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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Airbnb is setting aside company stock for an endowment to fund various initiatives for its home-sharing hosts, the company said on Friday.

Why it matters: Airbnb is gearing up to go public later this year, and has been mulling over ways to spread some of its riches to customers.

Details: Airbnb will put 9.2 million shares into the endowment, which will not begin distribution until it grows to $1 billion in value.

  • The company is also assembling a host advisory board made up of home-sharing hosts from around the world, which will be tasked with deciding which initiatives to fund with the endowment.

This is separate from an idea that's been floated within the company of giving hosts stock or the ability to purchase stock, similarly to what Uber and Lyft did ahead of their IPOs.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 18, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: Immigration policy under the new administration

On Friday, December 18 Axios's Stef Kight hosted a conversation on immigration policy in the new administration, unpacking bipartisan initiatives and their wide-reaching impacts on immigrants and refugees, featuring former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and League of United Latin American Citizens CEO Sindy Benavides.

Sindy Benavides discussed the pandemic's unique impact on the Latino community and her view of immigration policy priorities going into the next presidential administration.

  • On the action she hopes President-elect Biden takes around immigration policy: "Reinstate DACA and make sure to rescind the [Department of Homeland Security] memo that stripped that protections away from immigrant eligible recipients, and make sure that we redesignate and expand temporary protected status."
  • On the lack of trust between the U.S. and the immigrant community: "The truth is that there is an erosion of trust that has occurred within the immigrant community under this administration. So many immigrants — many who are mixed-status families with U.S. citizen children and U.S. citizen spouses who have served in our military — are not accessing services because they're so fearful of repercussions from this government."

Michael Chertoff unpacked U.S. immigration policy in the past four years, drawing from his own experiences as Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush.

  • On the legacy of the Trump administration on the American immigration system: "The inhumanity with respect to the separated children will probably leave a lasting scar...I think it's also created a sense of ill will and lack of trust between a lot of the general public and [the U.S. Customs and Border Protection] and ICE."
  • On his advice to the Biden administration: "It's very important for the incoming administration to reach out and have good relations with our neighbors...Maybe the most important medium to long-term objective is to reduce the pressure that is bringing people to run and put their lives at risk to flee up North."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with USAFacts Steve Ballmer and discussed the importance of H-1B visas to the technology industry.

  • "When I was running Microsoft, we depended fundamentally not just on native-born engineers, but on foreign-born engineers...[H-1B visas] are a really big deal for keeping our tech economy vibrant, unless people want to see more of those tech and engineering jobs in other countries."

Thank you USAFacts for sponsoring this event.

Updated 7 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 9 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

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