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DOJ watchdog report highlights FBI's mishandling of Larry Nassar case

A report released Wednesday by the Justice Department's inspector general criticizes the FBI's handling of its investigation into sex-abuse allegations against former Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar.

Why it matters: Nassar was sentenced in 2018 to 40-175 years in prison after more than 160 women—including Olympic gold medalists Aly Raisman and Simone Biles — accused Nassar of sexual assault and harassment under the premise of medical treatment.


Driving the news: The watchdog opened an investigation into the FBI's handling of the case in 2018 following reports that the bureau received complaints regarding Nassar's conduct in 2015 which went "largely unexplored" for more than a year, per the Wall Street Journal.

  • "At least 40 girls and women said they were molested over a 14-month period while the FBI was aware of other sexual abuse allegations involving Nassar," the AP reports.

The big picture: The report "highlights serious missteps" in how the FBI handled the case between the time the first allegations were reported and Nassar's arrest, per AP.

  • The report found that "despite the extraordinarily serious nature of the allegations and the possibility that Nassar’s conduct could be continuing," senior FBI officials did not respond to the allegations with the "utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required."
  • FBI officials also made "numerous and fundamental errors when they did respond to them, and violated multiple FBI policies," the report adds.

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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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