Happy Saturday! Today's Smart Brevity count ... 985 words ... < 4 minutes.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
What's new: States and cities have set aside bigger budgets than ever to prepare for the once-a-decade census, which begins in April with Washington's harsh immigration stance as a backdrop, Axios' Courtenay Brown reports.
So cities and states with big immigrant populations — like California and New York City — are supplementing the Census Bureau's efforts like never before.
California is allocating $187 million — nearly 95 times what it did a decade ago, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
"Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating whether President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, broke lobbying laws in his dealings in Ukraine," the N.Y. Times scoops.
Why it matters, per The Times: "It is ... a stark turn for Mr. Giuliani, who now finds himself under scrutiny from the same United States attorney’s office he led in the 1980s."
Testifying in defiance of President Trump, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch told House impeachment investigators that Trump himself pressured the State Department to oust her and get her out of the country, AP reports.
Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya smashed the two-hour barrier for a marathon, but won't break the world record — which he holds — because it wasn't an open event.
Kipchoge holds the official world record of 2:01:39. In near-perfect circumstances, he shaved almost two minutes off that time, per AP.
Between the lines: Runners were helped by a pace car with a laser beam, projecting the ideal position on the road, and they received drinks handed over by cyclists and other runners to keep them from slowing down.
Companies welcomed a U.S.-Chinese trade truce as a possible step toward breaking a deadlock in a 15-month-old tariff war, while economists caution there was little progress toward settling core disputes, AP reports from Beijing.
Why it matters: The battle over China's trade surplus and technology ambitions has disrupted global trade.
Fox News' Shepard Smith — the fiery native of Holly Springs, Miss., who relished his role as a skeptical, nonpartisan voice in the conservative-leaning channel's 3 pm ET hour — said a surprise goodbye to viewers at the end of Friday's show.
From Shep's valedictory, on covering the life-altering "events that shaped our reality ... while speaking truth to power, without fear or favor, in context and with perspective":
The Washington Mystics' Kristi Toliver (left) and Elena Delle Donne celebrate in the closing seconds Thursday as their team captures the WNBA championship.
Credit to owner Ted Leonsis — whose Washington Capitals ended a major pro sports drought with its 2018 Stanley Cup win — for hiring good people, letting them do the hard work of building a team and, perhaps even more importantly, recognizing the responsibility to be a good member of the community.
This was the first year the team played in a new arena in Ward 8, an often neglected part of the city, and Mystics officials and team members have said they hope their presence and involvement in the neighborhood will help bring about change.
⚾ Last line of the editorial: "With the Washington Nationals advancing in the playoffs, we — fingers crossed — hope Mr. Obama is on to something."
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