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I've got 1,087 words for you this evening — a 4-minute read. To start...
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
In 2020, malls are trying to make a comeback — but with a twist.
Why it matters: Over the past few years, experts warned of a retail apocalypse and a massacre of malls that hasn't really happened — at least not the way they said it would.
Driving the news: In March, American Dream — a 3 million-square-foot mall in New Jersey 20 or so years in the making — will be fully open. At a time when malls are struggling to find tenants, American Dream has already leased 90% of its storefronts, per the newsletter Retail Brew.
What sets American Dream apart from the dying malls of the last century is that it's just 45% retail. The other 55% of the mall's square footage will be entertainment options — from a hockey rink to an amusement park.
That trend is strengthening across the country, says Todd Caruso, a senior managing director and retail expert at real estate company CBRE.
The big picture: As e-commerce keeps taking a larger share of retail, some of the most resilient main street and mall tenants have been gyms, tattoo parlors and nail salons, all of which offer services that can't move online.
Yes, but: The death of malls may be overstated, but e-commerce continues to hack away at physical retail.
The bottom line: The mall comeback is uneven — it's still largely limited to cities and wealthy suburbs, experts say.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
This month, 7 million American workers will see raises as minimum wage hikes in 21 states and 26 cities go into effect.
Why it matters: As we've reported, nearly half of U.S. workers are stuck in low-paying jobs with wages that haven't kept up with inflation. New laws raising the minimum wage are beginning to chip away at the crisis.
The momentum with which wages at the lower end of the spectrum are increasing is unprecedented, says Yannet Lathrop, author of a new report on wages from the National Employment Law Project. "For workers in the 20th percentile of earners, minimum wage hikes have really helped boost pay."
By the numbers: Lathrop has tracked wage laws between 2012, when the worker-led "Fight for $15" began and turned $15 into the new standard for minimum wage, and 2018.
But, but, but: In several cities — Washington, D.C., New York and San Francisco among them — where there are millions of low-wage workers in the service industry and beyond, even $15 an hour doesn't constitute a living wage. "You need to go even higher," Lathrop says.
Go deeper: The cost of living across the U.S., mapped
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Two new studies highlight artificial intelligence's potential to improve patient care, specifically by aiding or improving cancer detection, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.
Why it matters: AI could create enormous benefits for patients and the doctors who treat them, but some experts warn the explosion of new health technology could put some patients in danger, as the LA Times and Kaiser Health News recently reported.
Driving the news: Brain surgeons are using AI and new imaging techniques to diagnose brain tumors just as accurately as human doctors, but much faster, according to a study published Monday in Nature Medicine.
Yes, but: "Many health industry experts fear AI-based products won’t be able to match the hype," Liz Szabo of Kaiser Health News writes.
Go deeper: Medical AI has a big data problem
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
Tech's 2020 fights (Scott Rosenberg — Axios)
America killed lunch (Sarah Holder — CityLab)
Hollywood's uneasy relationship with Big Tech (Adam Epstein — Quartz)
What's causing Australia's devastating fires? (Scott Johnson — Ars Technica)
AI that reflects American values (Michael Kratsios — Bloomberg Opinion)
Muktinath, Mustang, Nepal. Photo: Frank Bienewald/LightRocket/Getty Images
There are just around 700 people in the world who can speak Seke, a dialect in five villages in the Himalayan district of Mustang in Nepal.
About 100 of them live between two apartment buildings in Flatbush, Brooklyn, the New York Times' Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura writes.
Why it matters: Seke is a solely spoken language, and linguists say it could disappear within a generation, per Freytas-Tamura. And as the world's rare languages go extinct, the idioms, stories and traditions associated with the people who spoke them disappear, too.
Staggering stat: It's not surprising that one of the rarest tongues on Earth is spoken in New York City. There are 637 languages spoken across the city's five boroughs and New Jersey, according to the Endangered Language Alliance.
Thanks for reading!