This just in
July 30, 2014

Despite the fact that Amazon's India marketplace launched just over a year ago, Amazon announced Wednesday that it's pouring an additional $2 billion into the operation.

The announcement comes a day after Indian e-commerce startup Flipkart — an Amazon rival founded by former Amazon executives — raised $1 billion in new funding.

In a statement released by Amazon, Jeff Bezos says he sees "huge potential" in Indian e-commerce, a base that continues to grow:

After our first year in business, the response from customers and small and medium-sized businesses in India has far surpassed our expectations. We see huge potential in the Indian economy and for the growth of e-commerce in India. With this additional investment of US $2 billion, our team can continue to think big, innovate, and raise the bar for customers in India.

At current scale and growth rates, India is on track to be our fastest country ever to a billion dollars in gross sales. [Amazon]

Amazon says that it's India's biggest e-commerce site, but it's more than a coincidence that the news comes on the heels of Flipkart's funding success. Meghan DeMaria

Developing story
10:46 a.m. ET

Authorities on Monday identified one of the two gunmen in Sunday's attack on an anti-Islam event in Garland, Texas, as Elton Simpson of Phoenix.

Police, FBI agents, and a bomb squad searched Simpson's home overnight, and investigators linked him to threatening Twitter messages posted just ahead of the attack, according to ABC. Though officials have yet to offer a motive, Simpson was charged in 2010 with attempting to visit Somalia "for the purpose of engaging in violent jihad." The event at the center of the attack, the Muhammad Art Exhibit, included a contest in which contestants competed to draw the best cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.

The attack left one security guard wounded and both attackers dead. Jon Terbush

Numbers don't lie
10:44 a.m. ET
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

A new poll from The Wall Street Journal and NBC News found that Americans don't think this year's racial tensions will stop with Baltimore.

A full 96 percent of respondents said that it was "likely there would be additional racial disturbances this summer," the Journal reports. The respondents differed on the explanation for the events, though.

Sixty percent of black respondents agreed that recent events reflect "long-standing frustrations about police mistreatment of African-Americans," but just 32 percent of white respondents agreed. And 27 percent of black respondents agreed that people used the protests "as an excuse to engage in looting and violence," while 58 percent of white respondents said the same.

The survey of 508 adults was conducted between April 26 and April 30, before the announcement that the officers involved in Freddie Gray's death would be charged. Meghan DeMaria

In a galaxy far, far away
10:30 a.m. ET

There are few Star Wars characters — or, for that matter, few movie characters — more despised than Jar Jar Binks. The clumsy, gibbering alien, who made a splashy debut in Star Wars: Episode I in 1999, was so widely hated that an editor painstakingly cobbled together a widely-distributed recut of Episode I that eliminates Jar Jar almost entirely.

Jar Jar doesn't appear in the original Star Wars trilogy, which means his whereabouts in the decades after Star Wars: Episode III are unknown. But Jar Jar haters will appreciate the canonical solution proposed for Episode VII by director J.J. Abrams: Jar Jar is dead. "I have a thought about putting Jar Jar Binks’s bones in the desert there," said Abrams in an interview with Vanity Fair. "I'm serious! Only three people will notice, but they’ll love it."

Jar Jar may be doomed in the official Star Wars canon, but if you're one of his few defenders, never fear — a clever editor has already re-edited the Episode VII trailer to give Jar Jar a more prominent role.

Scott Meslow

Royal baby madness
10:14 a.m. ET
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

If you placed your money on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge naming their daughter Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, now is the time to claim your winnings.

Will and Kate left the hospital with their new princess on Saturday evening, but at the time of her birth, the baby did not have a name. Now, the U.K.'s ITV News reports that the baby's name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

Princess Charlotte is fourth in line to the throne, after Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince George. According to The Guardian, Charlotte is the closest female in line for the throne since Princess Anne's birth, almost 65 years ago. Meghan DeMaria

Memory Lane
9:52 a.m. ET

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is running for president. This will be her second bid for office — in 2010, she tried and failed to win a Senate seat in California. And in the process, she released one of the most blissfully bad campaign ads in recent memory.

Watch it if you haven't. Watch it again if you have. It's that good. And bad.

The gist of the video is that Fiorina's primary opponent Tom Campbell (whom she eventually crushed by nearly 35 percentage points) is a "fiscal conservative in name only" — a wolf in sheep's clothing, if you will. But he's not actually a wolf in sheep's clothing. He's a glowing-eyed "demon sheep," as Rachel Slajda perfectly dubbed it.

The demon sheep shows up around the 2:25 mark. But really, watch the whole thing. It's great.

Fiorina went on to lose the general election to Democrat Barbara Boxer. Ben Frumin

2016 Watch
9:47 a.m. ET

Carly Fiorina, a former Hewlett-Packard CEO running for president, has no political experience. Campaigning for president will be a learning process, then, and the first lesson came Monday with the revelation that Fiorina neglected to nail down at least one obvious domain name ahead of her launch. As a result, the site displays no information about Fiorina's vision for America, but rather thousands of mocking emoticons representing HP layoffs under her watch.

Fiorina is not the first 2016 candidate to run into this problem. Domain squatters also trolled Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) with a pro-Obama, pro-immigration reform message. Jon Terbush

In a galaxy far, far away
9:15 a.m. ET

Every year, Star Wars fans celebrate what's informally known as Star Wars Day by greeting each other with the phrase "May the Fourth be with you." It's a quaint old tradition, but this year, Vanity Fair is giving fans a very generous Star Wars Day gift: a new behind-the-scenes look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The brief glimpse of Vanity Fair photographer Annie Leibovitz's visit to the set yields some intriguing new images, including shots of the new characters played by Daisy Ridley, Lupita Nyong'o, and Adam Driver, seen without his mask for the first time.

To look at the full portfolio of Leibovitz's Star Wars: Episode VII shoot, click over to Vanity Fair. Scott Meslow

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