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Sheldon and Miriam Adelson arrive at the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem in May. Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate, and his wife, Miriam, have given $55 million in the last few months to groups dedicated to retaining Republican control of Congress, the N.Y. Times Jeremy Peters reports.

Why it matters: "That makes them not only the largest donors to national Republican electoral efforts in this election cycle, but the biggest spenders on federal elections in all of American politics, according to publicly available campaign finance data."

"Despite initially harboring qualms about President Trump’s leadership, the Adelsons have found much to like ... unflinchingly pro-Israel, unaccommodating to Middle Eastern adversaries and dedicated to deregulation and lower taxes."

  • "In private in-person meetings and phone conversations, which occur between [Trump and Sheldon Adelson] about once a month, he has used his access to push the president to move the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and, more recently, cut aid to the Palestinians."
  • "Trump has done both, triggering a backlash from some American allies."

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
7 mins ago - Economy & Business

Merger Monday has been overrun by SPACs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Five companies this morning announced plans to go public via reverse mergers with SPACs, at an aggregate market value of more than $15 billion. And there might be even more by the time you read this.

The bottom line: SPAC merger activity hasn't peaked. If anything, it's just getting started.

Moderna says vaccine appears to protect against new COVID-19 variants

Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new variants of the virus that first appeared in the U.K. and in South Africa, the company announced on Monday.

Yes, but: The vaccine was as effective against the strain from U.K., but saw a six-fold reduction in antibodies against the South Africa variant. Even still, the neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine "remain above levels that are expected to be protective," according to the company.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Updated 1 hour ago - World

Xi Jinping warns against "new cold war" in Davos speech

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Wang Zhao - Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that a "new cold war" could turn hot, and must be avoided, in a speech on Monday at World Economic Forum’s virtual “Davos Agenda” conference.

Why it matters: Xi didn't refer directly to U.S.-China tensions, but the subtext was clear. These were his first remarks to an international audience since the inauguration of President Biden, whose administration has already concurred with Donald Trump's determination that China is committing "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims, and issued a warning about China's aggression toward Taiwan.