The Environmental Protection Agency logo flies at the agency's headquarters in D.C. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Mandy Gunasekara, former deputy assistant administrator in the Environmental Protection Agency's air office, is expected to become the next chief of staff, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters, via Axios' Amy Harder: Gunasekara's return signals that the agency plans to double down on a deeply conservative approach to eschew new regulations of almost any kind, as opposed to embracing more moderate policies that some businesses are calling for.

Flashback: Gunasekara — who was instrumental in crafting President Trump’s regulatory rollbacks on a range of air pollution standards — left the EPA last February to start a new political advocacy group defending those policies.

  • Gunasekara also pushed Trump to exit the Paris climate agreement, which aims to dramatically slash greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades to keep Earth's global temperature from rising 2°C within this century.

What they're saying: EPA spokesperson Michael Abboud told the Post in an email that, “Ryan Jackson is Chief of Staff at EPA until February 21st, at which time Michael Molina will serve as Acting Chief of Staff."

Go deeper: Meet the Obama environmental policies Trump isn’t rolling back

Go deeper

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Lego, Sesame Workshop back early-learning startup

Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

A number of leading children's brands, including Lego and Sesame Workshop, are among the investors pouring $50 million into BEGiN, the New York startup behind the early-learning program HOMER.

Why it matters: Thus far, HOMER has focused on reading apps, but with the new funding and partnerships, the company says it will expand to a full early-learning program combining digital, physical and in-person experiences, tapping some of its investors for both content and distribution.

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Climate's surprise appearance in the debate

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The debate was a mess as moderator Chris Wallace struggled with President Trump's interruptions. But let's analyze the climate parts anyway without normalizing the whole thing.

Why it matters: The contest provided a collision over the topic between Trump and Joe Biden, and underscored the two candidates' immense differences.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 33,700,008 — Total deaths: 1,008,874 — Total recoveries: 23,426,047Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 7,191,406 — Total deaths: 206,005 — Total recoveries: 2,813,305 — Total tests: 103,155,189Map.
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  5. Politics: 7 former FDA commissioners say Trump is undermining agency's credibility.
  6. Work: United States of burnout — Asian American unemployment spikes amid pandemic