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Former Republican Congresswoman and Google's Vice President of Public Policy for the Americas Susan Molinari. Photo: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for ELLE

Google's top U.S. public policy official is stepping down from the role, the company confirmed on Friday.

Why it matters: The departure of former Republican Congresswoman Susan Molinari as Google's Vice President of Public Policy for the Americas and head of its D.C. office comes as the company faces unprecedented pressures in Washington. In a new role, she'll advise the company on building external relationships.

Details:

  • She'll continue to serve in her current role for the rest of the year, and advise the company on external relationships after that.
  • Earlier this year, the company hired GE executive Karan Bhatia to lead its global policy efforts. Bhatia said in an email to policy employees working on the Americas that Molinari "will focus on the critically important goal of strengthening our relationships with key external constituents" and will report to him.

What they're saying:

  • Molinari said in a statement that this year has "brought some major changes to my life" including her husband's retirement, the death of her father and her oldest daughter's college graduation.
  • "I was looking for the right time to step back and step away and now that we have a global policy leader, I am comfortable in making the transition," she said.

Go deeper

Updated 15 mins ago - Health

U.K. first nation to clear Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for mass rollout

A health care worker during the phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial by the Pfizer and BioNTech in Ankara, Turkey, in October. Photo: Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's government announced Wednesday it's approved Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, which "will be made available across the U.K. from next week."

Why it matters: The U.K. has beaten the U.S. to become the first Western country to give emergency approval for a vaccine against a virus that's killed nearly 1.5 million people globally.

2 hours ago - World

NYT: Biden won't immediately remove U.S. tariffs on China

President-elect Joe Biden during an event in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's 25% tariffs imposed on China under the phase one trade deal will remain in place at the start of the new administration, President-elect Biden said in an interview with the New York Times published early Wednesday.

Details: "I'm not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs," Biden said. He plans to conduct a full review of the current U.S. policy on China and speak with key allies in Asia and Europe to "develop a coherent strategy," he said.

Trump threatens to veto Defense spending bill over social media shield

Photo: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Tuesday a threat to veto a must-pass end-of-year $740 billion bill defense-spending authorization bill unless Congress repeals a federal law that protects social media sites from legal liability.

Why it matters: Trump's attempt to get Congress to end the tech industry protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the latest escalation in his war on tech giants over what he and some other Republicans perceive as bias against conservatives.