Photo: Yvonne Hemsey via Getty Images

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced a record $174.2 million consumer fraud settlement Tuesday with Charter Communications and Spectrum Management Holding Company for defrauding internet subscribers.

Details: 700,000 consumers will receive direct refunds totaling $62.5 million, believed to be the largest single payout by an internet service provider in U.S. history. Approximately 2.2 million subscribers will also receive free streaming services and premium channels at a retail value of more than $100 million.

Background: In 2017, the New York attorney general's office filed a complaint alleging Charter was not giving customers the internet speed or reliability it promised. Its alleged failures include leasing out equipment that was deficient and charging more for download speeds while failing to maintain the appropriate network capacity.

The big picture: Left-leaning states are cracking down on telecom companies as federal regulators loosen the rules that govern internet providers like Charter, Comcast and AT&T.

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Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

3 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.

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