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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

Go deeper

GOP leaders skip Trump sendoff in favor of church with Biden

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in July. Photo by Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images

Congressional leaders, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will skip President Trump's departure ceremony in Maryland tomorrow morning in favor of attending mass with incoming President Joe Biden ahead of his inauguration, congressional sources familiar with their plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: Their decision is a clear sign of unity before Biden takes the oath of office.

12 mins ago - World

U.S. declares China's actions against Uighurs "genocide"

A protester in London. Photo Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency via Getty

With just one day left in President Trump's term, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has officially determined that China's campaign of mass internment, forced labor and forced sterilization of over 1 million Muslim minorities in Xinjiang constitutes "genocide" and "crimes against humanity."

Why it matters: The U.S. has become the first country to adopt these terms to describe the Chinese Communist Party's gross human rights abuses in its far northwest.

Biden's pick for intel chief commits to public assessment of QAnon threat

Avril Haines, President-elect Biden's nominee for director of national intelligence, pledged at her Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday to conduct a public assessment of the threat of the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory.

Why it matters: Many members of the pro-Trump mob involved in the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol siege were seen sporting symbols referencing QAnon, a sprawling and baseless conspiracy theory that purports that President Trump is fighting a vast deep-state cabal of pedophiles.