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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Top CEOs plan to get dramatically tougher on state legislators over proposed new restrictions on voting.

Driving the news: After a weekend Zoom summit, the CEOs are threatening to withhold campaign contributions — and to punish states by yanking investments in factories, stadiums and other lucrative projects.

The call included a long list of business luminaries, including James Murdoch, Ken Chenault, Ken Frazier, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, and executives of Delta, United and American Airlines.

Why it matters: After a slow response to Georgia's new limits, corporate America is suddenly makes voting access a foremost issue — and is going beyond words with sweeping economic threats.

Saturday's historic Zoom summit was organized by Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld of Yale School of Management, who told me the execs "fortified each other": "There was no sense of fear."

  • The call included 90 business leaders, plus 30 other experts and aides.

A post-summit statement said: "CEOs who participated in a live poll indicated they will re-evaluate donations to candidates supporting bills that restrict voting rights and many would reconsider investments in states which act upon such proposals."

Go deeper: CEOs are the new lawmakers

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Go deeper

100+ corporate executives consider freezing donations over laws curbing voting access

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

More than 100 corporate executives and leaders gathered on a Zoom call Saturday to discuss ways to combat controversial voting bills being considered in states across the country that would restrict voting access, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: American corporations flexed their advocacy muscles earlier this month when more than 100 companies signaled their opposition to Georgia's new voting law, inciting the wrath of GOP leaders, including former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Updated 10 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 12 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.