May 12, 2017

Sessions unravels Obama-era sentencing policies

Susan Walsh / AP

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a new directive to federal prosecutors across the country Friday: start charging criminals with "the most serious and readily provable offense."

Sessions also formally rescinded two "Smart on Crime" policy memos signed by his predecessor, former AG Eric Holder, who asked that prosecutors ensure that the "most severe mandatory minimum penalties are reserved for serious, high-level, or violent drug traffickers."

Why this matters: Session's announcement follows a series of other major departures from Obama-era policies in the Trump administration, but this memo solidifies Sessions' position on criminal justice. The memo is already being referred to as "the Sessions Memo."

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Premier League players launch fund to help U.K. medical workers

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Premier League players have launched an initiative called #PlayersTogether, which will funnel part of their salaries to the National Health Service to support the U.K.'s front-line workers during the coronavirus crisis.

Why it matters: This decision came at the conclusion of a protracted argument between players, clubs and even government officials over who should bear the brunt of lost revenue in the midst of the pandemic.

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GOP sees more hurdles for Trump as coronavirus crisis drags on

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Republicans are increasingly concerned not only about President Trump’s daily briefings but also his broader plan to ease the nation out of the virus crisis and back to work. This concern is acute — and spreading. 

Why it matters: Trump can easily address the briefing worries by doing fewer, but the lackluster bounce-back planning is what worries Republicans most. 

Pandemic forces startups to shift gears

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Spaces CEO Brad Herman had an early warning about COVID-19 because his startup supplies VR attractions to a number of theme parks in China. Realizing that the business he spent the last few years building was going to evaporate, Herman quickly found a new way to apply his team's know-how: helping companies host Zoom teleconferences in VR.

Why it matters: Many startups are rethinking the viability of their core businesses in the wake of the coronavirus. Spaces' move is one of many such pivots likely to crop up in the coming months.