Whole Foods near Axios World HQ in Arlington, Va., on Day 2 of Amazon control

"Amazon, Google, Microsoft racing to make their virtual assistants more powerful and pervasive," per Wall Street Journal front-pager by Laura Stevens and Tripp Mickle:

  • "Amazon is adding hundreds of engineers to the Alexa program and giving it hiring preference over other divisions."
  • "Apple still has the greatest reach among voice assistants, with Siri accessed monthly on more than 375 million Apple devices across 36 countries."
  • Amazon also has been aggressively signing deals with other companies to add Alexa to products ranging from Ford Motor Co.cars to Sears Holdings Corp.'s Kenmore refrigerators."
  • "Google said this week that it would open its assistant to other speaker makers including Sony Corp. , and to appliance makers like LG Electronics Inc., to incorporate the assistant into dryers and vacuums."

Go deeper

Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 12,528,449 — Total deaths: 560,921 — Total recoveries — 6,907,072Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 3,187,270 — Total deaths: 134,117 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,856,341Map.
  3. Public health: We're losing the war on the coronavirusThe reality of the coronavirus bites.
  4. Business: Trump says he's no longer considering phase-two trade deal with China because the pandemic damaged the two countries' relationship — How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.

Romney calls Stone commutation "historic corruption"

Sen. Mitt Romney. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Saturday tweeted a scathing response to President Trump's Friday night commutation of former associate Roger Stone's prison sentence, calling the move "[u]nprecedented, historic corruption."

Why it matters: Romney has emerged as the party's most prominent Trump critic. He sent shockwaves through Washington after announcing he would vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial — becoming the only Senate Republican to break ranks and vote for the president's removal from office. Now he is the first major GOP lawmaker to condemn Trump's Friday night call regarding Stone.

4 hours ago - Health

We're losing the war on the coronavirus

Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

By any standard, no matter how you look at it, the U.S. is losing its war against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The pandemic is not an abstraction, and it is not something that’s simmering in the background. It is an ongoing emergency ravaging nearly the entire country, with a loss of life equivalent to a Sept. 11 every three days — for four months and counting.