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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Microsoft secured a $10 billion cloud computing contract from the Pentagon on Friday, CNBC reports, beating competitors like Amazon to a lucrative 10-year contract.

Why it matters, via Axios' Ina Fried: This giant deal has been a hard fought battle, as Oracle and IBM previously held hopes they could win the cloud computing prize.

Background: A dozen GOP members of Congress sent President Trump a letter in July urging him to delay the Pentagon's plan to award its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract to a single company.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Scott Rosenberg: The president's outspoken criticism of Amazon and its founder put the Pentagon in a tough place however the choice came down. If the government went with Amazon, it might have raised Trump's ire, but now that it is rejecting the company, it will inevitably be accused of politicizing the choice.

What they're saying:

“We’re surprised about this conclusion. AWS is the clear leader in cloud computing, and a detailed assessment purely on the comparative offerings clearly lead to a different conclusion. We remain deeply committed to continuing to innovate for the new digital battlefield where security, efficiency, resiliency, and scalability of resources can be the difference between success and failure.”
— Amazon Web Services statement to Axios

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.