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Sears chairman Eddie Lampert reportedly submitted a $4.6 billion bid to buy the company and potentially save it from liquidation on Friday, hours before the deadline, according to CNBC and Reuters.

The big picture: Lampert, who has received at least part of the blame for the department store chain’s demise, heads the hedge fund that is the retailer’s biggest creditor and owns equity in the company. Investors have until Jan. 4 to determine whether his hedge fund, ESL Investments, is a qualified buyer. After that, the bid will be weighed against liquidation offers to determine whether the chain will be kept alive or closed down permanently.

  • The retail giant filed for bankruptcy in October and announced Friday it would close an additional 80 stores in March — bringing the total number of closures to 260.

Go deeper: How sluggishness killed Sears

Editor's note: This piece was corrected to show Lampert reportedly submitted a $4.6 billion bid (not $4.6 million bid).

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Postal workers' union endorses Biden

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The National Association of Letter Carriers, the union representing roughly 300,000 current and former postal workers, on Friday endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, calling him "a fierce ally and defender of the U.S. Postal Service," reports NBC News.

Why it matters: The endorsement comes as President Trump has vowed to block additional funding for the USPS in the next coronavirus stimulus package, linking it to his continued baseless claims that increased mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud.

Lawmakers demand answers from World Bank on Xinjiang loan

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. lawmakers are demanding answers from the World Bank about its continued operation of a $50 million loan program in Xinjiang, following Axios reporting on the loans.

Why it matters: The Chinese government is currently waging a campaign of cultural and demographic genocide against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, in northwest China. The lawmakers contend that the recipients of the loans may be complicit in that repression.

Obama: Americans could be "collateral damage" in Trump's war on mail-in voting

Photo: Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama tweeted Friday that everyday Americans could become "collateral damage" if President Trump continues to attempt to slash funding for the U.S. Postal Service as part of his campaign against mail-in voting.

Why it matters: Trump linked his baseless claims that increased mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud on Thursday to the current impasse in coronavirus stimulus negotiations.