January 2016 concept car (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/AP)

Two years ago, a Chinese-backed company called Faraday Future surfaced in California with a billion dollars, stole two executives from Tesla and one from SpaceX, and at once was a challenger for dominance in the fashionable end of electric cars. It showed off outlandishly designed concept cars (like that above), and even matched Tesla by negotiating a tax-incentivized deal to build an enormous factory in Nevada.

All this has fallen apart with a Shanghai court's decision last week to freeze the assets of Faraday's main backer, Jia Yueting, and Faraday's abandonment of the plan to build a plant in Nevada, per Fortune. Tesla, meanwhile, is barreling ahead with the first customer deliveries of its mainstream-priced Model 3 later this month.

Why it matters: You are witnessing the downhill side of a free-for-all that built into an apex last year in electric cars and advanced batteries. Now, companies are falling by the wayside, and the strongest pushing forward. Yet we are only at the beginning of the curve of finding out whether mainstream buyers will buy large numbers of electrics.

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Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  3. Business: Surge is sinking consumer confidence Testing is a windfall.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month Putin mandates face masks.

Parties trade election influence accusations at Big Tech hearing

Photo: Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

A Senate hearing Wednesday with Big Tech CEOs became the backdrop for Democrats and Republicans to swap accusations of inappropriate electioneering.

Why it matters: Once staid tech policy debates are quickly becoming a major focal point of American culture and political wars, as both parties fret about the impact of massive social networks being the new public square.

1 hour ago - World

Germany goes back into lockdown

Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will enact one of Europe's strictest coronavirus lockdowns since spring, closing bars and restaurants nationwide for most of November, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Germany is the latest European country to reimpose some form of lockdown measures amid a surge in cases across the continent.