Feb 19, 2018

Axios PM

Situational awareness: The White House said today that President Trump will attend the Gridiron Club's annual dinner on March 3, marking his first appearance at a press dinner since taking office. Trump skipped both the Gridiron dinner and the White House Correspondents Association dinner last year.

1. What you missed

Demonstrators lie on the ground during a 'lie-in' demonstration supporting gun control reform near the White House today. Photo: Zach Gibson / Getty Images

  1. Stoneman Douglas principal: "I will hug each and every" student. Video.
  2. U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman told a closed door meeting yesterday in Jerusalem that a massive evacuation of Jewish settlements from the West Bank could lead to a civil war in Israel. Go deeper.
  3. Merck CEO: Trump's Charlottesville remarks challenged "basic values of the country." More.
  4. President Trump is "supportive" of efforts to strengthen the federal background check system, the White House said today.
  5. A panel of 170 presidential politics experts considers Trump the worst president in history, according to rankings published today by the New York Times.
2. Quick read on case for Amazon HQ2 in D.C.

Three of the 20 finalists for Amazon's second headquarters — D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia — are located in the Washington metropolitan area, leading some to speculate that the nation's capital could be the ideal landing spot for HQ2, Axios' Zach Basu notes.

The pros and cons.

3. 1 baseball thing

"Major League Baseball imposed stricter limits on mound visits by players in an effort to speed games but decided against 20-second pitch clocks for 2018," the A.P.'s Ronald Blum reports.

  • "The amendments to the playing rules... include a general limit of six mound visits per nine-inning game without a pitching change..."
  • "The number of visits by catchers during games has increased in recent years, contributing to the average time of a nine-inning game stretching to a record 3 hours, 5 minutes last season, up from 2:46 in 2005."
  • "Under the new rule, each team would get an additional mound visit without a pitching change for each extra inning. Trips will not count against the limit following an offensive substitution, to check on potential injuries or to clean spikes on wet fields."