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Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Kham Pool via AP

China is far from having a cult of Xi that comes anything close to the cult of Mao that led to the disastrous Cultural Revolution, but some of the signs are worrisome. Ucanews reports that local officials in Jiangxi province offered poverty relief aid in exchange for Christian residents to replace religious images with posters of Xi.

Key quote: "The message from officials stated that the Christians involved had 'recognized their mistakes and decided not to entrust to Jesus but to the (Communist) Party' claiming the Christians voluntarily removed 624 religious images and posted 453 portraits of Xi."

Quick take: Local officials doing this likely see it as double-win:

  • They get to show they are cracking down on foreign religions.
  • They demonstrate loyalty while disseminating the Party's good news.

Also: Last week another set of local officials made a pilgrimage to a tree Xi had planted several years earlier. They admired the "big, verdant and tall...Xi Paulownia tree" before retaking the oath to join the Communist Party, the Guardian reported.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."