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Buzz grows around New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as Biden's attorney general pick

Democrats are so convinced that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo could be considered for Joe Biden's attorney general that aides at the National Governors Association, which Cuomo chairs, are looking into contingencies for replacing him, two sources familiar with the situation tell Axios.

What we're hearing: Some Democratic donors in Cuomo's orbit tell Axios that the governor is being pushed for the job and that Biden would consider him, based on their long friendship.


Why it matters: The AG would be among the most politically sensitive — and high-profile — jobs in a Biden administration.

  • The Justice Department will face pressure to investigate Trump-era officials — and perhaps Trump himself — for wrongdoing in office.
  • Biden's AG also would manage the federal response to police violence, social unrest and systemic racism, and the AG could seek to use federal powers to blunt state abortion restrictions.

What they're saying: Cuomo's team denies that the governor has any interest in serving in a potential Biden Cabinet.

  • "100% he's made zero outreach, has had zero conversations about this and has made his desire to stay in New York clear as day and be governor as long as people want him," Cuomo's senior adviser Richard Azzopardi tells Axios.

Between the lines: Biden is clearly fond of Cuomo, but he's also committed — and under pressure — to name a racially and gender-diverse Cabinet, including the marquee posts.

  • Names like former acting AG Sally Yates and Stacey Abrams are also likely on a list of AG candidates.

The big picture: Cuomo, who previously served as New York's AG, has a long history with Biden.

  • Through his late father Mario, Cuomo's known Biden since the 1980s. The two grew closer during the Hurricane Sandy reconstruction efforts and Cuomo's time serving in Bill Clinton's Cabinet as secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
  • People who know their relationship say Biden sees parts of himself in the 62-year-old.
  • "When one of them needs something, it’s automatic,” says a person familiar with their relationship. “It’s not a calculation.”

Defense makes closing arguments in Chauvin trial

Chauvin's defense attorney Eric Nelson opened his closing argument on Monday by reminding the jury that Derek Chauvin "does not have to prove his innocence."

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial is seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades.

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Merrick Garland: Domestic terrorism is "still with us" and remains critical threat

In his first major speech, Attorney General Merrick Garland warned the nation Monday to remain vigilant against the rising threat of domestic extremism.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism poses an "elevated threat" to the nation this year, according to U.S. intelligence. Garland has already pledged to crack down on violence linked to white supremacists and right-wing militia groups.

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"Nine minutes and 29 seconds": Prosecutors begin closing arguments in Chauvin trial

Steve Schleicher, an attorney for the prosecution in Derek Chauvin's trial, began closing arguments on Monday by describing in detail George Floyd's last moments — crying out for help and surrounded by strangers, as Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds.

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial, seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades, will reverberate across the country and have major implications in the fight for racial justice.

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European soccer goes to war over wealthy clubs' plans for exclusive "Super League"

Europe's biggest soccer clubs have established The Super League, a new midweek tournament that would compete with — and threaten the very existence of — the Champions League.

Why it matters: This new league, set to start in 2023, "would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history," writes NYT's Tariq Panja.

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81% of S&P 500 companies have reported a positive earnings surprise for Q1

First-quarter earnings so far have been very strong, outpacing even the rosy expectations from Wall Street and that's a trend that's expected to continue for all of 2021. S&P 500 companies are on pace for one of the best quarters of positive earnings surprises on record, according to FactSet.

Why it matters: The results show that not only has the earnings recession ended for U.S. companies, but firms are performing better than expected and the economy may be justifying all the hype.

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NASA's Mars helicopter takes flight as first aircraft piloted on another planet

NASA successfully piloted the Ingenuity Mars helicopter for its first experimental flight on Monday, briefly hopping the aircraft as NASA's Perseverance rover collected data.

Why it matters: Ingenuity's short flight marks the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.

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All U.S. adults now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine, meeting Biden's April 19 deadline

All 50 U.S. states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, have now made U.S. adults over the age of 16 eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, meeting President Biden's April 19 deadline.

Why it matters: The landmark speaks to the increased pace of the national vaccination campaign, but will increase pressure on the federal government, states and pharmaceutical companies to provide adequate vaccine supply and logistics.

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Minneapolis braces for a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial

Minneapolis is waking up to images of an occupied city on Monday, as the city and the world await a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

What it's like: Residents running errands, picking up dinner and heading to the dog park in recent days encountered heavily-armed National Guard troops stationed throughout the city.

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