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The only vice presidential debate between Vice President Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris took place Wednesday night. Axios co-founder Mike Allen offers his thought bubble on the evening.

  • Plus, unemployment among young Asian American workers is spiking.
  • And, Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier won the Nobel Prize in chemistry.

Guests: Axios' Mike Allen, Erica Pandey, and Alison Snyder.

Credits: "Axios Today" is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Carol Wu, Cara Shillenn, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Dan Bobkoff, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Alex Sugiura and Naomi Shavin. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com.

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Mike Pence calls Kamala Harris to offer congratulations and help

Mike Pence. Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty

Vice President Mike Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance in the transition, the New York Times first reported.

Why it matters: The belated conversation came six days before the inauguration after a contentious post-election stretch. President Trump has neither spoken with President-elect Joe Biden, nor explicitly conceded the 2020 election.

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Jen Psaki: "With that I’d love to take your questions”

In her inaugural briefing as White House press secretary, Jen Psaki said she has a “deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy,” and pledged to hold daily briefings.

Why it matters: Conferences with the press secretary in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room became almost non-existent under the Trump administration. By sending Psaki to the podium hours after President Biden took the oath of office, the White House signaled a return to pre-Trump norms.

Avril Haines confirmed as director of national intelligence

Haines. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Image

Avril Haines was quickly confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday as the director of national intelligence (DNI) in a vote of 84-10.

Why it matters: Haines is the first of President Biden's nominees to receive a full Senate confirmation and she will be the first woman to serve as DNI. She's previously served as CIA deputy director from 2013 to 2015 and deputy national security adviser from 2015 to 2017.