May 22, 2019

Scoop: EPA official steps down after 2 years

Troy Lyons, one of the longest-serving senior Trump administration officials at the Environmental Protection Agency, is stepping down and joining a lobbying firm.

Why it matters: Lyons, an associate administrator, was instrumental in helping EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and several assistant administrators work through the Senate confirmation process. He was also involved in handling ethical inquiries into Wheeler’s past work.

What they’re saying:

"I am deeply grateful for Troy’s service to the Agency and for guiding my two confirmations through the Senate. As our conduit to Congress, Troy skillfully prepared me and our team for hearings and communicated with Congressional members in an open, timely, and productive manner. Troy’s leadership and integrity will be sorely missed at so many levels of the Agency."
— EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler

What’s next: He is joining Massie Partners, a small, bipartisan lobbying firm with an energy focus.

Go deeper: Top EPA official leaves to start new advocacy group

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.