Photos: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images; Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg will attend Stacey Abrams' voting rights summit in Georgia on Friday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported and Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: Abrams' 2018 gubernatorial run and subsequent fight against voter suppression has made her a Democratic darling who’s now one of the most sought after surrogates for the party's 2020 contenders.

  • While it's not an endorsement, the mere optics of standing next to Abrams are a big get for any Democratic presidential candidate. 
  • She’s been speculated to be a top pick for vice president — and her ability to connect with communities of color is unmatched.

Flashback: In 2018, Bloomberg donated $500,000 to Abrams’ gubernatorial campaign. In December, he gave $5 million to Abrams' Fair Fight organization, her initiative to fight against voter suppression.

  • Bloomberg, who was just blasted by filmmaker Ava Duvernay for his position on the Central Park Five, needs to improve his standing with the black community.

The big picture: This is Bloomberg's second visit to Georgia since launching his presidential bid. His focus on the state reflects his strategy to look past the early voting states in favor of Super Tuesday and subsequent primaries (Georgia votes on March 24).

Go deeper: Bloomberg, Trump each secure $10 million Super Bowl ad slots

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U.S., Canada and U.K. accuse Russia of trying to steal coronavirus vaccine research

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images

Hackers associated with Russian intelligence services are trying to steal information from researchers involved in coronavirus vaccine development, according to a joint advisory by U.K., U.S. and Canadian authorities published Thursday.

The big picture: This isn't the first time a foreign adversary has been accused of attempting to steal COVID-19-related research. U.S. officials in May announced an uptick in Chinese-government affiliated hackers targeting medical research and other facilities in the United States for data on a potential cure or effective treatments to combat the virus.

M&A activity falls despite early coronavirus fears

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In April, several prominent Democrats proposed a moratorium on large mergers and acquisitions. Their argument was that the pandemic would embolden the strong to pounce on the weak, thus reducing competition.

Fast forward: The moratorium never materialized. Nor did the M&A feeding frenzy.

More than 32 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits

Photo: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

More than 32 million Americans are receiving some form of unemployment benefits, according to data released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

Why it matters: Tens of millions of jobless Americans will soon have a smaller cash cushion — as coronavirus cases surge and certain parts of the country re-enter pandemic lockdowns — barring an extension of the more generous unemployment benefits that are set to expire at the end of the month.