May 10, 2017

The big stories that got buried by Comey news

U.S. Army; Evan Vucci / AP

  1. Health and Human Services released a memo saying agency employees shouldn't communicate with members of Congress or their staff without consulting the Assistant Secretary for Legislation and without noting federal whistleblower protections.
  2. West Virginia reporter Dan Heyman was arrested with a $5,000 bail last night after pressing HHS secretary Tom Price to answer questions on whether domestic violence would be considered a preexisting condition under the GOP health care bill.
  3. The deadline for several Trump aides to turn in a list of their contacts with Russia to the Senate Intelligence Committee was yesterday.
  4. Chelsea Manning wrote her first letter since clemency yesterday, after Obama commuted her sentence in January.
  5. 8 Democratic senators called for an investigation into Trump adviser Carl Icahn for violating trading laws and using his position to benefit one of the businesses in his control, according to NYT.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Technology

The slippery slope of protest surveillance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's call to treat antifa supporters like terrorists could be a green light for high-tech surveillance of dissidents.

Why it matters: It's unlikely the Trump administration can designate antifa as a terrorist group in any legally meaningful way, but the declaration gives law enforcement tacit approval to use a plethora of tech tools to monitor protesters and left-leaning activists.

The biggest crisis since 1968

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Bettmann/Contributor

The year 1968 has been on a lot of people’s minds lately — another year of protests, violence and upheaval that seemed to be tearing the nation apart.

Yes, but: This crisis also has moments we’ve never seen before — and some historians and experts say the differences suggest that 2020 doesn't compare well at all.

SoftBank to launch $100M fund backing companies led by people of color

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

SoftBank COO Marcelo Claure said in a letter to employees early Wednesday that the firm will create a $100 million fund that "will only invest in companies led by founders and entrepreneurs of color."

Why it matters: The Opportunity Growth Fund is one of the first to put significant capital behind companies' statements of empathy and outrage in response to protests over systemic racism in the U.S. typified by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other African Americans by police.