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

Former Afghanistan commander Stanley McChrystal endorses Joe Biden

Ret. Gen. Stanley McChrystal endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president on MSNBC Thursday.

Why it matters: McChrystal came under fire in 2010 during the Obama administration after a Rolling Stone article quoted him as mocking some top civilian officials — including Biden. The general apologized to Biden but was ultimately pushed to resign.

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

The holiday shopping season will now begin in October

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Amazon's decision to move its Prime Day to Oct. 13–14 this year will pull the whole holiday shopping season forward by more than a month and help make online retail bigger than ever, as more families shop electronically and jostle to get presents purchased ahead of December holidays.

Why it matters: The reality of the coronavirus pandemic pushing people toward e-commerce combined with the pull of Amazon Prime Day and the Christmas shopping season this year are setting up a bonanza for retailers — but only those with the ability to offer steep discounts, delivery and an attractive online platform.

Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:45 a.m. ET: 34,010,539 — Total deaths: 1,014,958 — Total recoveries: 23,662,200Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:45 a.m. ET: 7,234,257 — Total deaths: 206,963 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Alarming vaccine skepticism. Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.

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