Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: ATTN:

Former First Lady Michelle Obama is partnering with the digital media company ATTN: to launch a video series on IGTV, Instagram's video platform.

  • “A Year of Firsts” shows inspiring stories about students navigating their first year through college.

Why it matters: The Obamas have maintained a strong media presence through civic media projects on newer tech platforms.

  • Last June, Michelle and Barack Obama's production company Higher Ground announced it would begin working with Spotify to produce podcasts.
  • In 2018, Higher Ground signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce TV shows and films that spotlight issues such as race, class, democracy and civil rights.

Details: The show will be produced by ATTN:, a media company that focuses on millennial video, in partnership with Reach Higher, an initiative founded by Obama during her time at the White House to inspire and support students to pursue higher education.

  • The first episode of the six-episode series will premiere exclusively on IGTV in mid-January. The last will appear in June.
  • ATTN: is working with the students directly to document their first year as they explore issues like the academic stress of college, making new friends, college affordability, and physical and mental health while in college.
  • “This series will meet many students where they live — on Instagram — and share candid perspectives about how to overcome barriers," says ATTN: co-founder Matthew Segal.

The big picture: This isn't ATTN:'s first video series with a prominent political figure.

  • ATTN: launched an exclusive video series with former Vice President Joe Biden ahead of the 2018 midterms called “Here’s the Deal.” At the time, it was the first IGTV series to be hosted by a national U.S. politician.

The bottom line: The hope for Reach Higher is that the series will inspire other first-year college students who may find common ground and community among the first-year students being elevated in the series.

  • "By sharing their stories, they’re helping others see that the ups and downs of the first year of college are something everyone goes through — and they’re creating a supportive community for others facing similar challenges,” Obama said in a statement.

Go deeper

FBI, Homeland Security warn of increasing threat to Capitol

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security predict violent domestic extremists attacks will increase in 2021, according to a report reviewed by Axios.

Driving the news: The joint report says an unidentified group of extremists discussed plans to take control of the Capitol and "remove Democratic lawmakers" on or about March 4. The House canceled its plans for Thursday votes as word of the possible threats spread.

19 mins ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).