Nov 30, 2017

Sessions hints at a federal crackdown on marijuana

Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggested in a press conference on Wedenesday that the Department of Justice is looking at changing Obama-era policies that allowed states to decide what to do about marijuana despite the drug remaining illegal under federal law, according to McClatchy DC.

Why it matters: This could have a huge impact on the 6 states and D.C. which will have legalized marijuana by January, 2018. Places that have already legalized marijuana and have seen the marijuana industry boom in their states could face particularly tricky legal situations.

Key quote: "In fact, we're looking at that very hard right now, we had a meeting yesterday and talked about it at some length. It's my view that the use of marijuana is detrimental, and we should not give encouragement in any way to it, and it represents a federal violation, which is in the law and is subject to being enforced."

Meanwhile, bipartisan groups of Senators and House members have been pushing for criminal justice reform bills, which would lower minimum mandatory sentences for non-violent drug crimes. A crackdown on drug crimes is not what they're looking for from Sessions.

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

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SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.