Jan 18, 2021

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 361 words, a 1.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Ready, set, Biden

A rehearsal at the U.S. Capitol today gave photographers a sneak peek at Wednesday's transfer of power:

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The National Mall, as President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will see it before walking onstage.

Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call via AP

The age of social distance — this stand is usually crammed.

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Stand-ins played the role of swearing-in participants, including former presidents, congressional leaders, and Vice President Pence and Karen Pence.

2. America salutes Dr. King
Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

In Philadelphia, President-elect Biden joins a National Day of Service event at Philabundance, a hunger relief organization, with his daughter, Ashley Biden, and granddaughter Finnegan Biden.

Photo: Erin Scott/Reuters

Vice President-elect Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, volunteer at Martha's Table in Washington.

Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Dr. Bernice A. King, the civil rights leader's daughter, said at a King Holiday Observance Beloved Community Commemorative Service in Atlanta:

This King holiday has not only come at a time of great peril and physical violence, it has also come during a time of violence in our speech — what we say and how we say it. ... It is frankly out of control and we are causing too much harm to one another.
3. Catch up quick
  1. 🚂 "Off the rails," by Jonathan Swan and Zachary Basu, Episode 5: "The secret CIA plan." ... 🎧 Listen to Swan on Axios' new investigative podcast series, "How it happened: Trump's last stand."
  2. 🇷🇺 In a makeshift courtroom at a police station outside Moscow, a Russian judge ordered Alexey Navalny jailed for 30 days, defying Western calls to free him. The opposition leader faces up to 3½ years in prison. Bloomberg
  3. 🐭 Disneyland Paris postponed reopening by almost two months, from Feb. 13 to April 2, because of a COVID resurgence.
4. Inauguration to light up hundreds of cities

Thousands of flags create a "Field of Flags" on the National Mall today. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

On the eve of the Biden-Harris inauguration, the Empire State Building will be among hundreds of landmarks and buildings to light up across the U.S. tomorrow, honoring the nearly 400,000 Americans lost to COVID.

  • It's one of the ways the Presidential Inaugural Committee is involving the country, while discouraging crowds in D.C., Axios' Rebecca Falconer writes.

In his first event after arriving in Washington, Biden will lead a "national moment of unity" from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, which will be illuminated with 400 lights beginning at 5:30 p.m.

  • Also lighting up: Seattle's Space Needle and buildings in Vegas, Miami, Houston and Chicago, and tribal lands throughout the nation.

🎸 Breaking ... Garth Brooks will perform at the swearing-in, along with Lady Gaga and J. Lo.