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DeSantis signs restrictive Florida voting law at event exclusive to Fox News

At event on Monday that banned all local media except for Fox News, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a controversial elections overhaul bill that curbs certain forms of voting.

Why it matters: The law increases restrictions on drop boxes, requires voters to sign up for mail-in ballots every year, and limits who can drop off ballots at drop boxes. Opponents say the law will make it more difficult to vote in the state, and will disproportionately impact communities of color.


What they're saying: With a cheering crowd behind him, DeSantis told Fox & Friends in an "exclusive" broadcast that he believes the law includes the "strongest election integrity measures in the country."

  • "Me signing this bill here says, 'Florida, your vote counts. Your vote is going to cast with integrity and transparency, and this is a great place for democracy,'" DeSantis said.
  • The event was billed as a rally "for the best governor in the USA." It's unclear if it was an official governor's event or campaign rally, per the Washington Post.

The big picture: Florida is one of a number of Republican-run states — including Georgia, which has faced intense backlash — that have either passed or are considering new voting restrictions after the 2020 election.

  • Many of the laws are based on unsubstantiated allegations of widespread voter fraud propagated by former President Trump.
  • Hundreds of corporations and voting rights groups have embarked on a pressure campaign to stop the laws from taking effect.

Go deeper ... Mapped: Which states are weighing voting changes

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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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