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Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon devices, announces new Alexa products and services. Photo: Grant Hindsley/AFP/Getty Images.

You may have already heard that Amazon Alexa can now be a part of every aspect of your life — including a wall clock. But here are some other stories from the week to catch up on.

Catch up quick: Amazon announced a flood of new Alexa-powered appliances; Lime and Bird pass the 10 million ride mark; Instagram's IGTV algorithm recommended videos of disturbing and graphic content; Facebook is pulling back site support for Donald Trump's 2020 campaign; and Google staff discussed search-related tweaks after 2017 travel ban.

Amazon announced a flood of new Alexa-powered home and car appliances

Why it matters: Journalists soaked up the 80 minutes an Amazon executive gave to announce voice-assistant powered products from microwaves to Alexa in cars. But, Recode's Jason Del Ray writes how amidst the buzz there were no attempts to reassure consumers the potential privacy policy risks that come with the new omniscient Alexa.

Lime and Bird pass the 10 million ride mark

Why it matters: Scooter rentals are seen as the "new ride-hailing" by investors and users alike. At least for now, it looks like Bird and Lime are neck and neck in the race.

Instagram's IGTV algorithm recommended videos of disturbing and graphic content

Why it matters: During a three-week Business Insider investigation, potentially illegal videos of child exploitation and genital mutilation — some with over 1 million views —took five days to be removed. Tech giants like Facebook have been criticized for its inconsistent content moderation. For IGTV, however, the complication isn't only that the material is available to users, but that the algorithm is actively suggesting it.

Unlike in 2016, Facebook is pulling back site support for Donald Trump's 2020 campaign

Why it matters: Facebook was scrutinized by Congress for offering the Trump campaign site support, though Hillary Clinton's campaign was offered the same deal but turned it down. This time around, Facebook is taking a backseat as officials work to improve the company’s political advertising website to give free advice to campaigns more broadly.

Google staff discussed search-related tweaks after 2017 travel ban

Why it matters: "These emails were just a brainstorm of ideas, none of which were ever implemented," according to a Google spokesperson. But the leak will pour gasoline on unproven charges that the company builds anti-conservative bias into its products — right before the Justice Department convenes state attorneys general to talk about the issue. An earlier leak showed Google executives' frustration after the 2016 election.

Worthy of your time: Axios staff compiled this week's deep dive on everything you need to know about 5G. Check it out here.

To stay up to date on tech news, sign up for our Login newsletter and follow along via our daily tech coverage.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

NYC to impose vaccine mandate on private employers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced a new COVID vaccine mandate for private companies during a Monday interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Why it matters: De Blasio said it was a "first-in-the-nation measure" and will go into effect starting Dec. 27.

D.C.-Beijing tensions are shifting markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. markets stand to lose $2 trillion in value if D.C. and Beijing drift further apart.

Why it matters: Political chasms are showing up in new securities regulations that put companies and investors in a bind. The rules are also another reflection of how much relations between the world’s largest economies have cooled, even as they remain economically interdependent. 

5 hours ago - Health
Axios Investigates

Documents reveal the secrecy of America's drug pricing matrix

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

American businesses spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on prescription drugs, and the bills keep getting bigger. But some of the companies promising to help rein in those costs prevent employers from looking under the hood.

Why it matters: Documents provided to Axios reveal a new layer of secrecy within the maze of American drug pricing — one in which firms that manage drug coverage for hundreds of employers, representing millions of workers, obscure the details of their work and make it difficult to figure out whether they're actually providing a good deal.