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President Biden speaking at the Medal of Honor ceremony on Thursday. Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday awarded the Medal of Honor to three U.S. soldiers, including Sgt. First Class Alwyn C. Cashe, the first Black recipient of the award for actions since 9/11.

The big picture: Biden also honored Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Celiz and Master Sgt. Earl Plumlee for their "conspicuous gallantry."

  • The medal is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who went "above and beyond the call of duty" in protecting the United States.

Details: Cashe received the medal posthumously for rescuing his teammates from a vehicle engulfed in flames during a 2005 attack in Iraq.

  • Celiz, an Army Ranger, received the award for voluntarily exposing himself to Taliban fire in Afghanistan in 2018 in order to employ a heavy weapon system that would disrupt future attacks on Afghans. He died from his wounds that day.
  • Plumlee, a Green Beret, was honored for his actions in Afghanistan in 2013.
U.S. President Joe Biden awards the Medal of Honor to Army Master Sgt. Earl Plumlee. Photo: Mandel Negan/AFP via Getty Images

What they're saying: "Each of you know what it is to stare down danger and summon strength in the face of a moment of trial," Biden said during the White House ceremony.

  • "We're grateful for all that you three have done."

Go deeper

Alwyn Cashe to become 1st Black service Medal of Honor recipient from war on terror

Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

President Biden will award the Medal of Honor to Sgt. First Class Alwyn C. Cashe, who will become the first Black service member to receive the nation's highest medal for valor in combat for events during the war on terror.

Why it matters: Cashe will be honored alongside two other soldiers who displayed "conspicuous gallantry" while deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq, the White House announced Friday.

Updated 14 mins ago - Economy & Business

Tax season nightmare ahead for understaffed IRS

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The IRS will start accepting 2021 tax returns in less than a week, and the filing delays and administrative headaches to come might eclipse last year — which was “one of the worst filing seasons," according to an independent advocacy agency within the IRS.

Why it matters: For taxpayers, especially with complex or paper filings, this means headaches, delayed refunds, and mistakes.

China builds its own movie empire

Expand chart
Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.