Jan 10, 2017

Big in Business: VW exec arrested

1. The FBI arrested a Volkswagen official who was once in charge of compliance with emissions standards. FBI alleged he conspired to conceal how VW car pollution

Why it Matters: The Feds have been criticized for just fining delinquent multinationals without jailing executives. This is a change. It's also bad news for VW, which will continue to weather bad press as the case works its way through court.

2. Congressional Republicans hope to eliminate deductions for state and local taxes in reform of the personal tax code, the Hill reports.

Why it Matters: Depending on the design of the proposal, this could take a bite out of economic growth, as states look to cut taxes and services to ease the tax burden on residents. And ideologically, this is not a clear victory for small government enthusiasts, as it will make states increasingly reliant on federal policy, funds, and mandates.

3. Federal Housing Administration will cut insurance fees it charges borrowers, which will save the typical household $500 annually.

Why it Matters: Most housing market indicators are green, but data on credit standards show that financing is still less available today than ten years ago. This decision will help first-time homebuyers afford new homes, and be another tailwind for U.S. real estate in 2017.

What to watch for today: Global oil prices fell again late Monday, on indications that Iranian production would be higher than previously thought.

The path of oil prices Tuesday will indicate traders predictions for data released on U.S. production tomorrow. Cheap oil is no longer an unalloyed good for the U.S. economy, as domestic energy production has soared.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 5,626,047 — Total deaths: 351,815 — Total recoveries — 2,314,233Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 1,684,173 — Total deaths: 99,123 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine — Nearly half of Americans say someone in their household has delayed medical care.
  4. Tech: Zipline drones deliver masks to hospitals; vaccines could be next
  5. Business: Boeing to lay off 6,770 more U.S. employees.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Live updates: SpaceX to launch historic crewed mission for NASA

The Falcon 9 rocket with a Crew Dragon atop. Photo: SpaceX

SpaceX will attempt to launch NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station today.

Why it matters: If all goes well, this launch — expected to happen at 4:33 p.m. ET — will mark the first time a private company has successfully launched people to orbit and the first crewed, orbital rocket launch from the U.S. in 9 years.

Follow along below for live coverage...

Pompeo tells Congress Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Wednesday that he has certified to Congress that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China and does not warrant special treatment under U.S. law.

Why it matters: Revoking Hong Kong's special status would hasten its economic and financial decline, already set in motion by China's growing political grip on the city. The preferential status that the U.S. has long granted Hong Kong has made the city a top U.S. trading partner.

Go deeper (1 min. read)ArrowUpdated 46 mins ago - World