Jan 26, 2021

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 374 words, a 1.5-minute read.

⚡️Don't expect much from former President Trump's impeachment trial.

  • 45 Republican senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, supported an effort to dismiss the charges before the trial even began.
1 big thing: Biden's down payment on race

Vice President Harris looks on as President Biden signs executive orders related to his racial equity agenda. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Getty Images

President Biden signed four executive orders on racial equity today to help create space from the policies and rhetoric of the Trump administration, reports Axios' Russell Contreras.

  • The big picture: Police reform or new voting rights legislation will take time to pass in Congress, and racial justice advocates expect Biden to aggressively tackle poverty, voting rights and police shootings of people of color

In the meantime...

  1. Order #1: Directs the Justice Department not to renew contracts with private prisons. (This doesn't apply to private prisons for immigration enforcement.)
  2. Order #2: Directs the Department of Housing and Urban Development to examine how previous administrations undermined fair housing policies and laws.
  3. Order #3: Calls for "re-establishing federal respect for tribal sovereignty" following years of tension between tribal governments and former President Trump.
  4. Order #4: Directs the Department of Health and Human Services to examine discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

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2. Standardization at the top

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

61 of the world's largest companies signed on to common standards today that will allow investors to compare their progress against each other on key environmental, social and governance standards, Axios' Felix Salmon reports.

Why it matters: The new standards will make life a lot easier for regulators and investors to judge companies not just on carbon emissions but on many other areas from water consumption to the amount they pay in taxes.

  • Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC will ensure that all companies calculate the metrics the same way.

The bottom line: BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, who is the biggest investor in the world with $9 trillion in assets, said he has already begun to vote his shares against managers and directors that fail to show "significant progress" on climate issues.

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3. Catch up quick

Vice President Harris gets her second dose of the COVID vaccine. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

  1. Vaccinated: Hundreds of staffers at President Biden's White House have been given COVID vaccines. Go deeper.
  2. President Biden held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin. Go deeper.
  3. Legendary editor Marty Baron will retire from The Washington Post. Go deeper.
  4. It wasn't just you: Internet users in the Acela corridor reported widespread broadband and internet outages. Go deeper.
  5. The Biden administration plans to increase its COVID-19 vaccine shipments to states and tribes from 8.6 million doses per week to 10 million for at least the next three weeks. Go deeper.
4. 1 smile to go: Silver screen top 10

Norm Lewis, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Delroy Lindo in "Da 5 Bloods." Photo: David Lee/Netflix via AP

Netflix and Amazon nabbed 6 of the 10 spots on the American Film Institute's annual top 10 movies list, AP reports.

  • Netflix: "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," "Da 5 Bloods," "Mank" and "The Trial of the Chicago 7."
  • Amazon: "Sound of Metal" and "One Night in Miami."
  • Others: "Soul," "Nomadland," Judas and the Black Messiah" and "Minari."

See the full AFI list.