Dec 1, 2017

Verily heads to K Street

Google's life sciences arm Verily hired its first lobbying firm. Photo: John Minchillo / AP

Verily Life Sciences, Alphabet's biotech and health data startup, hired D.C. lobbying shop Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas this week for various health care and data science issues, according to federal lobbying records — the first such lobbying registration for Verily. The company declined to comment.

Why it matters: Verily, by its nature of being tied to Google and Alphabet, is a highly watched health care startup still in its early stages that clearly wants to build its federal presence. It's not all smooth sailing, though. A STAT investigation from 2016 revealed many top employees have left Verily due to its "divisive" CEO Andy Conrad.

Worth noting: Robert Califf, a former FDA commissioner under President Obama, is an adviser at Verily.

Go deeper

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.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.