Jan 25, 2018

George Soros joins the techlash

Soros in Berlin in 2017. Photo: Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Billionaire philanthropist George Soros wants "more stringent regulations" on Big Tech, BuzzFeed's Ben Smith reports from Davos. Speaking at a dinner on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, Soros called Facebook and Google "ever more powerful monopolies."

The backdrop: There's an ongoing fight against the influence of tech giants in response to crises over fake news, tech addiction and data security. Soros — a frequent political target of the right — suggests regulating tech companies like public utilities to preserve "competition, innovation, and fair and open universal access" as a solution.

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MLB's Rob Manfred is latest villain in Astros' cheating scandal

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred's decision to grant Astros players immunity in exchange for confessions about their sign-stealing scheme has undermined his reputation — and he only made himself look worse on Sunday.

The interview: In a 45-minute conversation with ESPN, Manfred asserted that public shame was punishment enough for the Astros. He also called the World Series trophy "just a piece of metal" and said that taking a title away from Houston "seems like a futile act."

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Economists warn coronavirus risk far worse than realized

Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Worries are growing that the economic impact from the novel coronavirus outbreak will be worse than expected and that markets are being too complacent in factoring it in as a risk.

What's happening: The number of confirmed cases has already far outpaced expectations and even those reports are being viewed through a lens of suspicion that the Chinese government is underreporting the figures.

National newspapers thrive while local outlets struggle to survive

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

While big national newspapers grow stronger, local newspaper chains that have for decades kept the vast majority of the country informed are combusting.

Why it matters: The inequity between giants like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and their local counterparts represents a growing problem in America as local communities no longer have the power to set the agenda for the news that most affects them.