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Biden hits back at Pence over RNC speech: The violence is in "Trump’s America"

Joe Biden issued a statement Thursday rebuking Vice President Mike Pence for claiming in his RNC speech that "you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America," referencing Black Lives Matter protests and unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

The big picture: Trump and Pence are running on a "law and order" message amid nationwide unrest, and Republicans have relentlessly attacked Biden for what they claim has been a failure to denounce violent protests. Biden said unequivocally in his Thursday statement: "There is no place for violence, looting, or burning. None. Zero."


Flashback: "Last week, Joe Biden didn’t say one word about the violence and chaos engulfing cities across this country. Let me be clear: the violence must stop – whether in Minneapolis, Portland, or Kenosha," Pence said on Wednesday.

  • "The hard truth is you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America. Under President Trump, we will stand with those who stand on the Thin Blue Line, and we’re not going to defund the police – not now, not ever."

The other side: "Did Mike Pence forget Donald Trump is president? Is Donald Trump even aware he’s president? These are not images from some imagined 'Joe Biden’s America' in the future. These are images from Donald Trump’s America today," Biden said.

  • "The violence we’re witnessing is happening under Donald Trump. Not me. It’s getting worse, and we know why."
  • "Donald Trump refuses to even acknowledge there is a racial justice problem in America. To solve this problem, first we have to honestly admit the problem. But he won’t do it. Instead of looking to calm the waters, he adds fuel to every fire."

What's happening: Protesters set buildings on fire in Kenosha this week and a 17-year-old was charged with first-degree intentional homicide after two people were shot during the city's unrest.

Read Biden's full statement.

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

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Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

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Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

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Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

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"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

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What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

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