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TimesVideoWatch Live: Jerome Powell testifies on economy Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies on the Monetary Policy Report, a biannual report, on Tuesday before a virtual Senate Banking Committee hearing.

TimesVideoWatch Live: Jerome Powell testifies on economy On Tuesday Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will testify on the Monetary Policy Report, a biannual report, before a virtual Senate Banking Committee hearing.

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Michael Ellis, appointed by Trump to the NSA who was sworn in on Tuesday, has been put on leave.

The Biden administration put Michael Ellis, a Trump loyalist who was sworn in Tuesday as the National Security Agency’s senior lawyer, on administrative leave on Wednesday, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.

Mr Ellis’ last-minute appointment was ordered over the weekend by then-acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller, prompting President Nancy Pelosi to call for an Inspector General investigation into his selection and ask the Pentagon to cease his swearing-in.

The Trump administration, unsurprisingly, ignored Ms Pelosi and Mr Ellis started work on Tuesday. But his work at the National Security Agency lasted less than two full days.

He will remain on administrative leave while his hiring is investigated by the Pentagon Inspector General.

Mr. Ellis’ dismissal was reported earlier on Twitter by CBS News.

Mr Ellis was a former staff member of Representative Devin Nunes of California, the senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee and an early member of the Trump administration. He has been involved in several high-profile cases, including providing information to Mr. Nunes and putting the reconstructed transcript of President Donald J. Trump’s call with his Ukrainian counterpart into a highly confidential computer system.

In November, the Pentagon selected Mr. Ellis, then a staff member of the National Security Agency, to become its attorney general, a civil service position that goes beyond administration. Trump administration officials had asked the Pentagon’s senior lawyer to choose Mr. Ellis, according to people familiar with the process.

A myriad of federal rules are in place to attempt to prevent policy appointees from assuming permanent public service positions, a practice derisively referred to as “digging.” Ms Pelosi accused Mr Miller of helping Mr Ellis burrow.

But he was not immediately installed as his hiring was reviewed by the Office of Personnel Management, and he applied for a new security clearance. This delay frustrated Mr. Miller, prompting him to order Mr. Ellis to be sworn in.

After the National Security Agency announced on Sunday that it would comply with Mr Miller’s order, Ms Pelosi and other officials called it an offense.

People familiar with the hiring process said that even though Mr Ellis, a Yale-trained attorney, was a finalist, he did not get the highest score and a career manager should have been selected for the post.

Mr Ellis will be difficult to fire, although an investigation by the Inspector General into his appointment could make his dismissal – or resignation – possible.

However, even if Mr Ellis’ appointment passed with the Inspector General, former officials said the Biden administration would not have to allow him to take over the National Security Agency post. He may be reassigned to various legal positions within the Department of Defense, such as reviewing contracts with defense companies or overseeing military construction agreements at remote bases.

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The Boeing 737 Max will resume its American passengers on Tuesday

Boeing’s ailing 737 Max aircraft is expected to carry revenue passengers over the skies of the United States for the first time in nearly two years on Tuesday.

These passengers will be aboard American Airlines Flight 718, which is scheduled to depart Miami just after 10:30 a.m. and land in New York at 1:30 p.m., ending a long and difficult chapter for Boeing.

The Max was grounded around the world in March 2019 after 346 people were killed in two crashes, separated by months, in Indonesia and Ethiopia. Accidents and disclosures about the plane’s deficiencies have seriously damaged the company’s reputation and cost it tens of billions of dollars in damages, government fines and lost orders.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which has been criticized by lawmakers and safety experts for doing a poor job of certifying the Max in the first place, last month became the first major regulator to lift its grounding order. and to allow Boeing and the airlines that use the Max to start making the changes necessary to fly the plane again.

The FAA has since been joined by regulators in Brazil. Canadian and European aviation officials are expected to follow up with approvals within weeks.

Families of those killed aboard the two fatal flights say the Max is still unfit to fly. Last week, they said in a letter to US lawmakers that “the whole recertification process is suspect.” A Senate committee released a scathing report this month criticizing Boeing and the FAA for their failures in security and surveillance.

The Americans plan to use the Max for daily flights between Miami International Airport and La Guardia Airport through Monday. The airline plans to increase service throughout January, using the Max for up to 36 flights from Miami each day, according to a letter US executives sent to employees last month. Tuesday’s flight can accommodate 172 people, 16 in business class and the rest in economy class.

United Airlines said it plans to start using the Max in the first quarter of 2021. Southwest Airlines, a major Boeing customer that operates a fleet entirely of 737s, said it does not plan to fly the plane until. the second trimester. Delta Air Lines does not use the plane.

It will be important for the public perception of Boeing and the Max that the first months of flight are free of major problems. Last week, Air Canada was forced to hijack a Max plane moved from Marana, Ariz. To Montreal due to an engine problem. The plane landed in Tucson, Arizona without incident, the airline said.

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Ideas for giving Tuesday

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In the early days of the Internet, it seemed to have the potential to crush traditional print media. But its impact turned out to be more nuanced.

Rather, the Internet has been a boon for some publications with a national audience. The New York Times has never had as many subscribers or readers – or employed as many journalists – as it does today. The Atlantic, the Washington Post and a few others are also flourishing.

It is at the local level that the digital revolution has been as destructive as feared.

