Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigie. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg fielded questions Sunday on a police officer-involved shooting during a tense town hall in his hometown — addressing an issue that's seen by many as a test of the Democratic presidential candidate's leadership.

Why it matters: Buttigieg took time off the 2020 campaign trail to deal with the fallout from the shooting of Eric Logan, a 54-year-old African American, by a white police officer. Buttigieg has seen his campaign soar in recent weeks, but a June poll shows nearly half of African Americans surveyed don't know him. Some critics have suggested Buttigieg has a history of alienating minorities in South Bend, Axios' Rashaan Ayesh writes.

The big picture: Buttigieg has already directed police to turn on their body cameras when interacting with civilians after it was revealed the shooting incident involving Sgt. Ryan O'Neill and Logan wasn't recorded.

  • During the town hall, Buttigieg said he would write to the Justice Department to request its civil rights division look into the June 16 shooting and he would notify the local prosecutor that he'd like to see the appointment of an independent investigator.
  • He twice had to ask the crowd to quiet down so he could address points, fielding often tough questions, including on authorities' responses and claims of systemic racism.
"I don’t want to seem defensive, but we have taken a lot of steps. They clearly haven’t been enough. But I can’t accept the suggestion that we haven’t done anything. I acknowledge that it has not been enough. I would like as many different voices to be in the process as possible. ... It’s why we’re here."

Go deeper: Pete Buttigieg on the issues, in under 500 words

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Americans are still spending money

Source: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent more money at stores and restaurants in 2020 than they did in 2019 — even in the face of a devastating global pandemic that shut down broad sectors of the economy.

Why it matters: The monthly retail sales report this morning came in well below expectations, and showed consumer spending falling on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total expenditures were still higher in December 2020 than they were a year previously, however.

The deplatforming fight shifts to the courts

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Capitol riot and tech firms' sweeping attempt in its wake to dislodge the online far right are kicking up efforts to have the courts settle knotty questions about online speech and power.

Why it matters: Legal battles could force the people angry at Big Tech to bring more rigor to arguments that have often devolved into messy sideshows.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
5 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.