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AP

A decade ago, Cyber Monday was embraced by online retailers as a strategy to capture the business of shoppers who were using their office broadband to catch up on holiday shopping after Thanksgiving break.

  • But what started as a way to attract the attention of small segment of shoppers has turned into a Frankenstein's monster that eclipses even Black Friday in terms of total sales and has strained the websites and logistics networks of some of America's biggest retailers, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: It's cheaper for retailers to spread out extra holiday traffic evenly throughout the prime holiday shopping season, so retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy have already initiated steep discounts on popular items, hoping to avoid surges in traffic that caused trouble for websites of Target, Macy's and Gap in 2015 and 2016.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
11 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.