Nov 27, 2018

Google asks embattled GOP senator to refund donation

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss). Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Google has joined a growing list of organizations that have asked embattled Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, the Republican candidate in Mississippi's special Senate election runoff on Tuesday, to refund its $5,000 campaign contribution in the wake of recent controversial statements.

Details: A spokesperson for Google confirmed the refund request to Axios. Hyde-Smith, who is running against Democratic challenger Mike Espy to complete the term of retired Sen. Thad Cochran (R), sparked national backlash after saying at a campaign event earlier this month that she would be “front row” if invited to a “public hanging.” The remark triggered outrage due to Mississippi’s history of racially motivated lynchings. News of Google's contribution was first reported by the political newsletter Popular Information.

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The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

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Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.