Dec 25, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

🔔 Hope you and yours have had a Christmas Day of joy if you have young kids — and peace if you don't.

  • Thanks for joining Justin Green and me for this quick catch-up during your break in the action ...

🚨"Military cyber officials are developing information warfare tactics that could be deployed against senior Russian officials and oligarchs if Moscow tries to interfere in the 2020 U.S. elections," WashPost's Ellen Nakashima reports.

1 big thing: 50% chance Notre Dame is beyond repair
Scaffolding was installed on Notre Dame in July. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Our Lady remains in danger, with a real chance the structure fails to survive the next step of cleanup from April's horrible inferno.

  • “[T]here is maybe a 50% chance that it will be saved. There is also 50% chance of scaffolding falling onto the three vaults, so as you can see the building is still very fragile,” the cathedral's rector told the AP.

Why it matters: Notre Dame has stood over Paris for centuries — and hundreds of millions have poured in for reconstruction.

  • This Christmas Eve marked the first since the French Revolution that the cathedral failed to hold a midnight mass.

The big picture: Restoration won't start until 2021, the rector told the AP.

  • “We need to remove completely the scaffolding in order to make the building safe, so in 2021 we will probably start the restoration of the cathedral."
  • "Once the scaffolding is removed we need to assess the state of the cathedral, the quantity of stones to be removed and replaced.”

What's next: Three years will be required once they get started, he estimates.

  • That jeopardizes President Emmanuel Macron's hopes of a reopened Notre Dame for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Go deeper: Notre-Dame came far closer to collapsing than people knew. This is how it was saved. [N.Y. Times — subscription]

Bonus pic
Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Archbishop José H. Gomez visits inmates at Men's Central Jail in L.A. today after holding Christmas Mass in a jail chapel.

2. What you missed
  1. The remains of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Goble, who was killed in Afghanistan on Monday in a roadside bombing, arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Go deeper.
  2. Officials are investigating a listeria outbreak linked to packaged hard-boiled egg products used by national food service operators. Go deeper.
  3. President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had a prepared video to the American people wishing a happy holiday and a salute to U.S. troops. Video.
  4. GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski is "disturbed" by Senate Majority Leader McConnell's coordination with White House on impeachment. Go deeper.
3. 🥢 1 food thing: Chinese restaurants losing ground
Photo: Getty Images

"Across the country, owners of Chinese-American restaurants ... are ready to retire but have no one to pass the business to," the N.Y. Times' Amelia Nierenberg and Quoctrung Bui report.

  • Why it matters: "Their children, educated and raised in America, are pursuing professional careers that do not demand the same grueling labor as food service."

"According to new data from the restaurant reviewing website Yelp, the share of Chinese restaurants in the top 20 metropolitan areas has been consistently falling," The Times writes.

  • "Five years ago, an average of 7.3 percent of all restaurants in these areas were Chinese, compared with 6.5 percent today. That reflects 1,200 fewer Chinese restaurants at a time when these 20 places added more than 15,000 restaurants over all."
  • "Even in San Francisco, home to the oldest Chinatown in the United States, the share of Chinese restaurants shrank to 8.8 percent from 10 percent."
Mike Allen