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Toshiba

Apple and Amazon are joining forces to support Foxconn's takeover bid for Toshiba Corp.'s semiconductors business, according to a Nikkei interview with Foxconn CEO Terry Gou. Specific financial details of the arrangement are unclear.

Why it's a big deal: This is the world's second-largest maker of NAND-type flash memory chips, and could be valued at more than $18 billion. Moreover, Japan's Toshiba needs the sale proceeds to help cover the massive losses from its U.S. nuclear energy unit (Westinghouse).

Uphill climb: Foxconn is viewed as an underdog in the auction, due to its Chinese government ties, so adding Apple and Amazon might lighten the geopolitical burden a bit. But it's still a long shot, as its rival bidder is led by a Japanese public-private investment partnership (INCJ), which is working with U.S. private equity firm KKR and, possibly, Western Digital (which jointly operates Toshiba's main NAND chips factory). There also is at least one other formal bid, from the pairing of Broadcom and private equity firm Silver Lake.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 3 hours ago - Technology

A dark view of the future of autonomous weapons

A still from the video "If Human: Kill ( )." Image: Future of Life Institute

A new short film warns of the coming risks posed by the development and proliferation of lethal autonomous weapons.

Why it matters: Drones with the ability to autonomously target and kill without the assistance of a human operator are reportedly already being used on battlefields, and time is running out to craft a global ban of what could be a destabilizing and terrifying new class of weapon.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.