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Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Given Facebook's multitude of missteps and scandals over the past two years, it's no surprise that legislators are skeptical of the company's plans to launch a new cryptocurrency called Libra.

Why it matters: Facebook faces a host of legal and regulatory issues around the globe amid concerns over privacy, data sharing and money laundering.

  • For his part, David Marcus, the Facebook executive leading its Libra efforts, acknowledged "serious legitimate concerns" and committed to "do what it takes to address these concerns," according to The Hill.
  • "And if those concerns are not addressed, and if the regulatory oversight is not appropriate, then we will not launch until it is," Marcus said.

Details: Members of the Senate Banking Committee piled on their concerns, expressed particularly strongly by Sen. Sherrod Brown:

“They moved fast and broke our political discourse. They moved fast and broke journalism. They moved fast and helped incite a genocide. They moved fast and they’re helping to undermine our democracy. Now Facebook asks people to trust them with their hard-earned paychecks."
— Sen. Sherrod Brown
  • For a company to have Facebook's track record and look to become its own currency issuer, Brown said, "takes a breathtaking amount of arrogance."

Meanwhile, CNBC reports that the Swiss regulator Marcus said will oversee Libra has yet to hear from the currency's backers.

Go deeper: Facebook spoils the cryptocurrency party

Go deeper

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
3 hours ago - World

Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania. 

Updated 4 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

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