocked the Biden administration from ending Title 42 — a controversial border policy that has allowed officials to rapidly turn back migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border nearly 2 million times.

Why it matters: The administration had planned to end the policy on Monday. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have decried the end of the policy — implemented as public health initiative under the Trump administration to block migrants from coming during the pandemic — out of concern that ending Title 42 would exacerbate already record numbers at the border.

Updated May 20, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Nancy Pelosi's Catholic archbishop bans her from receiving communion

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been barred from receiving communion until she ends her support for abortion, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said Friday.

Driving the news: "After numerous attempts to speak with Speaker Pelosi to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, an the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion," Cordileone, the archbishop of San Francisco, tweeted of the California Democrat.

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The pandemic pushed an exodus from public schools

Data: Return to Learn; Chart: Axios Visuals

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on virtually every aspect of America's public schools and now parents are pulling their kids out of the system all together.

Why it matters: With school funding directly tied to enrollment, experts warn that the decline in students may carry deeper repercussions, with some schools potentially forced to close completely.

States expanding Medicaid coverage of maternity services

A nurse cares for a newborn baby in the maternity ward of a hospital in Marche-En-Famenne, Belgium. Photo: Vincent Kalut/Photonews via Getty Images

More states are expanding Medicaid coverage of maternity services for low-income women, including lengthening the postpartum coverage period, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation report.

Why it matters: Medicaid pays for more than four in 10 births in the U.S., but coverage can be short-lived for women, ending after 60 days postpartum.

Trump pays $110,000 in contempt fees to New York attorney general

Former President Trump speaking in Austin on May 14. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former President Trump has paid $110,000 in fees he owed after being held in contempt of court but must submit more information to have the order fully lifted, New York Attorney General Letitia James' office said Friday.

Why it matters: A New York state judge suspended his contempt order against Trump provided he met three conditions by May 20 related to James' investigation into the Trump Organization. Her office said he met two of the three as of Friday.

Report: Ginni Thomas urged Arizona lawmakers to reverse Trump election loss

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, asked Arizona lawmakers to try to reverse former President Trump's loss in the state in the 2020 election by choosing "a clean slate of Electors," according to emails published by the Washington Post.

Driving the news: Thomas — who never specifically named Trump or President Biden — on Nov. 9, 2020, emailed a pair of Arizona state lawmakers asking them to follow their "Constitutional duty" and take steps to "fight back against fraud."

May 20, 2022 - Sports

American investors keep scoring European soccer teams

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

American investors are beginning to dominate European soccer in a way that American players never have.

Driving the news: A majority of the English Premier League's top 20 teams will have U.S. owners, once Todd Boehly's purchase of Chelsea F.C. goes through.

May 20, 2022 - World

Former Marine Trevor Reed on Russian imprisonment: "I wouldn't let myself hope"

Former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed, who was detained in a Russian prison since 2019 before being released last month, said in an exclusive interview with CNN that he feared for his life while imprisoned.

Driving the news: "You felt they might kill you?" CNN's Jake Tapper asked. "Yes. I thought that was a possibility," Reed responded.

The power of pure luck

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Almost every great thing in life starts with serendipity, someone — or something — new entering your life by chance.

Why it matters: This should humble all of us. We often celebrate big names who invent companies or pull off remarkable feats.

May 20, 2022 - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

The future of the office could look like a Starbucks

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson imagines that rather than have offices in each city where his firm employs a cluster of workers, he could just open a coffee shop where employees could work and gather.

Why it matters: Nearly everyone agrees that the future of work is hybrid, but everyone is still trying to figure out what that actually looks like.

May 20, 2022 - Health

Pedestrian deaths hit 40-year high

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Pedestrian deaths reached a 40-year high last year, according to preliminary data from the Governors Highway Safety Association.

By the numbers: Drivers struck and killed more than 7,400 people in 2021, and the percentage of children killed by speeding drivers more than doubled since 2018.

Jerome Powell is living rent free in my head

Photo Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

I should have pulled the trigger when I had the chance. Not long ago, I was feeling flush, and toying with the idea of transforming my recent stock market gains into something my family sorely needed: an eat-in kitchen.

Why it matters: Aside from my personal quest to calmly stir mac-and-cheese while chatting with my wife and five-year-old daughter, our will-they-or-won't-they renovation drama shows how Fed rate hikes turn human psychology into a tool of monetary policy.

Scoop: Sinema pushes to open up mining

Sen. Kysten Sinema is seen arriving at the Capitol on Thursday. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) wants the Senate's bipartisan energy and climate talks to prioritize domestic battery production — and make it easier to mine critical minerals at home, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Sinema's engagement on mining reform reveals both the possibilities — and pitfalls — of a potential bipartisan deal. Democrats are eager for a win this critical midterm year.