May 11, 2017

Facebook hires former Jeff Sessions staffer

Noah Berger / AP

Facebook has added a former top staffer for now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to its policy team focused on the administration, the company tells Axios. Sandy Luff, who last worked for Sessions as his Legislative Director when he was serving in the Senate, will be Director of Executive Branch Public Policy at the tech giant. She also worked with the Trump transition team.

Facebook is staffing up its policy communications team, too. It has hired Nu Wexler, a veteran Democratic communications staffer who is well-known to the tech press as Twitter's former spokesman on policy issues.

Why it matters: Tech companies are having to adapt quickly to Trump's Washington. This hire gives Facebook a valuable link to an influential member of the administration who has taken positions on immigration and surveillance that don't sit well with Silicon Valley. Former Sessions aides — most notably Stephen Miller — also hold key administration posts.

The details: U.S. Army veteran Luff specialized in national security issues in the Senate and was described last year by Yahoo News as "very well regarded by Capitol Hill colleagues in both parties." The company's Vice President Of U.S. Public Policy, Greg Maurer, said in a statement that Luff's "experience and understanding of the political landscape will make her an invaluable asset to our team."

Go deeper

Amazon is gaining on shipping giants

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Amazon is emerging as a transportation juggernaut that could threaten carmakers, package delivery firms and even ride-hailing companies.

Why it matters: By building its own logistics ecosystem and investing in promising electric and autonomous vehicle startups, Amazon could lower its shipping costs to the point that partners like UPS become competitors instead.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 5,816,706 — Total deaths: 360,437 — Total recoveries — 2,420,358Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 1,721,926 — Total deaths: 101,617 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. Public health: The mystery of superspreaders.
  4. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  5. World: Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S.
  6. 2020: The RNC has issued their proposed safety guidelines for its planned convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

The Third Police Precinct burns in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Cheering protesters set a Minneapolis police station on fire Thursday night in the third night of unrest following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in the city, per AP.

The state of play: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said at a briefing early Friday he told police to evacuate the building because "there were imminent threats both to officers and public." "The symbolism of a building cannot outweighs the importance of life," he said.