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Photo: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said at a press conference Saturday that although he is "confident" he is not either of the people in the racist yearbook photo that emerged Friday, he participated in a dance contest in 1984 in which he darkened his skin with shoe polish as part of a Michael Jackson costume.

Details: Northam denied that the "shoe polish" constituted blackface. Northam said his memory of how insensitive he thought the costume was is so strong that he is confident he would have remembered if he appeared in the racist yearbook photo. The governor said he saw the photo for the first time when his staff showed it to him yesterday, and that he did not purchase the yearbook.

Go deeper: Ralph Northam's yearbook scandal grows with new blackface admission

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
11 mins ago - Economy & Business

Stock buybacks are kicking back into high gear

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It was expected that with the economy improving and company balance sheets already loaded with cash, U.S. firms would slow down their debt issuance in 2021 after setting records in 2020. But just the opposite has happened.

Why it matters: Companies generally issue bonds for one of two reasons — because they're worried about not having enough cash to cover their expenses or because they want to lever up and make risky bets.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Japan vows deeper emissions cuts ahead of White House summit

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Japan on Thursday said it will seek to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 46% below 2013 levels by 2030, per the AP and other outlets.

Why it matters: The country is the world's fifth-largest largest carbon dioxide emitter and a major consumer of coal, oil and natural gas.

2 hours ago - Technology

The global race to regulate AI

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Regulators in Europe and Washington are racing to figure out how to govern business' use of artificial intelligence while companies push to deploy the technology.

Driving the news: On Wednesday, the EU revealed a detailed proposal on how AI should be regulated, banning some uses outright and defining which uses of AI are deemed "high-risk."