Jan 17, 2017

Tech regulators visit Trump Tower

Donald Trump met recently with two people rumored to be in line for major tech regulatory jobs, according to reports about Tuesday's transition press call. The Trump tower visitors:

  • Ajit Pai, the senior Republican commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission
  • Joshua Wright, a former Republican member of the Federal Trade Commission who now works for the transition

Why it matters: Top appointments at the FCC, FTC and the Justice Department will set antitrust policy under a presidential administration that has been skeptical of big deals. Both Pai and Wright are also generally advocates of a light regulatory touch — so if they are nominated to top posts it will send a signal about what the next several years bring for tech and telecom.

What we're tracking: Trump needs to nominate new chairs of the FCC and FTC, and fill the top antitrust spot at DOJ. Pai's office had no comment, and Wright didn't immediately respond to an email about the meeting.

Update: Joshua Wright declined to comment on the meeting.

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China tries to contain coronavirus, as Apple warns of earnings impact

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As China pushes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — placing around 780 million people under travel restrictions, per CNN — the economic repercussions continue to be felt globally as companies like Apple warn of the impact from the lack of manufacturing and consumer demand in China.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There are some signs that new cases are growing at a slower rate now, although the World Health Organization said Monday it's "too early to tell" if this will continue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Apple will miss quarterly earnings estimates due to coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple issued a rare earnings warning on Monday, saying it would not meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which will limit iPhone production and limit product demand in China.

Why it matters: Lots of companies rely on China for production, but unlike most U.S. tech companies, Apple also gets a significant chunk of its revenue from sales in China.

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.