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Virginia's Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam issued a statement Friday apologizing for his decision to appear in a racist photo published in his 1984 medical school yearbook, writing: "I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now."

The big picture: A page from Northam's yearbook, obtained Friday by The Virginian-Pilot, shows people wearing blackface and Ku Klux Klan attire. In his statement, Northam did not offer to resign or identify which of the two people is him, but said he is ready to do the "important work" of healing the damage his conduct has caused. He later posted a video on Twitter again apologizing for his actions, and signaled that he would do everything he could to regain his constituents' trust "through the remainder of [his] term."

Statement:

“Earlier today, a website published a photograph of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive. 
“I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now.
“This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine, and in public service. But I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment.
“I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused. I am ready to do that important work. The first step is to offer my sincerest apology and to state my absolute commitment to living up to the expectations Virginians set for me when they elected me to be their Governor.”

Video:

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper ... What they're saying: Officials condemn Northam's racist yearbook photo

Go deeper

Fed chair says low interest rates aren't driving stock market prices

Jerome Powell. Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / Getty Images

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell told reporters on Wednesday that rock-bottom interest rates aren't playing a role in driving stock prices higher, while noting that vulnerabilities to the financial system are "moderate."

Why it matters: The statement comes amid unshakeable stock prices and a Reddit-fueled market frenzy — prompting widespread fears of a bubble and the role monetary policy has played in that.

2 hours ago - World

Biden freezes U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official tells Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Podcasts

Robert Downey Jr. launches VC funds to help save the planet

Robert Downey Jr. on Wednesday announced the launch of two venture capital funds focused on startups in the sustainability sector, the latest evolution of a project he launched two years ago called Footprint Coalition.

Between the lines: This is a bit of life imitating art, as Downey Jr. spent 11 films portraying a character who sought to save the planet (or, in some cases, the universe).