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College students on high COVID alert ahead of return to campus

With the Delta variant surging, college students are not ready to resume campus life as normal, according to a new Generation Lab/Axios poll.

Why it matters: For four-year students who enrolled in 2019-20, there is just one year remaining to enjoy something resembling a regular college experience.


Out of a list of activities that included going to an indoor party, dancing with others, and close conversations without masks, 55% of students considered none of the above to be safe.

  • 60% sayrestrictions should be imposed on large social gatherings.
  • 45% say they would only feel comfortable at indoor gatherings where everyone had been vaccinated.

Driving the news: Already, tens of thousands of students across different education levels across the country are isolating after testing positive of being exposed to COVID-19.

College students are also big fans of vaccine mandates — in many cases, bigger fans than their university administrators.

  • 73% say their school should implement a vaccine mandate for those on campus, while 52% say their schools are doing so.
  • 86% say they are fully vaccinated, while 6% say they definitely won't get the shots.

Many staff and professors share the concerns about a return to campus.

  • "You're putting me in a petri dish for an hour and 15 minutes when I'm teaching," Youngstown State ethics professor Mark Vopat told Forbes.

Methodology: This study was conducted August 11-13 from a representative sample of 846 students nationwide from 2-year and 4-year schools. The margin of error is +/- 3.4 percentage points. The Generation Lab conducts polling using a demographically representative sample frame of college students at community colleges, technical colleges, trade schools and public and private four-year institutions.

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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