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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

CES, the annual January trade show in Las Vegas, is many things: a great place to catch up with leaders from throughout the tech industry, a decent chance to spot broad trends and an opportunity to hear stump speeches from big-name CEOs trying to get their companies seen as tech leaders.

What it's not, though, is a place for the most important tech announcements of the year. Companies like Apple, Google and Samsung prefer to launch key products in a less noisy environment, at their own private events.

Yes, but: Of course there will be plenty of product news at the show.

The big picture: One key role for CES these days is as a showcase for companies and leaders who aren't known for being at the forefront of technology — but want to be.

  • This year's speakers include presidential daughter/aide Ivanka Trump, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Daimler Chairman Ola Källenius and Delta CEO Ed Bastian.

Between the lines: CES is traditionally devoted to the worship of novel tech. It will be fascinating to see how the show copes with today's changed environment, in which the public is increasingly interested not just in seeing new gadgets, but in how new products affect security, privacy and human rights.

  • Expect a lot of talk along these lines about the positive impact tech companies can have.

What's new: There will be a few new conference tracks added this year addressing topics such as gaming, voice, drones and tourism. The list speaks to how diverse (and perhaps how bloated) the conference has gotten. 

  • Axios will have you covered, with Joann Muller, Kia Kokalitcheva, Sara Fischer and me on the ground in Vegas and sharing our thoughts in Login and at Axios.com starting on Sunday.
  • And our own Mike Allen will be talking about brands, politics and the media.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 16 mins ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Updated 42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden calls Fox News reporter a "stupid son of a b---h" on hot mic

President Biden blasted Fox News' Peter Doocy on Monday after the reporter asked if the nation's soaring inflation is a political liability, saying, "what a stupid son of a b----h."

The latest: The president called Doocy Monday evening, the reporter told Fox's Sean Hannity. "He cleared the air and I appreciated it. We had a nice call," Doocy said when asked whether the president apologized, adding: "I don't need anyone to apologize to me."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker