Columbus Day sales, unlike Labor Day sales or even Fourth of July sales, aren’t really a thing. If you consider it for a second—and remind yourself that Christopher Columbus was a monster who didn’t discover anything—you realize Columbus Day shouldn’t really even be a holiday. This year’s “holiday,” which we will now only refer to as Indigenous Peoples Day, is even stranger, thanks to its proximity to a delayed Amazon Prime Day. The mega-retailer will flex its muscle with an onslaught of discounts literally the day after the occasion. Based on our initial scans, it seems like most of the other tech and home goods retailers are holding their sale cards close to the chest, waiting to unleash their best deals until Prime Day begins in earnest. But for now, there’s still some decent price drops available on a range of gear, especially home tech and furniture upgrades. Here’s some of the best sales we could find, all available to shop this weekend.
Looking for Columbus Day sales on menswear? Here you go! How about mattresses? Yes, we’ve got you covered.
Apple: Apple isn’t running its own fall sale, but if you’re a student or educator you can get free AirPods with the purchase of a new Mac or iPad through the company’s Back to School offer.
Best Buy: Best Buy’s sale section is stocked with decent TVs, laptops, and appliances.
Walmart: The big box retailer doesn’t have a headline grabbing sale going on right now, but it’s still a good place to check if you’re in the market for a new laptop or robot vacuum.
Kitchen and Cookware
Sur La Table: Sur La Table’s sale section is stocked with cookware and kitchen tools, including a bunch of gear from the Le Creuset.
Williams Sonoma: Take an extra
California’s expansive August Complex Fire is now a gigafire — a term for a blaze that burns at least a million acres of land.
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1. White House
President Trump says he has ordered his negotiators to stop discussing a new stimulus deal until after the election. His announcement sent stocks plunging and sparked new uncertainty among people in particularly hard-hit industries, like airlines. While Congress has butted heads for months over stimulus proposals, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin seemed to be mounting a strong new effort to get a deal done soon. Now, experts warn of what may happen to the economy with further aid still on hold. Meanwhile, Stephen Miller, a top Trump policy adviser, is the latest White House official to test positive for coronavirus. The White House said it has completed “all contact tracing” for positive Covid-19 cases among its ranks, but given the confusing and sometimes contradictory information released by the administration about the recent outbreak, doubt remains.
Half of US states are now seeing an increase in coronavirus diagnoses, and the country just surpassed a cumulative 7.5 million reported cases. Dr. Anthony Fauci says the US could see 400,000 Covid-19 deaths by this winter if health recommendations continue to be flouted. “Pandemic fatigue,” so to speak, is also a problem in Europe, the World Health Organization warns. Amid this apathy, countries like Germany are seeing their highest number of cases in months. On the vaccine front, the FDA says it will want to see two
But partisan disagreements over next steps may blunt the report’s immediate impact, despite a widespread desire to rein in Silicon Valley titans among both conservative and liberal lawmakers. Several of the committee’s Republicans, led by Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, endorsed some Democrat-backed proposals in a separate report unveiled Tuesday while warning that the majority’s more aggressive recommendations are “non-starters for conservatives.”
The investigation: The subcommittee issued Tuesday’s recommendations in a report that assailed the business practices of Silicon Valley’s most powerful companies, who lawmakers said have unfairly stifled competitors to the detriment of consumers. As part of the probe, lawmakers and staff have collected over a million documents, interviewed hundreds of witnesses and hauled in the companies’ CEOs to testify this summer.
Among other allegations, the panel investigated complaints that tech titans have trampled competitors by acquiring up-and-coming rivals and favoring their own products on the online storefronts they operate, such as Amazon’s Marketplace and Apple’s App Store.
“To put it simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and subcommittee Chair David Cicilline (D-R.I.) said in the report. “Although these firms have delivered clear benefits to society, the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google has come at a price.”
The proposals: The report calls for an array of changes, some of which boast bipartisan support while others have only Democratic backing.
Among them are Democratic proposals to ban major tech platforms from acquiring future startups or potential rivals and barring them from both owning marketplaces — such as Amazon’s sprawling e-commerce hub — and selling competing products on them.
Democratic lawmakers are calling for the U.S. to rein in the power of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, as well as overhauling U.S. antitrust law, in a sweeping report on the the dominance of Big Tech.
The 450-page report, released Tuesday by the House Antitrust Subcommittee, details a range of anticompetitive practices, charging the four companies with acting as gatekeepers, stifling competition, charging “exorbitant” fees and eroding democracy.
“Put simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” the report said.
The panel calls for sharply curtailing tech companies’ power, including force them to spin off their platforms from their other lines of business. This can be done by either splitting up tech companies or by limiting them to a single industry, according to the report.
Under current law, companies active across multiple industries can use their dominance in one area to undercut competition elsewhere. For instance, the committee found that Google’s ownership of the Android smartphone operating system gives it “near-perfect market intelligence” on companies who develop apps for Android, which allows the internet giant to easily create competing apps.
Amazon also uses information on third-party sellers on its popular marketplace to develop competing products, the report found.
“Each platform now serves as a gatekeeper over a key channel of distribution,” the report said. “By controlling access to markets, these giants can pick winners and losers throughout our economy.”
The lawmakers also call for the platforms to be required to offer equal terms for equal products and services for all users. That would prevent companies from favoring their own products on platforms they run, as Amazon has been accused of