President Biden will keep the executive orders flowing Friday. He is expected to sign two today after issuing a flurry of the directives — many addressing COVID-19 — on Thursday. One will up federal benefits, like food assistance, and improve the distribution of stimulus checks, among other things. The second will restore collective bargaining for federal employees, rescinding a Trump order, and also order agencies to prepare to pay federal staff and contractors a $15 minimum wage. (Wall Street Journal)
Kellyanne Conway's adieu to power. The former Trump advisor and sometimes spokeswoman offered Axios four maxims on the currency of the realm; power. Conway's fourth point: "If you have a choice between power and influence, go for influence. Power is conferred by one's birth, position, promotion or election. Influence is how things get things done, preferring negotiation, persuasion and elevating cooperation and collaboration." (Axios)
Google may cancel Australia by pulling its search from the country if it's forced to pay news publishers for content. A company official told an Australian Senate committee Friday that if a proposed media code becomes law "we do not see a way, with the financial and operational risks, that we could continue to offer a service in Australia." (The Sydney Morning Herald) Not long after, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison replied saying "we don't respond to threats." (Associated Press)
But the Tokyo Olympics won't be canceled Japanese officials said, refuting a Times of London report that the Japanese government has "privately concluded" the games are a wash. Without directly referring to the story, the organizing committee issued a statement saying "the national government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the IOC and the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) are fully focused on hosting the games this summer." (Associated Press)
Trump may want to avoid post-presidential golf if the Iranian Supreme Leader's tweets are to be believed. Reuters reports that on Twitter early Friday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shared an image of a drone hunting a golfer who looked like Trump. "Revenge is certain," Khamenei added, a portion of the comments he first made last year just prior to the anniversary of the killing of top Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani.