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Jill Biden speaks after Afghanistan attack

First lady Jill Biden released her first statement on the U.S. withdrawing from Afghanistan and Thursday's attack in Kabul Friday afternoon.

Why it matters: In her role as first lady, Biden has prioritized military-focused initiatives. She said the attack in Kabul, which killed at least 13 U.S. troops, "left us with the stinging reality of the ultimate sacrifice you are willing to make."


  • "Afghanistan has been woven through your life ... You watched loved ones board a plane to Kabul or Kandahar, and wondered if you’d ever see them again. Too many of you lost a piece of your heart forever there. This mission is personal to you, and you have shouldered its enormous weight," she said.
  • "We’ve seen service members sharing water and food with Afghan children waiting at the Kabul airport. We’ve seen military families welcoming Afghan refugees home to the United States with donations and friendship."
"As our mission in Afghanistan comes to an end, you may be experiencing many emotions. Know that my heart is with you as you navigate what comes next for your family, your community, and our nation. You are not alone."

The big picture: Biden, whose stepsons served in the U.S. military, has long supported military initiatives, dating back to her days as second lady.

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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