Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

President Trump has filled far fewer science and technology government positions than Presidents Obama and Bush had when they were a little over four months into their respective terms, per the Washington Post. Currently, 85% of these positions in Trump's government are unfilled.

Why it matters: Trump is proposing budget cuts of 31% to the EPA and 18% to the National Institute of Health. But as his administration handles environmental and other science-related issues, there are few field experts in advisory positions. Last month, Trump made the decision to leave the Paris Accord without these key science positions filled.

The numbers: Trump has thus far announced nominees for seven of 46 science jobs requiring senate confirmation, compared to Obama's 25 and Bush's 12. One unfilled position, the Post reports, is that of the presidential advisor who would brief Trump on all science and tech matters as they relate to policy. Obama had filled this position by June of his first term.

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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.