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Photo: Qi Heng/Visual China Group via Getty Images

Both parties were caught stretching the Senate impeachment trial rules on Tuesday, keeping Apple Watches strapped to their wrists and ignoring a ban on electronic devices in the chamber, CQ Roll Call reports.

Why it matters: The no-phones rule in the decorum guidelines is meant to cut off access to the outside world. The latest versions of Apple Watches have cellular capabilities, meaning lawmakers and their staffers can text, call and surf the web even if their other devices are left outside the room.

  • The U.S. Supreme Court, for example, does not allow Apple Watches in its courtroom.

What we know: Per Roll Call, lawmakers seen in the Senate chamber with watches on their wrists were

  • Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)
  • Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)
  • Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)
  • Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)
  • Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)
  • Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)
  • Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)

Go deeper: Live updates: Senators debate rules of Trump impeachment trial

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
22 mins ago - Economy & Business

The fragile recovery

Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits is falling but remains remarkably high three weeks before pandemic assistance programs are set to expire. More than 1 million people a week are still filing for initial jobless claims, including nearly 300,000 applying for pandemic assistance.

By the numbers: As of Nov. 14, 20.2 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits of some kind, including more than 13.4 million on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs that were created as part of the CARES Act and end on Dec. 26.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The top candidates Biden is considering for key energy and climate roles

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has urged President-elect Joe Biden to nominate Mary Nichols, chair of California's air pollution regulator, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The reported push by Schumer could boost Nichol's chances of leading an agency that will play a pivotal role in Biden's vow to enact aggressive new climate policies — especially because the plan is likely to rest heavily on executive actions.

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.