Johnson & Johnson is one of the five defendants listed in the lawsuit. Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Safe Kids Worldwide

The Department of Justice is investigating claims from a lawsuit that five big drug and medical device companies operating in Iraq provided free medicine and supplies to the government while knowing they "would be used to underwrite terrorist attacks on American troops." the New York Times reports.

The details: The lawsuit — filed on behalf of American troops who sustained injuries or were killed between 2005 and 2009 — targets Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Roche Holding A.G., the Times reports. It alleges the free goods provided by the companies to the Iraqi Ministry of Health were sold "on Iraq's black market to fund" attacks on U.S. forces. The plaintiffs have also alleged the defendants made cash payments through their use of local scientific bureaus.

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Case growth outpacing testing in coronavirus hotspots

Data: The COVID Tracking Project. Note: Vermont and Hawaii were not included because they have fewer than 20 cases per day. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't due to increased testing — particularly not where cases have grown fastest over the last month.

Why it matters: The U.S. doesn't yet know what it looks like when a pandemic rages on relatively unchecked after the health system has become overwhelmed. It may be about to find out.

The impending retail apocalypse

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Because of the coronavirus and people's buying habits moving online, retail stores are closing everywhere — often for good.

Why it matters: Malls are going belly up. Familiar names like J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and J. Crew have filed for bankruptcy. Increasingly, Americans' shopping choices will boil down to a handful of internet Everything Stores and survival-of-the-fittest national chains.

Biden campaign using Instagram to mobilize celebrity supporters

Collins appears on the Build live interview series in November 2019. Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

The Biden campaign is launching a new initiative today that will draft Hollywood celebrities for Instagram Live chats with campaign officials and other Biden supporters.

Why it matters: The campaign, called #TeamJoeTalks, is an attempt to open up a new front on social media, drawing on celebrities’ Instagram followers to help find and motivate voters while large parts of the country remain locked down.