May 11, 2018

Joe Biden: White House “hit rock bottom” by mocking McCain

John McCain receiving a medal from Joe Biden. Photo: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden said the Trump administration's "decency" hit a new low in a statement released Friday calling out White House aide Kelly Sadler for dismissing Senator John McCain saying, he "is dying anyway."

"People have wondered when decency would hit rock bottom with this administration. It happened yesterday. ... Given this White House's trail of disrespect towards John and others, this staffer is not the exception to the rule, she is the epitome of it."
— Joe Biden in a statement

The backdrop: Biden has characterized McCain, who is battling brain cancer, as a "good friend" in the past and recently came out in his defense after McCain said he would reject Gina Haspel's appointment as CIA director.

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38 mins ago - World

Putin sets referendum that could allow him to rule until 2036 for July 1

Putin has not seemed to enjoy governing by video conference. Photo: Alexey Nikolsky/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin has set July 1 as the new date for a constitutional referendum that could allow him to remain in power through 2036.

Why it matters: Putin was forced to delay the referendum from April due to the coronavirus pandemic, and has set the date despite Russia's continued struggles to contain its outbreak. Putin's popularity has fallen in recent weeks amid his response to the pandemic and its economic repercussions.

A busy week for IPOs despite upheaval from protests and pandemic

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This week is expected to be the busiest for U.S. IPOs since February, with Warner Music leading a group of four companies that could raise over $3 billion.

Why it matters: This shouldn't be happening, under any traditional rubric for how markets work.

How Big Tech has responded to the protests

A protester holds a sign in downtown Minneapolis to protest the death of George Floyd on May 31. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

An explosive weekend in America sent Silicon Valley grasping for moral clarity. While many companies and executives spoke out against racial inequities, critics and even some of the rank-and-file found some of the companies' responses lacking.

Why it matters: Tech companies have giant platforms, and their leaders have become public figures, many of them household names. History will record their words and actions — which, in the case of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, directly shape the bounds of public discourse.