Feb 10, 2017

Facebook leans into original videos

Matt Rourke / AP File Photo

Facebook has hired MTV executive Mina Lefevre to lead development of scripted and unscripted content, according to The Verge.

Why now?: After years of saying it wasn't interested in becoming a buyer of content, Facebook announced in December that it would begin buying original programming to build a pipeline for the site, per Hollywood Reporter. CEO Mark Zuckerberg told investors the site is looking at short-form content before moving to longer projects to compete with other streaming services like Netflix.

Why it matters: Facebook wants to increase the amount of video on the site to keep its users more engaged, therefore increasing the time they spend on the social network. Also, having its own content gives the company more inventory to sell ads against. Bringing on a seasoned TV executive will jumpstart operation.

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America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.