Jan 16, 2019

Pelosi asks Trump to delay State of Union until shutdown ends

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif). Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked President Trump in a letter Wednesday to hold off on his State of the Union address on Jan. 29 until after the government shutdown is resolved, or to submit his speech in writing instead.

The big picture: Citing furloughs in the Department of Homeland Security and in the Secret Service, Pelosi said the State of the Union demands "weeks of detailed planning" and cannot guarantee the safety of those present "with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs." Later Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted that DHS and the Secret Service are "fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union."

Go deeper: All the ways Americans are feeling the effects of the shutdown

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.