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Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie. Photo: Franziska Krug/Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on Thursday revealed his long-awaited plans to increase his philanthropy: he and his wife have committed $2 billion to give to charities that support homeless people and to build new preschools in low-income areas.

Why it matters: The scale of his wealth means he can have a dramatic influence over almost any area of society he chooses. Up until now, Bezos has been relatively ungenerous compared to his status as the richest person in the world.

The details: The so-called "Bezos Day One Fund" will start with spending $2 billion in two areas:

  • Charities that already exist to support homeless families
  • The creation of a network of “high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities"

The big picture: Silicon Valley companies and the people who got rich off of them are under pressure to account for their role in rising inequality and other strife in society. As Amazon continues its march towards dominance, philanthropic efforts will provide Bezos with an argument he is changing the world without any regard for his self-interest.

Go deeper

DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.

Lawmakers hide behind AG's investigation as Cuomo lingers

A billboard outside Albany, N.Y. Photo: Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is politically wounded but not yet dead, several state lawmakers tell Axios.

The state of play: Most are holding their fire and punting to state Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into sexual harassment allegations. They expect the inquiry to be credible and thorough — and buy Cuomo badly needed breathing room.