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Samantha Power at her confirmation hearing on March 23. Photo: Greg Nash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Samantha Power, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday with a 68-26 vote to lead the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Why it matters: Power's nomination signaled the Biden administration's plans to use foreign assistance as an instrument of soft power as the U.S. has pledged to deliver millions of vaccines and offer aid to countries battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Background: Power served on the National Security Council as former President Obama's special assistant from 2009 to 2013 while working as his senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights. She later served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017.

  • She grappled with the Obama administration's response to Syria's civil war, sanctions against North Korea, Ebola and Russian aggression against Ukraine.
  • As a journalist, she worked as a foreign correspondent in Zimbabwe, Bosnia, Rwanda, Sudan, Kosovo, and East Timor.
  • Her 2002 book on genocide, "A Problem from Hell," won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003.

Go deeper

Marty Baron writing book on running a newsroom during Trump era

Marty Baron in Washington, DC on Feb. 25. Photo: Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Marty Baron, former executive editor of the Washington Post and a Pulitzer Prize recipient, is writing a book on his newsroom leadership during the Trump administration, AP reports.

Why it matters: The book, titled “Collision of Power: Trump, Bezos, and The Washington Post," could offer rare personal reflections from Baron after he oversaw the Post's editorial transformation under Amazon founder Jeff Bezos — turning it from a regional paper into a national brand.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Death toll mounts as fighting between Israel and Hamas intensifies

Palestinian Muslims exchange wishes for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, near a razed building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on May 13. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 109 Palestinians and seven people in Israel have been killed since recent fighting between Israel's military and Hamas began Monday.

The big picture: Israel began massing troops on its border with Gaza on Thursday, launching attacks from the air and ground as Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel.

By the numbers: Where the earmarks are wanted

Expand chart
Data: House Committee on Appropriations; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is being targeted for the largest collective earmark request in the country, according to a detailed breakdown of overall requests released by the House Appropriations Committee.

Why it matters: House appropriators are trying to balance bipartisan momentum for infrastructure investment with "pork-barrel" spending's checkered political history. The data dump is an effort to provide transparency for what are now termed "community project funding" requests.