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NBA playoffs to resume after agreement on social justice initiatives

The NBA and its players' union agreed on Friday to resume the league's playoffs on Saturday after players refused to take the floor for a number of games this week in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.

Why it matters: As part of the agreement, the league agreed to work with the players to work toward three initiatives focused around social justice, civic engagement and voting rights.


  1. The NBA and its players will "immediately establish a social justice coalition, with representatives from players, coaches and governors" that will focus on "increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform."
  2. When teams own their own arenas, their leaders must "continue to work with local elections officials to convert the facility into a voting location for the 2020 general election to allow for a safe in-person voting option for communities vulnerable to COVID."
  3. The league will coordinate with players and network partners to "create and include advertising spots in each NBA playoff game dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement in national and local elections and raising awareness around voter access and opportunity."

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

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Scoop: Sudan wants to seal Israel normalization deal at White House

Three months after Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel, it still hasn't signed an agreement to formally do so. Israeli officials tell me one reason has now emerged: Sudan wants to sign the deal at the White House.

Driving the news: Israel sent Sudan a draft agreement for establishing diplomatic relations several weeks ago, but the Sudanese didn’t reply, the officials say. On Tuesday, Israeli Minister of Intelligence Eli Cohen raised that issue in Khartoum during the first-ever visit of an Israeli minister to Sudan.

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Netanyahu doesn't want a fight with Biden over Iran — yet

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, hoping to avoid an immediate clash with President Biden over Iran, will give dialogue a chance, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: Biden intends to try to resume the 2015 nuclear deal, which Netanyahu vehemently opposes. The two are on a collision course, and memories are fresh of the crisis in U.S.-Israel relations when Netanyahu was publicly campaigning against Barack Obama's attempts to reach a deal — including in a speech to Congress.

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The Doomsday Clock is kept unchanged at 100 seconds to midnight

In its annual update on Wednesday morning, scientists announced the Doomsday Clock would be kept at 100 seconds to midnight.

Why it matters: The decision to keep the clock hands steady — tied for the closest it has ever been to midnight in the clock's 74-year history — reflects a picture of progress on climate change and politics undercut by growing threats from infectious disease and disruptive technologies.

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Biden's climate orders to include halt on new oil-and-gas leases on public lands

President Biden will signnew executive actions today that provide the clearest signs yet of his climate plans — and will begin an intense battle with the oil industry.

Driving the news: One move will freeze issuance of new oil-and-gas leases on public lands and waters "to the extent possible," per a White House summary.

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