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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With a new $1 billion investment, Amazon is doubling down on its India bet.

The big picture: India has the world's fastest growing e-commerce market, and retail giants from America and China are battling each other as well as homegrown Indian rivals to dominate it.

This week, Jeff Bezos donned traditional garb and visited Delhi for a two-day event with Amazon India and local sellers. He announced a $1 billion investment toward digitizing small businesses in India and bringing 10 million of them online by 2025, per Quartz.

  • Add that to the nearly $6 billion Amazon has already poured into India.

Background: As we've reported, Amazon has become a target for activists and regulators alike, and that turbulence followed Bezos to India. People gathered near where Bezos was speaking to protest the investment, saying Amazon's discounts will put smaller retailers out of business. At the same time, India's antitrust regulator has opened an investigation into the e-commerce behemoth.

Go deeper: Amazon hits a speed bump with India's new e-commerce rules

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 8 mins ago - Health

Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The travel bans and border closures prompted by the Omicron variant likely won't fully prevent its spread, but that won't stop countries from leaning on the measures.

Why it matters: The rapid speed at which countries turned to travel bans with the emergence of Omicron indicates border controls will increasingly become a weapon against infectious disease — whether or not public health experts agree they are effective.

28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

GOP fights itself on shutdown politics

Reporters question Senate Minority Whip John Thune before the Republican Party's weekly lunch on Tuesday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are scrambling to reach a deal with a bloc of 15 Senate Republicans threatening a government shutdown to force a fight over the Biden administration's vaccine mandates.

Why it matters: The push to defund the mandates — by holding the short-term government funding bill hostageis largely symbolic, and highly controversial within the Republican Party. A shutdown as early as midnight Friday could trigger everything from national park closures to delays in receiving Social Security checks.

Stacey Abrams launches second campaign for Georgia governor

Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams, voting rights activist and former 2018 candidate for Georgia governor, is running for the position again in 2022. Abrams would be the first Black female governor in the country.

Why it matters: Abrams caught national attention in 2018 by narrowly losing an election to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in a state held firmly by the GOP for nearly two decades.