🐷 Happy Lunar New Year! It's the Year of the Pig.
⚡ Breaking: President Trump tomorrow will nominate David Malpass, one of the World Bank’s sharpest critics within his administration, to be the bank's president. (WSJ)
Ahead of President Trump's State of the Union address tonight, we asked the Axios subject-matter experts the top trend they'll be watching this year:
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
The Trump White House was genuinely rattled and hacked off about the leak of three months of the president’s private schedule.
Here’s their top 10 list, in chronological order:
Go deeper: "Inside the minds of White House leakers"
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Forecasts of a grim future ahead from extreme weather have been at once so vague and frequent as to numb many people as to what's coming, but it turns out that this is the second incidence in history of climate change at least partly induced by humans, writes Axios future editor Steve LeVine.
Our thought bubble, via Axios science editor Andrew Freedman: Assuming the new study is correct, it indicates that the era of human-engineering of the climate system started much earlier than the Industrial Revolution.
The slow, steady erosion of democracy around the world continued for the 13th consecutive year, according to the latest annual "Freedom in the World" report by Freedom House, a watchdog group that advocates for democracy and human rights, reports Axios world editor Dave Lawler.
A warning about the United States ... The report says the U.S. freedom score has declined by 8 points (from 94 to 86) over the past eight years. It's still firmly in the "free category," but it's falling behind counterparts like the U.K., Canada, France, Australia, Germany and Japan.
That's the arresting headline on Gideon Rachman's column in the Financial Times today (subscription):
By all accounts, Super Bowl LIII was a snoozer, and its ratings reflected that perception as the broadcast was seen by a total of 98.2 million people, according to preliminary ratings from Nielsen, writes Axios' Sara Fischer.
Why it matters: Overall, ratings for the big game were the lowest they've been in a decade. By contrast, ratings during the regular season last year were up about 5% — with most analysts citing more points being scored overall as the reason.
The man who has profited most from the Trump era is his foremost nemesis in the business world, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Bloomberg's Justin Sink reports:
"Residents of high-tax states — including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California and Maryland — are increasingly drawn to South Florida after last year’s tax law capped deductions," The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription):
"Animal lovers in Lithuania have created a mobile application inspired by the popular dating app Tinder to match up dogs in local shelters with new owners," per the AP's Liudas Dapkus.