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Amazon says it removed several items of racist propaganda from its store in response to questions from a Democratic lawmaker — though white supremacist literature and other propaganda items remain widely available on the site.

After criticism from advocacy groups and Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison about the availability of Nazi-themed toys and baby onesies with pictures of burning crosses on Amazon's website, the company said this week that it had removed several items and banned sellers who had violated its policies.

Smoke fills the horizon over Seattle, contributing to a hazy sunset on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Host Bill Radke talks to Kasey Champion, program manager at Microsoft's Imagine Academy and software engineer, and Geo Quibuyen, aka rapper Prometheus Brown and MC Geologic of the hip hop duo Blue Scholars, about whether their relationship with Seattle is changing. We discuss the essay by Tyrone Beason titled, "I Hate You, Seattle: A Love Story."

Facial recognition software sold by Amazon mistakenly identified 28 members of Congress as people who had been arrested for crimes, the American Civil Liberties Union announced on Thursday.

Amazon Rekognition has been marketed as tool that provides extremely accurate facial analysis through photos and video.

The ACLU tested that assertion by using the software to scan photos of every current member of the House and Senate in a database that the watchdog built from thousands of publicly available arrest photos.

Boxed items are shown on conveyer belts leading to docks where they will be loaded onto trucks at an Amazon fulfillment center on Friday, November 3, 2017, in Kent.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Amazon’s Marketplace still contains products with racist messages, according to two watchdog groups.


PillPack press photo

Amazon has officially charged into the health sector. 

This week, the e-commerce giant purchased an online pharmacy called PillPack and sent shockwaves rippling through the stock market. Investors immediately stripped billions in value from brick-and-mortar pharmacy stocks.

Boxed items are shown on conveyer belts leading to docks where they will be loaded onto trucks at an Amazon fulfillment center on Friday, November 3, 2017, in Kent.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to Geekwire's Todd Bishop about three tech giants that have faced controversy over their contracts with law enforcement and government: Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.

On a cold December night last year, a meeting was called in the lobby of my apartment building. Concerned residents gathered to discuss a matter of great import: what to do about the swarms of packages jamming the lobby closet and overflowing into the entryway.

Unclaimed boxes were an eyesore and a nuisance. Finding the right package was starting to require gymnastic ability. And the boxes kept coming, by the dozens, maybe hundreds. Most of them were from Amazon: brown, with a smile on the side.

Caitlin Lee raises a Tax Amazon sign in front of Seattle City Council members on Monday, May 14, 2018, during a head tax vote at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks about what the compromise head tax means for Seattle with KUOW reporter Carolyn Adolph. We also talk to Todd Biesold, owner and CFO of Merlino Foods, about how the head tax will affect his business.

Emily McArthur reacts on Monday, May 14, 2018, during the head tax vote at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The head tax is happening — but the weakened version passed by the Seattle City Council today won't address the scale of the housing crisis, some council members say.


Seattleites packed a City Hall meeting on Monday, where a vote on the contentious head tax was expected.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A compromise has been struck over the controversial proposed Head Tax by the Seattle City Council. Over the weekend Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez worked with Mayor Jenny Durkan to come up with a plan they could both support. The new plan would raise an estimated $50 million a year instead of the original $75 million.

Sara Bates helps feed homeless people at Edible Hope Kitchen, a ministry of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Ballard.
KUOW Photos / David Hyde

Seattle residents are fighting over homelessness and what to do about it.

When we asked Ballard resident Sara Bates why she believes the issue has divided the community so much, she responded with this story and a question of her own for her neighbors.


Jeff Bezos speaks at the Apollo rocket engine unveiling at The Museum of Flight, showing the injector plate from an F-1 rocket used on Apollo 12.
Courtesy of The Museum of Flight/Ted Huetter

Bill Radke discusses the stories that had people buzzing over the weekend, from a tweet by Jeff Bezos, to the new single from Childish Gambino. Our guests are Valerie Curtis-Newton, professor in acting and directing and head of performance at the University of Washington School of Drama, and Seattle politics blogger Mellina White Cusack, of The Seattle Conservative.

Amazon employees walk in front of a map highlighting 238 cities that submitted bids for Amazon's second headquarters in the lobby of the Day 1 building on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

It started with a tax proposal related to the cost of fast growth. Now it’s become a showdown.

Amazon said it is halting plans for two downtown Seattle office buildings while it waits for the City Council to decide on a head tax.

When it comes to the Olympic-style bidding for Amazon's second headquarters, the nation's capital and its neighbors could have joined together in a united front.

Instead, the District of Columbia and the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia decided to compete against each other.

Tents are shown as people gathered to protest the sweeps of homeless camps in November, 2017, at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Let May 2, 2018, be known as the day that Seattle Nice died.

