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iLighter

As 9to5Google first reported, today Google's Alphabet Inc.'s X research lab announced it had shut down Titan sometime in 2016, scratching efforts to stream internet from the sky. Alphabet canceled the project due to insurmountable technological and economic hurdles.

Why this matters: This fits with trends at Alphabet (formerly Google) to rein in moonshot projects and their high costs. Waymo, Alphabet's renamed Self-Driving Car Project, spun off from the parent company to monetize its technology in late 2016. And last year Alphabet halted Google Fiber's future plans, and reorganized employees in Project Wing. Alphabet also lostseveral executives in the last year.

What we're watching: Other X projects. Project Loon, pictured above, a scheme to beam internet from high-altitude balloons (sounds familiar) and Project Wing, which would use drones for deliveries.

Go deeper

Progressives pressure Schumer to end filibuster

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

A progressive coalition is pressuring Chuck Schumer on his home turf by running a digital billboard in Times Square urging the new majority leader to end the Senate filibuster.

Why it matters: Schumer is up for re-election in 2o22 and could face a challenger, and he's also spearheading his party's broader effort to hold onto its narrow congressional majorities.

4 hours ago - Health

U.S. surpasses 25 million COVID cases

A mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 22 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S has confirmed more than 25 million coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data updated on Sunday.

The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

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