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Democratic officials pick white woman over Latinas, Native American for Haaland's old seat

New Mexico Democratic officials on Wednesday nominated a white state lawmaker over Latina and Native American candidates for Interior Secretary Deb Haaland's former U.S. House seat.

Why it matters: The selection of state Rep. Melanie Stansbury to replace one of the nation's first Native American female U.S. House members could put a relatively safe Democratic seat in play for a special election in the heavily Latino central New Mexico district.


  • Republicans nominated on Sunday Hispanic state lawmaker and former college football player, Mark Moores.

Driving the news: Stansbury beat out retired law professor and state Sen. Antoinette Sedillo López by six votes in a runoff decided by Democratic Party insiders.

  • Stansbury came in second in the first round, edging out an Acoma Pueblo member, who received the endorsement of national Native American activists, and other Hispanic candidates, some also supported by national groups.
  • New Mexico state law for special elections allows state parties to select nominees -- a process some Democratic Latinos and Native Americans said put them at a disadvantage since liberal whites yield considerable power.
  • After the second round, Stansbury worked to get endorsements from other white Democrats, including former Lt. Gov. Diane Denish.

Some white Democrats dismissed claims on social media that Hispanic voters would be angry if a woman of color was not nominated.

Yes, but: Latino state senators and Hispanic Democratic Party activists have said the state party is failing to recruit and develop more candidates of color in the state's rural areas at a time when Republicans are making gains with Latinos nationwide.

The intrigue: In 2020, white, left-leaning Democrats ousted a number of Hispanic moderate New Mexico state lawmakers during primaries, angering a number of Latino Democrats.

  • Democrats control both chambers of the state legislature in the nation's most Hispanic state, yet the Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader, and Senate Pro tempore are all white.

Where it stands: Stansbury faces state Sen. Mark Moores, a Hispanic former football star at the University of New Mexico, for a special election on June 1.

  • Republicans in New Mexico have done well in previous special elections where turnout is low and voters have revolted against party-selected nominees.

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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Russian authorities say jailed opposition leader Navalny has been transferred to hospital

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been hospitalized, one day after his doctor warned that the jailed Putin critic "could die at any moment," Russia's prison service said Monday.

Why it matters: News that Navalny's condition had severely deteriorated on the third week of a hunger strike prompted outrage from his supporters and international demands for Russia to provide him with immediate medical treatment.

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The state worst hit by the pandemic

Data: Hamilton Place Strategies; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the job facing governments was to save lives and save jobs. Very few states did well on both measures, while New York, almost uniquely, did particularly badly on both.

Why it matters: The jury is still out on whether there was a trade-off between the dual imperatives; a new analysis from Hamilton Place Strategies shows no clear correlation between the two.

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Biden confronts eroded credibility on climate action and Paris agreement

The biggest hurdle for President Biden in winning new emissions reduction commitments at this week's White House summit is America's on-again, off-again history of climate change efforts.

Why it matters: The global community is off course to meet the temperature targets contained in the Paris Climate Agreement. The White House wants the summit Thursday and Friday to begin to change that.

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