Feb 16, 2017

DeVos is going on a school visit with a union leader

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Betsy DeVos, the new Education secretary, and Randi Weingarten, the president of the teachers union that bitterly opposed DeVos, talked on the phone recently and made a deal: they're going to visit some schools together.

"I said I'd like to visit a public school with her, and then I'd like her to visit a choice school with me," DeVos said today in an interview. Weingarten said the chat was a "short, frank, blunt conversation on my part" and that the school visits need to be real, "not a photo op."

Why this matters: During her confirmation, DeVos became a national lightning rod for progressive protests. Weingarten, recently published an open letter expressing her concerns that DeVos would neglect public schools. So contentious the confirmation fight that for the first time in history the Vice President needed to use his tiebreaker vote on a cabinet nominee. Her conversation with Weingarten is an important piece of outreach.

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

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Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.