Dec 29, 2019

Axios AM

1 big thing: "Domestic terrorism" targets New York Jewish community
Orthodox Jewish people listen to N.Y. State Assemblyman Dov Hikind speak in Monsey, N.Y., last night. Photo: Allyse Pulliam/AP

Breaking: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last night's stabbing at a New York rabbi's home during Hanukkah was "an act of domestic terrorism" — roughly the 13th anti-Semitic attack in New York in the past few weeks. Video.

  • Oren Segal, Anti-Defamation League vice president, told Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union": "We are in an epidemic in New York City, of all places, for the Jewish community."
  • The NYPD said this morning that a suspect had been arrested in Harlem and turned over to authorities in Rockland County, where the stabbing occurred. (N.Y. Times)
  • Police say the suspect faces five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary, per AP.

As Hasidic Jews gathered at the rabbi's home north of New York City to celebrate the seventh night of Hanukkah at 10 p.m., an intruder with a large knife stabbed and wounded five before fleeing in a vehicle, AP and the N.Y. Times report.

  • The assault happened "in an area with a large population of ultra-Orthodox Jews," per the N.Y. Times.
  • The rabbi's home is about 35 miles north of New York City in Monsey, in Rockland County — one of several towns in the Hudson Valley that has seen an influx of Hasidic Jews in recent years.

The context: The stabbings followed a string of attacks targeting Jews in the region, including a massacre at a kosher grocery store in New Jersey on Dec. 10.

  • Over the weekend, the NYPD had beefed up patrols in Brooklyn neighborhoods with large Jewish populations after a string of anti-Semitic attacks during Hanukkah, per AP.
  • Besides making officers more visible in Borough Park, Crown Heights and Williamsburg, police will boost visits to houses of worship and other places.
2. Firms force workers to train their own replacements

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some U.S. companies are forcing workers to train the (cheaper) foreign laborers who will soon replace them, Stef Kight reports.

  • Workers may be assured their job will not change when they are "rebadged" to work for an outsourcing contractor.
  • Why it matters: "The sad reality is you’ve just been terminated without your severance," said one worker Axios interviewed. "You’re at the mercy of a company that doesn’t really want you."

AT&T is poised to send thousands job-hunting in the new year after assigning them to train their own foreign replacements, according to conversations with current and former workers, and documents obtained by Axios.

  • Many have worked for the company for over a decade. They aren't being offered severance or early retirement, and may not easily find a comparable job elsewhere with similar pay.
  • AT&T's Jim Kimberly told Axios: "We are continuously working to be more efficient in our operations." When possible, he added, AT&T is "helping employees find other positions within the company."

How it works: Workers described shock and confusion when they were told during a scripted phone call that after a decade or longer at AT&T, they'd have to work for a contractor or resign.

  • Some were told they were needed for a "knowledge transfer" — then tapped to train people on work visas or overseas who would replace them.

A presentation obtained by Axios outlining the "knowledge transfer" process at AT&T includes a slide on how to interact with Indian workers:

  • "Offer your hand to an Indian woman only after she has initiated a handshake. Otherwise, smile and nod instead," one slide reads.
  • "India's history and culture" is listed as an appropriate topic of conversation.
  • "[P]overty and the standard of living in India" are listed as inappropriate.

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3. Article of the day: Untold story of how shah entered U.S.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Iran from exile in France, arriving at Tehran airport on Feb. 1, 1979. Photo: Gabriel Duval/AFP via Getty Images)

"How Chase Bank Chairman Helped the Deposed Shah of Iran Enter the U.S.," by the N.Y. Times' David Kirkpatrick:

  • "[A] newly disclosed secret history from the offices of [the last David] Rockefeller shows in vivid detail how Chase Manhattan Bank and its well-connected chairman worked behind the scenes to persuade the Carter administration to admit the shah, one of the bank’s most profitable clients."
  • Why it matters: "The fateful decision in 1979 to admit Mohammed Reza Pahlavi prompted the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran and helped doom the Carter presidency."

