Jan 10, 2017

What tech should watch at the Sessions hearing

Molly Riley / AP

  • Encryption and surveillance: Sessions wants to expand the government's surveillance apparatus, an unpopular position in Silicon Valley. He criticized Apple during the company's scuffle with the FBI last year and has worked in Congress to expand law enforcement access to digital data.
  • Antitrust: Donald Trump has pledged to kill AT&T's mammoth purchase of Time Warner. Justice's role as the main agency looking at the deal will put Sessions' views on antitrust law in the spotlight. They are all the more significant with buzz around a possible merger of Sprint and T-Mobile.
  • Immigration: Sessions, as Politico noted in November, doesn't have a problem criticizing Silicon Valley darlings for their use of the H1-B visa program for high-skilled workers.

The bigger picture: Don't expect tech's concerns to be front and center at this one. Sessions' record on issues related to race is going to be the major theme of the hearing. The immigration discussion will more likely focus on undocumented immigrants living in the United States than the H1-B program, which Justice doesn't administer.

What's next: Transportation Secretary nominee Elaine Chao has her hearing Wednesday. Commerce nominee Wilbur Ross goes on Thursday.

Go deeper

Virus vices take a toll on Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are doubling down on their worst habits to cope with the mental and emotional stress of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on health of the American people, in part due to the habits they will pick up during the weeks and months they are forced to stay home.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 1,203,923 — Total deaths: 64,795 — Total recoveries: 247,273Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 312,237 — Total deaths: 8,502 — Total recoveries: 14,997Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August."
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. 1 🏀 thing: The WNBA postpones start of training camps and season.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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World coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases top 1.2 million

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The number of novel coronavirus cases surpassed 1.2 million worldwide Saturday night, as Spain overtook Italy as the country with the most infections outside the U.S.

The big picture: About half the planet's population is now on lockdown and the global death toll was nearing 64,800, by Sunday morning, per Johns Hopkins data.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health