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Photo: Andreas Gora/Pool/Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Stephen Biegun, the current U.S. special representative for North Korea, as deputy secretary of state with a 90-3 vote, AP reports.

Why it matters: The confirmation ensures a line of succession for the head of the State Department should Mike Pompeo resign to run for Kansas' open Senate seat in 2020, as many have speculated he will. Pompeo has repeatedly denied that he will run.

  • Biegun will fill a vacancy that opened earlier this month when the Senate confirmed then-deputy John Sullivan as the ambassador to Russia.
  • Three Democratic senators, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, voted against the nomination.

Go deeper: Pompeo speaks at Kansas State amid speculation of Senate run

Go deeper

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.

2 hours ago - Health

Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot"

The government's top infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci said Friday that he "absolutely" will accept the offer from President-elect Joe Biden to serve as his chief medical adviser, telling NBC's "Today" that he said yes "right on the spot."

Why it matters: President Trump had a contentious relationship with Fauci, who has been forced during the pandemic to correct many of the president's false claims about the coronavirus. Biden, meanwhile, has emphasized the importance of "listening to the scientists" throughout his campaign and transition.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Highlights from Biden and Harris' first joint interview since the election

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.