The intrigue: "[T]he team around Mr. Rockefeller, a lifelong Republican with a dim view of Mr. Carter’s dovish foreign policy, collaborated closely with the Reagan campaign in its efforts to pre-empt and discourage what it derisively labeled an 'October surprise' — a pre-election release of the American hostages, the papers show."

  • "The Chase team helped the Reagan campaign gather and spread rumors about possible payoffs to win the release, a propaganda effort that Carter administration officials have said impeded talks to free the captives."

Keep reading.

4. Moments that defined decade
President Obama and President-elect Trump meet in the Oval Office on Nov. 10, 2016. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Axios editor Rebecca Falconer curated a gallery of photos capturing the 2010s, marked around the world by terrorism and political upheaval/polarization.

5. Adding it up: Dem plans range from $4T to $50T
Sen. Amy Klobuchar visits Humboldt, Iowa, on Friday with her daughter, Abigail Bessler. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

2020 Dems' spending plans have 10-year costs ranging from $4 trillion to $51 trillion, the WashPost's Toluse Olorunnipa calculates.

  • Why it matters: "Even the most sparse of the 2020 plans dwarfs what successful Democrats pushed before. ... Hillary Clinton proposed a 10-year agenda estimated at $1.45 trillion."
  • The context: "The annual federal budget now is about $4.5 trillion."

The price tags:

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders "would increase minimum salaries for teachers to $60,000 and provide free breakfast and lunch to every public school student in the country, as part of an agenda that tops $51 trillion over 10 years.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in "a set of plans with a total 10-year cost exceeding $30 trillion, ... proposes subsidizing child care for almost all Americans and reducing rental costs nationwide by 10 percent."
  • Pete Buttigieg, "who unveiled a $1.1 trillion 10-year economic plan in November, now has spelled out more than $5.5 trillion in federal initiatives."
  • Joe Biden's agenda, "costing more than $4.1 trillion over 10 years, calls for tripling funding at low-income schools and making community college free.

🥊 Sen. Amy Klobuchar, "who has said her priority as president would be a $1 trillion infrastructure program, has questioned the practicality of her competitors’ more expensive proposals."

6. 📚 Obama's 19 for '19

President Obama included "Lost Children Archive," a novel by Valeria Luiselli about families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, on his annual list of favorite books:

Graphic: @BarackObama

Go deeper: See 19 other books Obama recommended earlier this year, which he also tweeted yesterday.

7. "A woman who was as fun as she was brilliant"
Cover artwork by Carmen Winant. Courtesy The New York Times

The N.Y. Times Magazine dedicated the cover of the annual "The Lives They Lived" issue to Toni Morrison, "commissioning the artist Carmen Winant to create a photo installation that emphasizes her life’s scope and fullness," the magazine's design director, Gail Bichler, writes in "Behind the Cover":

  • "The photographs — arranged intuitively, not by chronology — include lesser-known documentary images, which suggest a deeper sense of who she was."

Read the Magazine's salutes to "artists, innovators and thinkers we lost in the past year."

8. 1 🏈 thing: College final two
LSU QB Joe Burrow hugs Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts. Photo: Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

LSU has the Heisman-winning quarterback and Clemson brings the 29-game winning streak.

  • The College Football Playoff has delivered another doozy for its title game in New Orleans on Jan. 13, and it features two teams of Tigers who haven't lost a game this season, AP's David Brandt writes in his lookahead.

LSU and Clemson pushed through yesterday's CFP semifinals in drastically different ways: LSU got the drama out of the way early in a 63-28 win against Oklahoma. Clemson needed all 60 minutes in a white-knuckle, come-from-behind 29-23 victory over Ohio State.

  • "These are the games you dream of," Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons said. "You never want to dream about a championship game where everything's going to be simple. You want to have a good matchup."
Clemson running back Travis Etienne runs for a first-half touchdown past Ohio State safety Jordan Fuller. Photo: Rick Scuteri/AP

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