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A Ring security camera system. Photo: Glenn Chapman/AFP via Getty Images

For retailers, Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday buying season with Black Friday and Cyber Monday in quick succession — but Amazon has some difficult business to deal with before it can start celebrating.

What's new: This week, fresh reports cast further doubts on the company's handling of working conditions at its warehouses and surveillance questions related to its Ring doorbell-cameras.

Driving the news:

  • The Intercept reports that Ring was developing a "watch list" feature driven by facial recognition software as well as a mechanism for owners to be notified of potentially suspicious activity. A company spokesperson told Axios that "nothing he's described is in development or in use today."
  • Gizmodo detailed "staggering" high worker injury rates at a New York warehouse. A report in the Atlantic places the blame on "ruthless quotas" imposed by the company on its workers.
  • Meanwhile, a new report this week from the Center for Investigative Reporting suggests Indiana officials manipulated the state's investigation into an Amazon worker's death to promote the region's bid for the company's HQ2 office.

Why it matters: Amazon has grown into arguably the world's largest retailer, and in the U.S. its vast reach online and off touches a huge percentage of households. Though the company has so far escaped the kind of public outcry that Facebook has encountered, it's becoming an increasingly prominent target for investigations by both media and regulators.

Go deeper: What Amazon knows about you

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.