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Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D-Va.) Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox (R) has pitched Democrats on a 10-person bipartisan committee to investigate sexual assault accusations by two women against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, reports the Washington Post.

The big picture: Republicans, who have a narrow majority in the Virginia General Assembly, need bipartisan buy-in to move forward with the investigation. But House Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn (D) expressed apprehension that a committee may hamper a criminal investigation, an alternative that Democrats believe would help avoid a “political, partisan sideshow.”

  • Democratic leaders uniformly called for Fairfax to resign once the second allegation was made, but Fairfax has resisted and requested an independent investigation.
  • Both women, Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson, have expressed a willingness to testify.

What they're saying: A spokesperson for Fairfax, Lauren Burke, responded to requests for an investigation by saying: "It would be extraordinary and unprecedented to initiate a General Assembly inquiry about matters that are better left to law enforcement. The Lieutenant Governor remains confident that the truth will prevail and that he will be exonerated."

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The places regulation does not reach

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Financial regulation is not exactly simple anywhere in the world. But one country stands out for the sheer amount of complexity and confusion in its regulatory regime — the U.S.

Why it matters: Important companies fall through the cracks, largely unregulated, while others contend with a vast array of regulatory bodies, none of which are remotely predictable.

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Boeing gets huge 737 Max order from Ryanair, boosting hope for quick rebound

Ryanair low cost airline Boeing 737-800 aircraft as seen over the runway. Photo by Nik Oiko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Dublin-based Ryanair said it would add 75 more planes to an existing order for Boeing's 737 Max airplanes, a giant vote of confidence as Boeing seeks to revive sales of its best-selling plane after a 20-month safety ban following two fatal crashes.

The big picture: Ryanair's big order, on the heels of breakthrough vaccine news, is also a promising sign that the devastated airline industry might recover from the global pandemic sooner than expected.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Trump sets auction for Arctic refuge drilling rights before Biden takes office

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Interior Department on Thursday said it will auction oil drilling leases in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in early January.

Why it matters: The procedural step would make it harder for President-elect Joe Biden to thwart drilling in the region, even though any actual development is years away.