Amazon is announcing a new program today that will allow people to create their own games and other programs for their Alexa-powered devices.

Why it matters: The move — part of Amazon's ever-growing expansion plans — could both boost loyalty to Amazon's platform and help people make their own devices more useful.

The details:

  • The so-called "blueprints" can do things like have recorded info for babysitters or house guests, create flash cards and play customized trivia games.
  • Developing traditional Alexa skills requires some amount of coding. At a briefing last month, I was able to write a basic Alexa skill — with some help — in a couple of hours. By contrast, these blueprints allow people to have custom apps in minutes — no coding required.

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Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19 — 7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  6. World: England sets £10,000 fine for breaking self-isolation rules — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

Biden raises $141 million more than Trump

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks during a September campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign, the Democratic National Committee and joint fundraising committees raised $466 million cash on hand, the presidential candidate's team announced late Sunday.

Why it matters: President Trump's campaign raised $325 million, his campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh announced Friday. In the spring, Biden was $187 million behind Trump and the Republican National Committee.

Virtual Emmys address chaotic year for American TV and society

Emmy Host Jimmy Kimmel during rehearsals Friday for the 72nd Annual Emmy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Photo: Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Emmy Awards Sunday night addressed the major U.S. issues this year — including the protests on systemic racism and police brutality, the wildfires engulfing parts of the West Coast, the census, the pandemic, essential works and the election.

Why it matters: Award shows have always addressed wider cultural issues, but this year — amid unprecedented stress and uncertainty — that trend has accelerated.