Hundreds of local news organizations have folded, as their advertising revenues disappear, and the pandemic is exacerbating the crisis. At least 60 local newsrooms have closed since March, according to Poynter. Some of them were over a century old, like The Eureka Sentinel in Nevada; The Mineral Wells showing, Texas; and The Morehead News, in Kentucky.

This is not a story of creative destruction, in which agile new entrants replace older companies. Often, nothing can replace a closed newsroom, leaving communities without any independent information about local government, schools and businesses. (A recent Times investigation found that some partisan groups have started masquerading as local publishers, trying to pass off political propaganda as news.)

There are consequences for society. When a community’s newspaper closes, voter turnout and cross-party voting tend to drop, while political corruption and government waste increases, according to academic research. A democracy struggles to function when its citizens cannot stay informed.

What can be done? Ultimately, savvy entrepreneurs can figure out how to make local news profitable. But several have tried in recent years, without success. For the foreseeable future, the only reliable answer seems to involve philanthropy. Americans have long accepted that the arts, higher education, and organized religion all depend on charitable giving. Local journalism is now in the same category.

“We need philanthropists across the country to embrace strong local journalism,” Sarabeth Berman, executive director of the American Journalism Project, which funds local news sites, told me. “If you care about education, you have to worry if school boards and charter boards are covered. And if you care about the environment, you need to make sure reporters like Ken Ward Jr. cover the coal country in West Virginia. “

There are many other shining examples of the new nonprofit journalism. But even more communities receive little or no high-quality coverage.

I decided to write about this topic this morning because today is Donation Tuesday when people take a break from online shopping to focus on charitable giving. If you’re concerned about the state of local news, you can donate through NewsMatch, which matches donations to local publications, or to your local public radio affiliate.

  • President-elect Joe Biden’s choices for economic advisers suggest his administration will focus on workers and unions, including pushing for a higher minimum wage and a stronger social safety net. It’s unclear what Biden can accomplish if Republicans retain a majority in the Senate after the second round of elections in Georgia in January.

  • Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received their first President’s Daily Brief, a high-level intelligence report. The incoming former presidents received their first days only after the election.

  • President Trump has raised about $ 170 million since Election Day after his campaign solicited donations for an “Election Defense Fund.” The money could also fund his next political move.

  • Election officials certified Biden’s victories in Arizona and Wisconsin despite the Trump campaign’s efforts to reverse the results. And Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has rejected Trump’s calls asking him to invalidate the mail-in ballots.

  • A government watchdog said the Labor Ministry’s weekly jobless count suffers from data issues that have often overestimated the number of unemployed people. The watchdog also found that the government has underpaid many people who receive these benefits.

  • Supreme Court justices have reacted with frustration and some confusion to Trump’s plan to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the calculations used to allocate seats in Congress.

  • A white man shot and killed Aiden Ellison, a black teenage girl, in an aloud confrontation in an Oregon hotel parking lot last week, authorities said.

True crime: Samuel Little, America’s most prolific known serial killer, has confessed to 93 murders in over 30 years. The Washington Post explores how it escaped attention by primarily targeting black women, whose disappearances have often been overlooked.

Decorate the rooms: Melania Trump, the first lady, unveiled this year’s White House decorations – a traditional display of green trees decorated with red, gold and silver ornaments and white lights. The bold aesthetic choices that caused devious memes in the Christmas past are missing.

From the review: The 1993 New York mayoral race between David Dinkins and Rudy Giuliani predicts today’s polarized national politics, writes Michael Tomasky. And Michelle Goldberg, Bret Stephens and Paul Krugman have columns.

Lives lived: Debra White Plume has faced bullets from the police and mining companies as an activist trying to protect the traditional Oglala Lakota way of life. “If anyone wants to tag me, I guess that would be a water protector,” she once said. White Plume died at age 66.

Tony Hsieh was not at all interested in the shoes. The tech entrepreneur, who helped turn Zappos into an online footwear and clothing powerhouse, admitted in media interviews.

His obsessions were customer service and corporate culture. These obsessions helped him revolutionize the shoe industry – and ultimately sell Zappos to Amazon for $ 1.2 billion. Hsieh, 46, died on Friday from a house fire.

Hsieh (pronounced “shay”) invested in Zappos in 1999, when it had the less catchy name and the concept of selling shoes online was baffling. The shoes seemed like the ultimate product to try on in a store. To make customers feel comfortable with their online purchase, Zappos has offered free shipping and returns. Hsieh encouraged employees to spend hours on the phone with a customer if that’s what it takes to ensure their satisfaction, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

He also focused on employee satisfaction – in part to provide better customer service. Shortly after making new hires, Zappos was offering them a quitting bonus to eliminate less engaged employees. His core values ​​included “Creating fun and a little weirdness”.

“Imagine a greenhouse, where maybe in a typical business, the CEO could be the strongest, tallest, most charismatic plant that all other plants someday strive to become,” he said. declared in 2017. “For me, I really think of myself as the architect of the greenhouse, and then all the plants inside will bloom and thrive on their own. “

The Spelling Bee pangrams of yesterday were growth and forge. Today’s puzzle is above – or you can play it online if you have a Games membership.

Here are today’s mini crosswords and a hint: two in a game (four letters).

Thank you for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. – David

One clarification: In yesterday’s email it was not clear where a cyberattack ended distance education. It was in Baltimore County (which is outside the city).