Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) Photo: Tom Williams / Getty

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) told Axios that he hasn't given up hope on Attorney General Jeff Sessions coming around on sentencing reform, pointing to that fact that as a senator Sessions helped pass the Fair Sentencing Act, which improved the racial disparity in cocaine crime sentencing.

Why it matters: In a White House meeting with criminal justice reform advocates, Sessions seemed open to pursuing prison reform in order to save money, but sentencing reform was not discussed. Prison reform has more bipartisan support, while sentencing reform is often seen as being "soft on crime" by hardline conservatives like Sessions.

  • Prison reform focuses on reducing recidivism through programs and training within prisons. In Texas, prison reform efforts resulted in $2 billion of savings for taxpayers.
  • Sentencing reform focuses on reducing harsh sentences for low-level, nonviolent crimes — often drug crimes.

Why sentencing matters: Scott said prison reform without sentencing reform doesn't do enough to address racial discrimination. He argues that the kind of crimes that receive the harshest penalties disproportionately affect African Americans.

  • In 2015, African Americans and Hispanics made up more than half of incarcerated Americans, despite only making up 32% of the U.S. population, according to the NAACP.
  • Scott and Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) unveiled a bipartisan prison and sentencing reform bill late last year as part of gaining momentum in the House and Senate to revive the criminal justice reform efforts which dwindled in 2016 heading into the election.

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Updated 2 hours ago - World

Pandemic plunges U.K. into "largest recession on record"

The scene near the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England in the City of London, England. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom slumped into recession as its gross domestic product GDP shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: Per an ONS statement, "It is clear that the U.K. is in the largest recession on record." The U.K. has faired worse than any other major European economy from coronavirus lockdowns, Bloomberg notes. And finance minister Rishi Sunak warns the situation is likely to worsen.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The United Kingdom slumped into recession on Wednesday, as its gross domestic product GDP shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year.

By the numbers: Over 741,400 people have died of the novel coronavirus globally and more than 20.2 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins. Almost 12.6 million have recovered from the virus.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 20,294,091 — Total deaths: 741,420— Total recoveries: 12,591,454Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,141,207 — Total deaths: 164,537 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.
  7. World: Anthony Fauci "seriously" doubts Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe