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Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley on Tuesday criticized two of President Donald Trump's controversial judicial nominations, saying the White House "ought to reconsider" the picks in an interview with CNN.

Why this matters: Grassley's comments serve as an unexpected brake against President Trump's ongoing effort to fill federal judicial benches with young, conservative judges. Trump has been filling judicial vacancies at a near-unprecedented pace.Background: Trump tapped Jeff Mateer to become a federal judge in Texas and Brett Talley in Alabama. Matter has been facing backlash for his controversial speeches on religion and homosexuality. In one instance, he said transgender children are part of "Satan's plan" and advocated for gay conversion. The American Bar Association said in a letter to Grassley last month that Talley is unqualified for the judgeship and lacks the "requisite experience." Talley's nomination, which was cleared by Grassley's committee and now awaits final approval from the Senate, has been criticized for a blog post he wrote about Barack Obama and gun control following the Sandy Hook shooting.

Go deeper

Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Containers carrying doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arrive in Brazil. Photo: Maurio Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.

Sullivan speaks with Israel's national security adviser for the first time

Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat U.S. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/Getty Images. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan. Photo: Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat, Israeli officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is the first contact between the Biden White House and Israeli prime minister's office. During the transition, the Biden team refrained from speaking to foreign governments.

Biden speaks to Mexican president about reversing Trump's "draconian immigration policies"

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Biden told his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on a phone call Friday that he plans to reverse former President Trump’s “draconian immigration policies.”

The big picture: The Biden administration has already started repealing several of Trump’s immigration policies, including ordering a 100-day freeze on deporting many unauthorized immigrants, halting work on the southern border wall, and reversing plans to exclude undocumented people from being included in the 2020 census.