Photo: Michal Fludra/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Prospective McDonald's employees can now be directed to start an application via voice commands with Amazon's Alexa or Google Assistant, reports the AP.

Why it matters: The recruiting move helps McDonald's stand out in a U.S. labor market that has an unemployment rate of 3.7%. McDonald's is the first direct employer to use such a technology, which it developed itself.

The big picture: The fast food giant is trying to use tech to streamline every aspect of its business model.

  • McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook wants to turn the fast food chain into "the Amazon of excess sodium" by leaning into improved delivery technologies and machine learning, writes Bloomberg Businessweek.
  • Some franchisees have "balked at the costs of implementing [Easterbook's] vision, which includes drive-thrus equipped with license-plate scanners (the better to recall one’s previous purchases) and touchscreen kiosks that could ultimately suggest menu items based on the weather," per Bloomberg.

State of play: "Only a handful of other companies in the S&P 500, almost all of them California technology suppliers such as semiconductor giant Advanced Micro Devices and chipmaker Nvidia, have outperformed McDonald’s returns since" Easterbrook's ascension to the top job in 2015.

Go deeper: McDonald's latest acquisition is a game changer

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

4 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.