Novelist MacKenzie Scott (R) with her former husband, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, at a 2018 awards ceremony in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Jorg Carstensen/DPA/AFP via Getty Images

Novelist MacKenzie Scott revealed in a Medium blog post Tuesday that she's given $1.7 billion to charity over the past year since her divorce from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Details: Donations have mainly gone to social justice and public health organizations, along with groups fighting climate change. "Like many, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror," Scott writes.

  • Among the recipients are the Obama Foundation, the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the historically black college Tuskegee University.
  • "My own reflection after recent events revealed a dividend of privilege I'd been overlooking: the attention I can call to organizations and leaders driving change," Scott added, pledging to highlight more donations as her "giving continues in the months and years to come."

Why it matters: Scott places 13th on the Bloomberg Billionaire's Index, with an estimated net worth of over $59 billion.

  • Scott notes she agreed last year to "give the majority of my wealth back to the society that helped generate it," after signing up to Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates' Giving Pledge campaign.
  • Billionaires who’ve taken the pledge "are liable to charges that they are using philanthropy to influence society without doing anything to address the underlying causes of inequality — or paying their fair share of taxes," noted David McCabe, writing for Axios when she signed up for the initiative last year.

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Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Jul 27, 2020 - Economy & Business

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After reading Axios' 10 myths about the racial wealth gap, BET co-founder and entrepreneur Robert L. Johnson is issuing a challenge to politicians, civic leaders and Black organizations across the country: Refute the findings or lay out a set of actionable solutions.

What he's saying: And if they can't, "they need to have the courage to stand up to Black people and say, 'You are perpetually a second-class economic population in America,'" Johnson said during an hourlong one-on-one interview Sunday.

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The state of play: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Emergency Declaration in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday. The hurricane is producing 110-mph maximum sustained winds and stronger gusts. The core of Zeta — including its destructive eyewall — moved ashore near Cocodrie.

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The Supreme Court voted 5-3 on Wednesday to deny a bid from Pennsylvania Republicans to expedite their request to shorten the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots. Newly-confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in the decision.

Why it matters: A lower court ruling allowing ballots to be counted until 5 p.m. on Nov. 6, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day, will remain in place for now.