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Hollywood is buzzing about this week's New Yorker cover, featuring an ambiguous face on an Academy Award, meant to exemplify the record-breaking diversity at this year's Oscars.

The cover represents a a conscience effort by The Academy to highlight diversity at this year's awards after two years of critical #OscarsSoWhite social media campaigns. The Academy, known for being mostly male and white, has added dozens of new, diverse faces to its roster and has included several films with diversity themes in some of the top prize categories, including Moonlight, Fences, Lion and Hidden Figures for best picture.

By the numbers: This year, six black actors are nominated for awards, a record, and with Dev Patel nominated for best actor in a supporting role, seven non-white actors are nominated — which ties 2007 for the most in Oscars history. Zero were nominated in 2015 and 2016. Per Time, a number of records have been shattered this year:

  • First year with three black nominees in one acting category
  • First black woman to be nominated for editing
  • 3 non-white writers nominated for best screenplay in the same year for the first time
  • 13 years since an Indian actor was last nominated
  • 2 black artists have been nominated for cinematography in Oscar history
  • First black artist to be nominated for Best Director, Best Picture and Best Screenplay

Why it matters: Many believe Hollywood's diversity renaissance is occurring as a backlash to the diversity crisis in Washington. The majority of President Trump's cabinet is male and white and many of his actions, including the Muslim ban, reversal of Obama's transgender bathroom law, and asking a black reporter to set up a meeting for him to meet with her "friends" at the Congressional Black Caucus, are seen as insensitive towards diversity.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
5 hours ago - World

Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania. 

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