The decision by many U.S. states and cities to keep kids out of school because of COVID-19 will have crippling economic and health effects that could last for decades.
Why it matters: Evidence shows that children, especially younger kids, present a low risk for COVID-19 transmission and that remote education is no replacement for in-person schooling. By keeping schools closed — even as more risky activities are allowed to continue — the U.S. is kneecapping the next generation.
"U.S. environmental activists are heaping pressure on Democratic president-elect Joe Biden to avoid Cabinet appointees with fossil fuel ties," Reuters points out.
Why it matters: The incoming Biden administration is starting to announce important personnel picks, with Cabinet choices looming, and activists are keen to see advocates of aggressive climate policies.
Inequities in education funding require a hard look as students of color struggle with lack of access to high-quality education, National Education Association (NEA) president Becky Pringle said at a virtual Axios event Tuesday.
Why it matters: Systemic racism is embedded in the structures of American education, and it sets up a stark divide between white students and students of color, who often do not share access to the same resources.
A new coalition is launching — with Tesla, Uber, power giants like Southern Company, and others — that will push for electric models to account for 100% of new U.S. vehicle sales by 2030.
Why it matters: While electric vehicles are a growing technology, new corporate lobbying efforts — especially by powerful companies — could help spur faster growth in what remains a largely niche market.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said on Monday he plans introduce and support legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the state.
The big picture: If Northam is successful, Virginia would join 15 other states and D.C. that have broadly legalized cannabis use.
A group of Democratic senators says Facebook needs to better enforce its hate speech policies on anti-Muslim posts.
Why it matters: Facebook is under pressure from a range of groups and politicians on both the left and right who feel mistreated by the social network.
The Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit against Visa is important, not just for the outcome of a $5 billion fintech acquisition, but for the whole future of the industry.
Why it matters: While there are a lot of financial startups, very few of them are genuinely disruptive. In fact, many of them implicitly rely upon the Visa and Mastercard duopoly. The DOJ wants to ensure that there's still a chance that duopoly could face real competition.
A growing number of Republican senators, including members of GOP leadership, said Thursday that President-elect Joe Biden should get the intelligence briefings that he is currently unable to receive because of President Trump's refusal to accept the election results.
Why it matters: Only four GOP senators have acknowledged Biden as the next president, with the rest saying the appropriate legal processes should be allowed to play out. But even the ones still supporting President Trump's legal fight are pushing for Biden to begin to receive classified briefings for national security reasons.
Former President Barack Obama writes about the ideological shift in the Republican Party following his election in 2008 in the first volume of his new, 768-page memoir, according to a copy of the book obtained by CNN.
Driving the news: In the book, titled A Promised Land, Obama says the shift in the Republican Party can be traced to when John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate during the 2008 campaign. Her elevation to the Republican presidential ticket "would provide a template for future politicians, shifting [McCain's] party's center and the country's politics overall in a direction he abhorred."
The Biden presidency may revitalize an alliance of interests and values with other "advanced high-income democracies" around the world, writes Martin Wolf, Financial Times chief economics commentator.
Why it matters: Reconstructing America's relationships with global allies could smooth over the last four years of foreign policy under President Trump. President-elect Joe Biden has already received congratulations from a number of world leaders and spoken on the phone with some about working together.