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Screenshot: Twitter

Nike, Twitter, WarnerMedia, Netflix and Citigroup are among the corporations to publicly back the protesters in recent days, The N.Y. Times reports.

Why it matters: "Major companies are often wary of conflict, especially in a polarized time. They tend to be afraid of offending their customers and associating their brands with sensitive subjects," Tiffany Hsu wrote.

What they're saying: Many companies updated their Twitter bios to include the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter in their bios or publicly posted, such as Nordstrom, Ben & Jerry's and Tik Tok.

  • Mark Mason, the chief financial officer of Citigroup, wrote a post on the company's site that repeated George Floyd's plea for help, "I can't breathe," per the Times.
  • WarnerMedia brands changed their names to #BlackLivesMatter.
  • Nike released an ad on Friday that said, "For once don't do it."

Yes, but: Many of the businesses who expressed support for the protests or George Floyd have had complicated relationships with race in the past, the Times writes. "To many people, the supportive corporate sentiments fell short without offering funding or other substantive resources. But some companies said nothing at all."

  • Starbuck posted a letter on Saturday encouraging "courageous conversations," but had to implement anti-bias training in 2018 after two black men were arrested in a store after they didn't order anything while waiting for a friend.

Go deeper: How Big Tech has responded to the protests

Go deeper

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

SWAT team members deploy near the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. Photo: Andy Jacobsohn/AFP via Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement on Sunday.

State of play: All four hostages were safely released after the day-long standoff at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said on Saturday night.

  • "Around 9 p.m., the HRT — hostage rescue team — breached the synagogue, they rescued the three [remaining] hostages, the suspect is deceased," said police chief Michael Miller of Colleyville, located roughly 15 miles northeast of Fort Worth. The other hostage had been released earlier Saturday.
  • Authorities had initially declined to release the name of the 44-year-old suspect or identify the hostages, all adults, though Miller confirmed that one of those held was Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who leads the congregation.

Driving the news: The Colleyville Police Department said in a statement nearly an hour after the synagogue's 10 a.m. CST Shabbat services began that officers arrived on the scene and "observed an emergency situation that warranted an evacuation of the surrounding areas."

  • The FBI's Dallas Field Office, including crisis negotiators, and Texas Department of Public Safety worked alongside local authorities as the situation unfolded, according to CPD.
  • Abbott tweeted around 9:30 p.m. CST, "Prayers answered. All hostages are out alive and safe."

Matt DeSarno, the special agent in charge at the FBI's Dallas Field Office, said Saturday night that the suspect was focused on "one issue that was not specifically threatening to the Jewish community."

  • According to Texas Department of Public Safety, the suspect said he wanted to see Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist, who is serving an 86-year sentence nearby. Siddiqui was convicted in 2010 for assaulting U.S. federal agents, employees and nationals in Afghanistan.

"We strongly condemn the hostage-taking at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX," Siddiqui's attorney Marwa Elbially, said in a statement earlier on Saturday, per CNN. "We implore the hostage taker to immediately release all hostages and turn himself in."

  • "We want to verify that the perpetrator is NOT Dr. Aafia's brother who is a respected architect and member of the community. Whoever the assailant is, we want him to know that his actions are condemned by Dr. Aafia and her family," the statement continued.

What they're saying: "Thanks to the courageous work of state, local and federal law enforcement, four Americans who were held hostage at a Texas synagogue will soon be home with their families," President Biden said in a statement.

  • "We are sending love and strength to the members of Congregation Beth Israel, Colleyville, and the Jewish community," Biden added.
  • "There is more we will learn in the days ahead about the motivations of the hostage taker. But let me be clear to anyone who intends to spread hate—we will stand against anti-Semitism and against the rise of extremism in this country."

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

5 hours ago - Sports

Novak Djokovic loses Australian visa appeal

Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a forehand during a practice session ahead of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 14, 2022. Photo: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Tennis star Novak Djokovic left Australia on Sunday evening, facing a three-year visa ban after an appeals court in the country revoked his visa.

Driving the news: Djokovic will not be able to defend his Australian Open title when the tournament starts in Melbourne. The World No. 1 is looking to break a three-way tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most Grand Slam men's singles titles.

6 hours ago - Health

America struggles to keep schools open

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As Omicron continues to spread, schools across the U.S. are struggling with teacher shortages that have forced them to consolidate classes and lean on administrative staff to fill in as substitutes.

Why it matters: School closures and virtual classes can do lasting damage to kids' academic achievement — but so can some of the accommodations schools have had to make in order to stay open.

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