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AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File

For the past decade, Google has been quietly funding academic research papers that support its defense against regulatory oversight, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Google has reportedly paid stipends ranging from $5,000 to $400,000 for papers on topics such as the legality of its user data collection, though its financial backing hasn't always been disclosed by researchers.

Why it matters: The program is yet another facet of the tech giant's efforts to influence Washington and its business interests. And as WSJ points out, Google is not the only tech company to do this — others like Microsoft and Qualcomm have also sought to gain influence by funding academic papers.

Update: Google has responded to the latest report by the Campaign for Accountability (in part funded by Oracle) in a blog post. The report was part of the WSJ's reporting.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.