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Regan at his confirmation hearing on Feb. 3. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate voted 66-34 on Wednesday to confirm Michael Regan, North Carolina's top environmental regulator, as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Why it matters: Regan is the first Black man to lead the agency. He'll be tasked with carrying out key elements of President Biden's aggressive climate change agenda, after former President Trump rolled back more than 100 environmental regulations during his term.

Background: Regan previously held several senior roles with the Environmental Defense Fund and served at the EPA for a decade prior to that, with a focus on air quality and radiation under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

  • His record in North Carolina includes a major settlement with utility giant Duke Energy on cleaning up waste from coal-fired power production.
  • Agricultural groups including the American Farm Bureau Federation endorsed Regan's nomination, as did several environmental activist groups like 350.org.

Go deeper

Bernie Sanders: U.S. must recognize that "Palestinian rights matter"

Sen. Bernie Sanders. Photo: Stefani Reynolds via Getty Images

The United States must encourage an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East and adopt an "evenhanded approach" that recognizes Palestinians and Israelis have a right to "live in peace and security," Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) wrote in a New York Times opinion on Friday.

Driving the news: Violence escalated this week after Israelis intensified efforts to evict Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem. Hamas fired rockets and Israel massed troops, leaving more than 125 Palestinians and seven people in Israel dead.

2 hours ago - Technology

Exclusive: Uber makes new hire, launches anti-racism campaigns

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Eager to show progress on the pledge to make its platform and business anti-racist, Uber on Friday announced new anti-racism driver and rider campaigns, as well as fresh internal hiring practices, Axios was first to report.

Why it matters: Uber is one of the biggest ride hailing companies in the world. Its decisions impact the millions that use the platform, where drivers and riders alike say they have experienced racism.

Ex-Gaetz associate admits to sex trafficking, will cooperate with federal prosecutors

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fl) speaks during the "Save America Summit" at the Trump National Doral golf resort on April 09, 2021 in Doral, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Staff via Getty Images

Joel Greenberg, a former associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), has agreed to cooperate with federal investigators and admitted to a variety of federal charges including sex trafficking a minor, the New York Times reported Friday citing court papers.

Why it matters: Investigators believe Greenberg introduced women to Gaetz for paid sex and are looking into the Florida congressman's alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Greenberg could be a key witness as federal prosecutors decide whether to charge Gaetz.