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Evan Vucci / AP

  1. Executive order #1 today: "Border Security and Immigration Enforcement improvements": Builds the wall and Mexico pays for it ("his goal was to get the project started...and then move forward to work with Congress on an appropriations schedule"), ends catch and release, and establishes detainment centers along border.
  2. Executive order #2 today: "Enhancing Public Safety on the Interior of the United States": ends sanctuary cities ("there's a taxpayer issue here") and directs federal agencies to abide by immigration policy — includes nothing specific regarding DACA policy.
  3. That draft executive order on CIA black sites: Trump hasn't seen it. "It is not a White House document. I don't know where it came from or where it originated."
  4. Investigation into voter fraud: Spicer implied the investigation is going to focus on bigger states. "This isn't just about the 2016 election. It's about the integrity of our voting system."
  5. @BadlandsNPS and the EPA: The White House didn't crack down on the social media activity of government agencies. He said that directive would come from the agencies themselves.
  6. Extreme vetting: Details on Trump's plan to restrict visas from various Middle Eastern countries still forthcoming, but his "guiding principle is keeping people safe."

Go deeper

The modern way to hire a big-city police chief

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

When it comes to picking a city's top cop, closed-door selection processes have been replaced by highly public exercises where everyone gets to vet the candidates — who must have better community-relations skills than ever.

Why it matters: In the post-George-Floyd era, with policing under utmost scrutiny, the choosing of a police chief has become something akin to an election, with the need to build consensus around a candidate. And the candidate pool has gotten smaller.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
24 mins ago - Economy & Business

Speculative crypto art market takes off

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Move over, GameStop. The newest speculative game in town is NFTs — digital files that can be owned and traded on a plethora of new online platforms.

Why it matters: Most NFTs include some kind of still or moving image, which makes them similar to many physical art objects. Some of them, including a gif of Nyan Cat flying through the sky with a pop-tart body and rainbow trail, can be worth more than your house.

New coronavirus cases fall by 20%

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New coronavirus infections continued their sharp decline over the past week, and are now back down to pre-Thanksgiving levels.

The big picture: Given the U.S.’ experience over the past year, it can be hard to trust anything that looks like good news, without fearing that another shoe is about to drop. But the U.S. really is doing something right lately. Cases are way down, vaccinations are way up, and that’s going to save a lot of lives.