Jan 3, 2018

Joe Biden to escort Jones for swearing-in ceremony

Doug Jones with Joe Biden. Photo: Brynn Anderson / AP

Alabama incoming Democratic Senator Doug Jones will be escorted by Former Vice President Joe Biden to his swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday to take the seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, WAAY TV reports.

Why it matters: Jones, a former federal prosecutor who notched an upset last month in the deep-red state, is breaking tradition. Typically, a new senator would choose their home-state colleague, but Jones didn't ask Sen. Richard Shelby, per WAAY TV.

The backdrop: Biden campaigned for the Democratic Senate candidate who was considered the underdog in the race against Republican Roy Moore. Moore, who repeatedly refused to concede, has faced multiple accusations of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls in the 1970s. Jones is the first Democratic Senator in a quarter-century in the deep-red state and will become the 49th Democratic member of the Senate. Republicans will have a thin 51-49 majority in the upper chamber.

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A closer look at how colleges can reopen

The campus of Brown University. Photo: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Masks in class, sports on hold, dorm life without roommates and summer 2021 classes for some: Brown University President Christina Paxson tells "Axios on HBO" it's all in play as colleges consider whether and how to safely reopen campuses in the fall.

Why it matters: An extended shutdown of U.S. colleges and universities would leave nearly 20 million students and 3 million employees with an uncertain future, but premature reopenings without proper coronavirus safeguards could jeopardize lives and force more closings.

How Disney World could host the NBA

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

After weeks of speculation, the NBA announced Saturday that it is in early discussions to resume its season in late July at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.

What they're saying: The NBA's most well-sourced reporter, Adrian Wojnarowski, says "everything is pointing toward" this happening, and that teams could start recalling players as soon as next week for a two-week quarantine period and formal training camp before heading to Florida.

U.S.-China trade tensions are escalating again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the coronavirus pandemic appears to be subsiding in China, it's becoming clear that its targets for the phase one trade deal with the U.S. are unrealistic and there is so far no sign of a plan for renegotiation.

What's happening: White House National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow said Thursday the trade deal was "intact, and China has every intent of implementing it."