Walmart is launching a technology-startup incubator — called Store No. 8 — in Silicon Valley to focus on revamping its retail experience with new innovations like virtual reality, autonomous vehicles, drone delivery and personalized shopping. The retailer is hoping that move, which e-commerce CEO Mark Lore announced Monday at the ShopTalk conference in Las Vegas, will give the company a competitive edge over Amazon.

Why it matters: Store No. 8 is the latest for Walmart in its hot e-commerce streak. In the last two months alone, Walmart has bought three online retailers — ModCloth, ShoeBuy, and Moosejaw — to help diversify its online presence. And Lore, whose store Walmart bought last year for $3 billion, has been spearheading the growth.

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The next cliff for the unemployed

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A program supporting Americans who are typically ineligible for unemployment benefits will expire at the end of the year, with millions still relying on it as the labor market sputters.

Why it matters: The result could be catastrophic for the economic recovery that Wall Street fears is already fragile.

The apocalypse scenario

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democratic lawyers are preparing to challenge any effort by President Trump to swap electors chosen by voters with electors selected by Republican-controlled legislatures. One state of particular concern: Pennsylvania, where the GOP controls the state house.

Why it matters: Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, together with a widely circulated article in The Atlantic about how bad the worst-case scenarios could get, is drawing new attention to the brutal fights that could jeopardize a final outcome.

Federal judge rules Trump administration can't end census early

Census workers outside Lincoln Center in New York. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled late Thursday that the Trump administration could not end the 2020 census a month early.

Why it matters: The decision states that an early end — on Sept. 30, instead of Oct. 31 — would likely produce inaccuracies and thus impact political representation and government funding around the country.

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