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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

With a new year comes a new title for 2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg: former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

The big picture: Buttigieg's term as mayor will end Wednesday as James Mueller, who served in Buttigieg's administration as chief of staff, is set to be sworn in. Buttigieg announced he would not run for re-election in 2018.

  • Mueller received Buttigieg's endorsement in February 2019. He won a crowded primary for the city's Democratic nomination in May.

Why it matters: The title change frees up Buttigieg's schedule at a vital time in the presidential race. While he hadn't been tied to his desk in South Bend, hometown commitments occasionally took him off the trail. Most notably, he paused campaigning in June after protests broke out in South Bend in the wake of an officer-involved shooting of a black man.

  • Buttigieg is now free to spend all his time in Iowa just weeks away from its first-in-the-nation caucuses on Feb. 3.
  • Buttigieg also holds an advantage over the five senators also competing for the nomination. The pending impeachment trial of President Trump would force Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet to remain in Washington.

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

Go deeper

Updated 8 mins ago - World

Mapping repression in China's Xinjiang region

Data: © Mapbox, © OpenStreetMap; Map: Will Chase/Axios

A sweeping new report released today by an Australian research organization reveals new details about how the Chinese Communist Party — and specifically who within the party — is carrying out its campaign of repression in Xinjiang.

Why it matters: Uncovering the actual offices and individuals implementing the Chinese government's genocide and forced labor policies in Xinjiang can bring accountability and help international companies delink supply chains in compliance with U.S. and EU forced labor laws.

Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Celebrities are America's new politicians

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Launching gubernatorial bids, making presidential endorsements, founding schools: Celebrities are getting increasingly involved in U.S. public and political life.

Why it matters: As we've reported, politics is no longer just the purview of career politicians, as companies and their CEOs throw their weight around to affect policies. Now, movie stars, famous musicians and professional athletes also are using their influence in politics.

Updated 27 mins ago - Sports

Baseball's minor leaguers get a major win

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Starting next season, MLB teams will be required to provide housing for minor league players.

Why it matters: "This is a historic victory," Harry Marino, director of the nonprofit Advocates for Minor Leaguers, told ESPN. It's also just the beginning of a fight for improved quality of life.

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