Happy Sunday! Axios AM brings you what matters, in Smart Brevity. (Today: 1,193 words!)
Amazon has an automated system to track productivity at its fulfillment centers:
Axios' Erica Pandey recently spent an afternoon at the 1-million-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore, where more than 2,500 workers pack and ship orders every day.
Pandey tried packing two boxes at the station where associates stand for 10-hour shifts. She writes:
What's next: The orange things near the floor in the photo above are robots.
What's new: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris both outspent President Trump's campaign on Google and Facebook this month, Axios' Sara Fischer reports.
The task of cleaning up toxic content sometimes brings Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer to tears, the N.Y. Times' Cade Metz and Mike Isaac write:
In two of the interviews, he started with an optimistic message that A.I. could be the solution, before becoming emotional.
At one point, he said coming to work had sometimes become a struggle. Each time, he choked up when discussing the scale of the issues that Facebook was confronting and his responsibilities in changing them.
Joe Biden tosses his jacket as he takes the stage for his campaign kickoff rally in Philadelphia yesterday.
What's new: Former President Jimmy Carter, six administrations later, is re-emerging from political obscurity at age 94 to win over his fellow Democrats once again, AP's Bill Barrow writes:
Why it matters: It's quite a turnabout for a man who largely receded from party politics after his presidency, often without being missed by his party's leaders in Washington, where he was an outsider even as a White House resident.
Fun fact: Carter voted for Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in Georgia's 2016 presidential primary.
"The United States and China are contesting every domain, from semiconductors to submarines and from blockbuster films to lunar exploration," The Economist writes in its cover story:
Why it matters: "The potential for catastrophe looms."
What's new: Australians were shell-shocked by elections yesterday that kept Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his center-right Liberal party in power, Jonathan Swan tells me.
Be smart: Morrison is staunchly pro-Trump.
Behind the scenes: Trump knows Morrison as the guy who “stopped the boats,” per a source with direct knowledge.
The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center launched a $25 million drive for permanent gallery space on the National Mall, AP's Janie Har reports.
Be smart: Asian Americans are the nation's fastest-growing minority.
In a rare honor for a journalist, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) will speak Thursday at a memorial service for Robert Pear, a quiet New York Times reporter whose scoops on health care and the budget filled the paper's lead column when I was growing up.
What's next: The service will be Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at the Newseum in Washington, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. The Times says all are welcome.
No spoilers! Ahead of tonight's series finale of HBO's "Game of Thrones," N.Y. Times TV critic James Poniewozik has an astute take on "the signature show of an era when no one agrees on anything":
[I]t was a mass-market hit for the era of no social consensus. What made "Game of Thrones" emblematic of its time is how it divided its audience, ... right down to the matter of what a happy ending would even constitute.
It gave its intense fandom multiple angles: ... whether it kept faith with the popular novels it was based on; whether it reveled in brutality in the name of critiquing it; whether it well-served its female characters or exploited them; and whether it lost control of its story as it sprinted to the finish.
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