FEMA Administrator Brock Long on Capitol Hill. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

One of two public-affairs officials that have resigned from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) cited sexism within the agency in their resignation letter, Politico reports.

Why it matters: According to Politico, Paul McKellips, former FEMA press secretary, explains in his resignation letter that Susan Phalen, former head of external affairs, "was excluded from key meetings...because senior FEMA leaders favored male executives."

  • McKellips wrote: "No matter how hard or how often she asked for a seat at the table, she was neither invited to strategic planning meetings nor given access to leadership."
  • William Booher, director of public affairs for FEMA, said in a statement to Axios: "FEMA is an open and collaborative workplace environment. Our agency is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and respect, promoting a culture that embraces diversity and allowing all employees the opportunity to achieve their full potential. We reject any assertion to the contrary."

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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus

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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and his wife, Pamela, both tested positive for coronavirus, his office announced on Friday.

The state of play: The Northams were tested after one of their staff "who works closely within the couple's living quarters" tested positive. The governor is asymptomatic, while his wife is "experiencing mild symptoms." They plan to isolate at home for 10 days.

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Amazon wants to flood America with Alexa cameras and microphones

Photo: Amazon

In a Thursday event unveiling a slew of new home devices ahead of the holidays, Amazon made clearer than ever its determination to flood America with cameras, microphones and the voice of Alexa, its AI assistant.

The big picture: Updating popular products and expanding its range to car alarms and in-home drones, Amazon extended its lead in smart home devices and moved into new areas including cloud gaming and car security. The new offerings will also fuel criticism that the tech giant is helping equip a society built around surveillance.

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Oil's turbulent long-term future

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The oil sector is facing risks from all sides.

Why it matters: Risk in the industry is nothing new. But these are especially turbulent and uncertain times. The industry's market clout has waned, the future of demand is kind of a mystery, and future U.S. policy is too, just to name three.

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