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Jaime Harrison: “Lindsey Graham 2.0” emerged after John McCain died

Jaime Harrison, the Democrat running against Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, told "Axios on HBO" that he's poised to "close the chapter on the old South" if elected in November.

Why it matters: Many people thought this Senate race was a long shot for Democrats, but things are changing quickly as polls show the contest is tightening and it's become the most well-funded race in South Carolina history, per the Post and Courier.


  • In mid-August, Cook Political Report changed the rating of the race from "likely Republican" to "lean Republican" — signaling a massive shift in the dynamics at play, though a win is certainly not guaranteed for the Democrats.

What he's saying: "Lindsey Graham, a man who I used to have tremendous respect for, he's changed. He's not the same person," Harrison told "Axios on HBO."

  • "I'm running against a guy who cares more about his own political relevance and his political power than he does addressing the issues that people are dealing with here on a day-to-day basis."
  • Harrison said if elected, he hopes to usher in a new era for the South. "We are about to close the chapter on the old South and start a whole brand new book that I call the new South," he said. "A new South that is bold, that is inclusive, that is diverse."
  • He pointed to his recently released "Rural Hope Agenda" as a way to achieve that vision through policy, touching on things like education, infrastructure and broadband access for rural Americans.

The big picture: Ongoing protests against police brutality have shifted the national political discussion to focus on systemic racism, giving some Black candidates a renewed look and raising awareness about their lived experience in the U.S.

  • Harrison, who is Black and the father of two young children, talked about navigating those two realities:
"This pain is not new. It is hard when I talk to friends and they say the hardest thing that they have to tell their kids is that Santa Claus ain't real. Well for me, I got two Black boys. And the hardest thing that I have to do is tell them that one day they may lose their life because of the color of their skin.
Jaime Harrison, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, to "Axios on HBO"

The bottom line: If Harrison wins, South Carolina will become the first state in U.S. history to have two African American senators serving at the same time. He would join Republican Sen. Tim Scott.

Apps are helping people of color stop deadly police encounters

Mobile phone apps are evolving in ways that can stop rather than simply document deadly police encounters with people of color — including notifying family and lawyers about potential violations in real time.

Why it matters: As states and cities face pressure to reform excessive force policies, apps that monitor police are becoming more interactive, gathering evidence against rogue officers as well as posting social media videos to shame the agencies.

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TikTok gets more time (again)

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more time to satisfy its national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to satisfy national security concerns raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

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Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.

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Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order

Counties around the San Francisco Bay Area will adopt California’s new regional stay-at-home order amid surges in cases and ICU hospitalizations, health officials said Friday.

The big picture: California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a three-week stay-at-home order on Thursday that would go into effect in regions with less than 15% ICU capacity. Despite the Bay Area’s current 25.3% ICU capacity, health officials from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco and the city of Berkeley are moving ahead with a shelter-in-place mandate in the hopes of reducing risk.

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Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the COVID-19 vaccine approval process

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing two emergency use authorization requests for COVID-19 vaccines, with an outside advisory committee scheduled to meet next Thursday to review data from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

Axios Re:Cap digs in with former FDA commissioner Rob Calif about the EUA process, the science and who should make the final call.

The U.S. economic recovery needs rocket fuel

Data: BLS. Chart: Axios Visuals

Friday's deeply disappointing jobs report should light a fire under Congress, which has dithered despite signs the economy is struggling to kick back into gear.

Driving the news: President-elect Biden said Friday afternoon in Wilmington that he supports another round of $1,200 checks.

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CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use"

The CDC is urging “universal face mask use” for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing recent case spikes as the U.S. has entered a phase of “high-level transmission” before winter officially begins.

Why it matters: Daily COVID-related deaths across the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday. Face coverings have been shown to increase protection of the wearer and those around them, despite some Americans' reluctance to use them.

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Saudi Arabia and Qatar near deal to end standoff, sources say

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are close to a deal to end the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf following U.S.-mediated reconciliation talks this week, sources familiar with the talks tell me.

Why it matters: Restoring relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar would bring a sense of stability back to the Gulf after a 3.5 year standoff. It could also notch a last-minute achievement for the Trump administration before Jan. 20.

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