Pre-orders of Samsung's Galaxy S8 and S8+ are up 30% year-over-year, beating the record pre-orders for the Galaxy S7 and making the new devices Samsung's best ever in early sales.

"The response is humbling, energizing and points to a great launch week. We aim to push the boundaries of what's possible in the name of a better, smarter, more exciting experience for our consumers." – Tim Baxter, president and chief operating officer of Samsung Electronics America

Why it matters: After the disastrous Note 7 recall, it was unclear how consumers in the U.S. would respond. It seems people in the U.S. are willing to give Samsung another chance — at least for now.

You can check out our review of the Galaxy S8 here.

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The new buyout barons

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Last month I wrote that SPACs are the new IPOs. But I may have understated it, because SPACs are also becoming the new private equity.

By the numbers: Short for "special purpose acquisition company," SPACs have raised $24 billion so far in 2020, with a loaded pipeline of upcoming offerings. U.S. buyout firms raised nearly $102 billion through the end of June — a much larger amount, but not so much larger that the two can't play on the same field.

3 hours ago - World

Macron visits Beirut promising a "new political pact" for Lebanon

Macron visits the hard-hit Gemmayzeh neighborhood. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron walked through the blast-damaged streets of Beirut on Thursday, swarmed by people chanting for the fall of Lebanon's government and pleading for international aid.

Why it matters: Lebanon is at a breaking point. Its economy was collapsing and its government hardly functioning — all before a massive explosion destroyed swathes of the capital city, including its vital port.

3 hours ago - Sports

The PGA Championship is golf's first major in over a year

Photo: Gary Kellner/PGA of America via Getty Images

The 2020 PGA Championship tees off Thursday at San Francisco's TPC Harding Park, which is hosting its first-ever major.

Why it matters: It's the first major in more than a year — and the first of seven majors in the next 12 months. Though there won't be any fans in attendance, the excitement is palpable.