Symbolism v. substance in Trump's climate decision

The Issue

The Trump administration is in the throes of deciding whether to pull out of the Paris climate deal, or stay in and try to roll back commitments made by Barack Obama. Right now, the tide is turning in the favor of those who want to pull out, including senior adviser Steve Bannon and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

The Facts

Trump is already in the process of throwing out Obama's main commitment to that deal: an EPA regulation cutting carbon emissions from power plants. Regardless of whether the administration stays in or leaves the deal, the substance of the U.S. pledge is gone for good.

Why it matters

Substance aside, symbolism matters in diplomacy issues like this. What the U.S. does and how it does it could influence other big carbon-emitting nations like China and India.

What's next

⚖️ Live updates: Opening arguments begin in Trump impeachment trial

The second day of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump will see a full day of opening arguments from Democratic House impeachment managers.

What to watch for: Democrats now have 24 hours — spread out over three days — to take their time to lay out their case against the president's alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It'll also allow them to highlight gaps that could be filled out by additional witnesses and documents from the administration.

This post will be updated with new developments as the trial continues.

Go deeperArrowJan 21, 2020 - Politics

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America's homelessness crisis isn't going away

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If the opioid epidemic was the top issue plaguing American cities in the last five years, the most urgent problem of the next five is homelessness, a group of American mayors told reporters in D.C. this week.

Why it matters: Homelessness in the U.S. was on the decline after 2010, but it started to increase again in 2016 — and without moves to address the affordable housing crisis driving the issue, we can expect it to keep getting worse, experts say.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Cities