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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

DAVOS, Switzerland — Tech leaders once were given a free pass (literally and figuratively) as the young darlings of Davos, but they're now the established leaders, with a heightened role as well as added scrutiny.

  • While U.S.-China tensions were high on tech leaders' list, they also came to push their points on climate change, antitrust and AI regulation.

The public pronouncements:

  • Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff was pushing the World Economic Forum's 1 Trillion Trees initiative, even managing to get the Trump Administration committed.
  • IBM called for "targeted regulation" of AI. CEO Ginni Rometty was quick to point out that the company wants to see legislation focused on how specific technologies are used, rather than blanket bans, like Europe is considering with public use of facial recognition.
  • Google issued a broader call for regulation, including support for a temporary ban on facial recognition.
  • Palantir CEO Alex Karp defiantly defended his company's work with the U.S. government —including immigration agencies — in an interview with CNBC.

But tech leaders spent much of Davos behind closed doors, meeting with top officials from across the globe.

  • About three dozen tech executives met with President Trump on Wednesday, though the discussion focused largely on the friendly turf of workforce training, with Apple's Tim Cook and IBM's Rometty delivering remarks.
  • Tech leaders also met privately with top officials from Europe, which taking the lead when it comes to regulation.

Go deeper

Wisconsin recount reaffirms Biden's victory in the state

Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images

The two recounts in Wisconsin requested by the Trump campaign were completed Sunday and confirmed that President-elect Joe Biden won the state, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: Biden won Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes. Recounts in the state's most populous and liberal areas — Dane and Milwaukee counties — netted him an additional 87 votes.

17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congressional Hispanics want Lujan Grisham at HHS

Michelle Lujan Grisham arriving on Capitol Hill. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Hispanic lawmakers are openly lobbying to have New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham be named Health and Human Services secretary, according to a letter obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: These members are now following the example some Black lawmakers have used for weeks: trying to convince Joe Biden his political interests will be served by rewarding certain demographic groups with Cabinet picks.

3 hours ago - World

Map: A look at world population density in 3D

This fascinating map is made by Alasdair Rae of Sheffield, England, a former professor of urban studies who is the founder of Automatic Knowledge. It shows world population density in 3D.

Details: "No land is shown on the map, only the locations where people actually live. ... The higher the spike, the more people live in an area. Where there are no spikes, there are no people (e.g. you can clearly identify ... the Sahara Desert)."