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In photos: California firefighters battle wildfires in searing heat

As firefighters struggle to contain two massive wildfires near Los Angeles amid a heat wave, power companies were warning Californians of possible power outages overnight. And the National Weather Service in Reno issued a tornado warning after a "firenado" was spotted near one fire.

The big picture: Firefighters had contained 12% of the Lake Fire, which has destroyed property as it burned across 14,714 acres, per CalFire. The Ranch Fire has razed some 2,500 acres and had yet to be contained. Los Angeles County said smoke from both blazes "has caused unhealthy air quality" in nearby neighborhoods. The Loyalton fire in Sierra County, where fire tornado was sighted, had burned some 20,000 acres and was 5% contained Saturday, per the responding Tahoe National Forest unit.

Extremely dangerous fire behavior noted on the #LoyaltonFire! Rotating columns and potential for fire whirls. Responders should exercise extreme caution!!!

— NWS Reno (@NWSReno) August 15, 2020
The threat remains high in the Lake Hughes area. Photo: Nick Ut/Getty Images
A scorched statue in front of a home razed by the fire on Aug. 13. It's one of several properties and vehicles destroyed along Pine Canyon Road west of Lake Hughes. Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Firefighters work to extinguish hotspots from the Lake Fire at Pine Canyon Road. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images
Emergency vehicles respond to the wildfire on Aug. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

#LakeFire; Ferdinand the Bull wasn’t clowning around when he chased FF’s down the road. Crews were clearing the road so the engines could get to a clearing when they were chased out. Luckily no one was injured and #Ferdinand went about his day. @VCPFA #vcfd

— Ventura County Fire (@VCFD) August 15, 2020

A smoky morning due to the #RanchFire. Our live cams can be found here:

— Mount Wilson Observatory (@MtWilsonObs) August 14, 2020

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

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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