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Biden tells Americans in Afghanistan: "We will get you home"

President Biden on Friday said his administration was considering "every opportunity and every means" to get Americans and Afghan allies through Taliban airports and into the Kabul airport.

State of play: Biden said Taliban militants are allowing those with American passports to pass through their checkpoints, but added that the United States is now figuring out how to handle the "mad rush" of non-Americans who are attempting to cross.


  • He also added that U.S. forces went outside of the gate to the airport and brought 169 Americans over the wall.
  • Biden added that American citizens, permanent residents and at-risk Afghans, including women in government and journalists, are among those being evacuated.
  • The Biden administration worked with the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post to "successfully" evacuate 204 of their employees in the country.

By the numbers: Biden said that 18,000 people have been evacuated since July, 13,000 since the military lift began on Aug. 14 and "thousands more" in charter flights.

What he's saying: "This is one of the largest, most difficult air lifts in history, and the only country in the world capable of projecting this much power on the far side of the world with this degree of precision is the United States of America," Biden said.

  • "But let me be clear: any American who wants to come home, we will get you home. Make no mistake, this evacuation mission is dangerous. It involves risks to our armed forces, and it's being conducted under difficult circumstances," he added.
  • "I cannot promise what the final outcome will be or what it will be — that it will be without risk of loss. But as commander in chief, I can assure you that I will mobilize every resource necessary."

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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