Oscar Pulkkinen, the author's son, was asked to make Alexa fart for the good of journalism. Instead, he asked the device to make 'an elephant sneeze noise.'
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

I debated whether to share this fart story with you, because farts are – unfairly, in my opinion – maligned as juvenile and bad manners. But I decided in favor, because farts are one of life’s daily inevitabilities, and also because farts are hilarious.

Amazon demolished Wall Street's profit expectations for its first quarter, thanks to a boom in online sales and huge demand for its cloud services.

NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports for our Newscast unit that the retail giant's profits more than doubled from a year ago.

Oscar Pulkkinen, 4, the writer's son, asks Alexa to make an elephant sneeze. She obliged. Alexa is an artificial intelligence device from Amazon. It is voice controlled; users can turn on lights, play songs and make purchases by saying, 'Hey, Alexa.'
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

I debated whether to share this fart story with you, because farts are – unfairly, in my opinion – maligned as juvenile and bad manners. But I decided in favor, because farts are one of life’s daily inevitabilities, and also because farts are hilarious.

If you buy from Amazon and worry about package theft, where do you send your stuff? One of those Amazon lockers? The mailroom at work? How about the trunk of your car? Starting today, Amazon Prime members in Seattle and 36 other cities can use Amazon Key In-Car to do just that. Geekwire's Todd Bishop explains.

From the company that brought you the option of letting a courier inside your home comes a new service: package delivery inside your car.

Amazon has been one of President Trump's favorite targets on Twitter.

He has accused the company of not collecting taxes (which it does), charged it with putting retailers out of business — and focused his attacks on the tech company's relationship with the Postal Service.

So the president might be surprised to learn that one of Amazon's biggest customers is, in fact, the federal government. Amazon's relationship with the government goes well beyond delivering packages — to playing a vital role in protecting America's national security secrets.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

Going into Tuesday's arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court, it looked as though the court was headed toward reversing a 50-year-old decision that barred states from collecting taxes on out-of-state purchases.

But after the arguments, it looked as though a court majority just might preserve the status quo, and that would be a huge victory for online sellers.

The case presents a multibillion-dollar dispute, and the outcome will directly affect consumers, cash-strapped states and companies large and small.

Standard Oil depicted as an octopus, parodying its status as a monopoly.
Public Domain

In 1890, the Sherman Act was passed. Its purpose was to preserve a competitive marketplace against potential consumer abuses.

But the law isn't supposed to punish "innocent monopoly," or monopoly achieved by merit alone. So the question is: how innocent is Amazon’s monopoly? 

Gayle Nowicki owns Gargoyles Statuary in Seattle's University District. She says small businesses are already closing due to taxes and zoning changes.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Small businesses in Seattle disagree about a possible new tax to ease homelessness. But they agree on this: They can't afford it. 

KUOW reporters Joshua McNichols and Carolyn Adolph host 'That's Debatable: Amazon is Good for Seattle' on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

We recently hosted a debate to answer a simple question: Is Amazon good for Seattle?

And the answer is: We don’t really know for certain. But the debate did have a clear winner.


KUOW hosts 'That's Debatable: Amazon is Good for Seattle' on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Explain this: while half the people at KUOW's Amazon debate Wednesday came to the conclusion that the company is not good for Seattle, three-quarters of the audience also said they have an Amazon Prime membership. 


Late at night, in the gathered shadows of your bedroom, you may have heard it. Or, perhaps you heard it over breakfast with your family in the kitchen, the sound rising unbidden from over your shoulder in a corner of the room you had thought — and now, desperately wish — to be empty.

Laughter. Quick, inhuman laughter.

At least, that's what Amazon Echo owners say they've been hearing lately. In recent weeks, many of them have hit social media saying their smart speakers have been laughing spontaneously, unprompted by commands.

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Amazon's search for a second headquarters has entered a new phase of courtship: The company has begun making visits to the 20 places on its short list.

And the first candidates to confirm they've met with an Amazon team are all in the Washington, D.C., area.

Jeff Bezos looks up at a living wall during the grand opening of Amazon's spheres in Seattle in January
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has become the world’s first centibillionaire. By amassing net wealth estimated by Forbes at $127 billion, he has passed Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to become the richest human in history.

That number is so large that it’s hard to make sense of. Just how rich is the world’s richest man?

EPA investigators bought samples of banned pesticides listed for sale on Amazon.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

In one of their first attempts to regulate the online marketplace, officials with the Environmental Protection Agency in Seattle said they’ve reached a settlement with Amazon over distribution of illegal pesticides.

According to EPA officials, it was interns at the agency who first spotted banned and mislabeled pesticides being offered for sale on Amazon. 

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