Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The criminal charges against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort that a jury couldn't come to a decision on in August were dropped Friday as to move him closer to sentencing, Reuters reports.

The details: The prosecutors had hoped to re-visit the charges after Manafort's cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller concluded, per Reuters, but U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis said he was "not willing to go on endlessly," and wanted to move forward with Manafort's sentencing. The charges that were dropped are allowed to be re-introduced at a later date.

What's next: The sentence Manafort receives may be reduced depending on what he brings of value to Mueller's investigation. His sentencing date was set for February 8.

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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.