Apr 25, 2019

Pentagon watchdog clears Pat Shanahan on Boeing bias

Pat Shanahan speaks at the grand opening of the Boeing 737 Delivery Center in 2015. Photo: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

The Pentagon's inspector general announced Thursday that it found no evidence that acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan had favored Boeing, his former employer, during his time in government service, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The decision clears up a potential hurdle for President Trump in nominating Shanahan to permanently head the Department of Defense, though the WSJ reports that it "remains unclear what [the president] will do."

Background: The independent watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics filed an ethics complaint in March alleging that Shanahan unfairly promoted Boeing and disparaged competitors like Lockheed Martin while working in government.

Go deeper: Trump's defense chief rules out "cost plus 50" demand of allies

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House passes bill to make lynching a federal hate crime

Photo: Aaron P. Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

The House voted 410-4 on Wednesday to pass legislation to designate lynching as a federal hate crime.

Why it matters: Congress has tried and failed for over 100 years to pass measures to make lynching a federal crime.

This year's census may be the toughest count yet

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Community leaders are concerned that historically hard-to-count residents will be even harder to count in this year's census, thanks to technological hurdles and increased distrust in government.

Why it matters: The census — which will count more than 330 million people this year — determines how $1.5 trillion in federal funding gets allocated across state and local governments. Inaccurate counts mean that communities don't get their fair share of those dollars.

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

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