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Kim Kardashian and President Trump in the Oval Office. Photo: The White House

Kim Kardashian West met with President Trump and White House officials including Jared Kushner today, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, and the president himself, confirmed, to discuss prison reform and sentencing following calls with Kushner, who has championed criminal justice reform efforts through the White House.

Why it matters: The key word is “sentencing.” Jared Kushner’s efforts toward criminal justice reform have focused on prison reform — not sentencing — mostly because of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ strong opposition to lowering any federal sentencing guidelines. This comes the same day Trump went after Sessions on Twitter saying he wishes he had chosen a different attorney general.

The background: Kardashian and Kusher have discussed the possibility of a presidential pardon for 62-year-old Alice Marie Johnson, who was given a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense. A prison reform bill recently passed the House, but there is an ongoing battle in the Senate over whether the bill should include sentencing reforms.

The big picture: The bill that passed the house did not include any sentencing reforms. But in the Senate, there are ongoing negotiations about whether to add sentencing to the prison reform bill in order to get 60 votes — and how much — as Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley, Sen. Dick Durbin and others insist that no bill will pass the Senate that doesn’t include changes to harsh sentencing guidelines.

Go deeper

25 mins ago - World

Iran's nuclear dilemma: Ramp up now or wait for Biden

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The world is waiting to see whether Iran will strike back at Israel or the U.S. over the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran's military nuclear program.

Why it matters: Senior Iranian officials have stressed that Iran will take revenge against the perpetrators, but also respond by continuing Fakhrizadeh’s legacy — the nuclear program. The key question is whether Iran will accelerate that work now, or wait to see what President-elect Biden puts on the table.

Updated 1 hour 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 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 that's found to be 95% effective with no serious side effects against a virus that's killed nearly 1.5 million people globally.

3 hours ago - World

Biden says he 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.