May 18, 2017

Activist investor Paul Singer goes after Athenahealth

John Minchillo / AP

Shares of the electronic health record company Athenahealth soared by more than 17% this morning after Paul Singer, the activist investor who runs the hedge fund Elliott Associates, bought more than 9% of Athenahealth's stock, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Athenahealth has about $1 billion of revenue and sells most of its cloud-based technology to doctors and small hospitals.

The filing says Singer is willing to shake up the board of directors, push for a sale or make changes to the management team, which is led by CEO Jonathan Bush — the cousin of Jeb and George W. Bush. Investors recently hammered Athenahealth after the company registered a poor first quarter.

Between the lines: Changes usually occur after an activist investor like Singer takes a hostile stake, and this could lead to some fireworks given Bush's candid personality. Athenahealth and Elliott Associates did not immediately respond.

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Sanders' big socialism rebrand

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Bernie Sanders is trying to rebrand socialism in the U.S., but he'll have to overcome common fears about what the word means — fears the Trump campaign is watching and waiting to exploit.

Why it matters: Sanders may face a major challenge in convincing Americans in their 40s or older that there's a meaningful difference between what he supports, described as democratic socialism, and the authoritarian socialism that we've seen in regimes like Venezuela.

The next frontier for Big Science

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In 1945, engineer and science administrator Vannevar Bush laid out a framework for support of science in the U.S. that drove prosperity and American dominance. That model isn't enough anymore, experts said at an event this week in Washington, D.C.

The big picture: With China threatening to overtake the U.S. in R&D spending even as research becomes more international, science must manage the tension between cooperation and competition.

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U.S. and Taliban sign peace deal

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad (L) and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R) sign a peace agreement during a ceremony in Qatar. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images

The United States signed a peace deal with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar on Saturday after over a year of off-and-on negotiations, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The signing of the deal officially begins the process to end the United States' longest war, which has spanned nearly two decades. The agreement sets a timetable to pull the remaining 13,000 American troops out of Afghanistan, per the Times, but is contingent on the Taliban's completion of commitments, including breaking ties with international terrorist groups, such as al Qaeda.