Apr 3, 2018

White House probing Scott Pruitt for ethics violation

A White House official told the WSJ Monday that the administration is probing Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt’s connection with an energy lobbyist. ABC News first reported last week that Pruitt paid $50 per night for a bedroom in an apartment near Capitol Hill last year owned by the lobbyist, who has clients in industries regulated by the EPA.

What's next: The official said the administration wants to “dig a little deeper" because it's not pleased that the EPA released a statement saying Pruitt's actions do not violate federal ethics rules. Meanwhile, a New York Times report, released late Monday, says a client linked to the lobbyist last March had a project approved by the EPA. The agency and the firm both denied any connection between the approval and the condo rental, per the Times.

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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.

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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.