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Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Bureau of Prisons Director Mark Inch resigned from his position two days before the White House's prison reform roundtable last week, per the New York Times.

The big picture: Inch felt excluded from major decisions in the Justice Department and
caught in an "ideological turf war" on prison reform between Jared Kushner, who is pushing the idea from the White House, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who opposes most of the ideas in the bill that has passed the House, according to the Times.

What's next: The White House-backed prison reform bill is now headed to the Senate where Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley — and several Democrats — are insisting the bill include sentencing reform. Some criminal justice reform advocates see Inch's resignation as an opportunity to do just that, despite opposition to lowering federal sentencing guidelines from Sessions, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump.

  • Keep in mind: Whoever replaces Inch will be in charge of actually implementing whatever prison reforms manage to make it into law.

Go deeper: Trump's prison reform turn.

Go deeper

Coronavirus hospitalizations top 100,000 for the first time

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking ProjectHarvard Global Health Institute; Cartogram: Danielle Alberti and Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 100,000 Americans are now in the hospital with coronavirus infections — a new record, an indication that the pandemic is continuing to get worse and a reminder that the virus is still very dangerous.

Why it matters: Hospitalizations are a way to measure severe illnesses — and severe illnesses are on the rise across the U.S. In some areas, health systems and health care workers are already overwhelmed, and outbreaks are only getting worse.

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

Our make-believe economy

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Federal Reserve and global central banks are remaking the world's economy in an effort to save it, but have created something of a monster.

Why it matters: The Fed-driven economy relies on the creation of trillions of dollars — literally out of thin air — that are used to purchase bonds and push money into a pandemic-ravaged economy that has long been dependent on free cash and is only growing more addicted.

New hope for "smart cities"

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's time to polish our gleaming vision of urban environments where internet technology makes everything from finding a parking space to measuring air quality a snap.

Why it matters: The Biden administration's Cabinet appointees are likely to be champions of bold futurism in urban planning — which could mean that smart infrastructure projects, like broadband deployment and digital city services, get fresh funding and momentum.