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After more than a year-and-a-half probe, the Federal Trade Commission voted to approve approximately $5 billion in settlement fees with Facebook this week, a source familiar with the case confirmed to the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters via Axios' David McCabe: A settlement of the long-running investigation would move the global debate over online privacy into a new phase, sparked, in part, by revelations about Facebook's treatment of user data. The $5 billion fine would represent the largest ever of its kind.

  • FTC commissioners reportedly voted along party lines, with 3 Republicans in support of the settlement and 2 Democrats opposed.

What's next: The final settlement will likely include further guidance on Facebook's management of user privacy. The issue will be reviewed by the Justice Department’s civil division.

  • Both the FTC and a Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.

Go deeper: How to read a Facebook privacy settlement

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Doomsday has arrived for tens of thousands of workers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Federal coronavirus aid for airlines expires on Thursday with no renewal in sight, meaning massive layoffs for the industry aren't far behind.

The big picture: Airline workers aren't alone on the unemployment line. Oil companies, tire manufacturers, book publishers and insurers are among those that have announced tens of thousands of layoffs. Federal aid through the CARES Act earlier this year delayed most layoffs — until now.

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Uncertainty can be hard for humans. It drives anxiety, an emotion neuroscientists are trying to understand and psychologists are trying to better treat.

Why it matters: Under the threat of a virus, job insecurity, election uncertainty, and a general pandemic life-in-limbo that is upending school, holidays and more, people are especially anxious.

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 7,255,546 — Total deaths: 207,374 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
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