Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty

Apple is giving restricted stock grants worth $2,500 to lower-level employees worldwide and boosting the level at which it matches employee charitable donations, Axios has confirmed.

The stock grants, reported earlier Wednesday by Bloomberg, apply to employees below the rank of director. They are being announced just as the company detailed plans to repatriate $250 billion in cash and invest more in the U.S.

Our thought bubble: The moves follow the recent tax overhaul, but give no credit to Trump or the Republican-led Congress, irking some on that side of the aisle.

Apple CEO Tim Cook also told employees in an e-mail, seen by Axios, that the company will start matching employee's charitable contributions, up to $10,000 at a ratio of two-to-one.

Here is Cook's full e-mail:

Team,

This morning we announced a new set of investments Apple will be making over the next several years, including expanding some of our existing campuses and establishing a new one. We’re also extending our efforts in support of coding education, ConnectED and STEAM programs. I encourage you to read about these announcements on AppleWeb.

I’m excited to let you know that we’re also increasing our investment in our most important resource — our people. You are the heart and soul of Apple and we want you to share in the success made possible through your efforts. Your dedication helps Apple make the best products in the world, surprise and delight our customers, and ultimately make the world a better place.

To show our support for our team and our confidence in Apple’s future, we’ll be issuing a grant of $2,500 in restricted stock units to all individual contributors and management up to and including Senior Managers worldwide. Both full-time and part-time employees across all aspects of Apple’s business are eligible. Details are available on AppleWeb.

We also know how much our employees value giving back to the communities where we all work and live. I’m happy to announce that starting immediately and running through the end of 2018, Apple will match all employee charitable donations, up to $10,000 annually, at a rate of two to one. In addition, Apple will double the amount we match for each hour you donate your time. Last year, your generosity helped people around the world through causes that are important to you. I’m proud that this year we’ll be able to build on that tradition of giving.

Apple's success comes from our people and I am proud to work alongside each of you. On behalf of the Executive Team, thank you for your hard work and dedication.

Tim

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A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Former Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm's powerful winds and heavy rainfall moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," Zeta weakened to a tropical storm over central Alabama early on Thursday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

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