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Joe Biden says he has spoken with Jacob Blake's family amid Kenosha protests

Democratic nominee Joe Biden said Wednesday he has spoken with the family of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot at least seven times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The big picture: Protests have erupted across the country as Blake remains in the hospital paralyzed from the waist down. Two people were shot and killed during clashes in Kenosha overnight, resulting in the arrest of a 17-year old male. President Trump said Wednesday that Gov. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) will allow "federal assistance" to help quell the violence.


What he's saying: "You know, I spoke to Jacob's mom and dad, sister and other members of the family just a little bit earlier, and I told them justice must and will be done. You know our hearts are with his family, especially his children," Biden said in a video posted to Twitter.

  • "Put yourself in the shoes of every Black father and Black mother in this country and ask, is this what we want America to be? Is this the country we should be? "
  • "But burning down communities is not protest, it's needless violence — violence that endangers lives, violence that guts businesses and shutters businesses that serve the community. That's wrong."
  • "In the midst of this pain, the wisest words that I've heard spoken so far have come from Julia Jackson, Jacob's mother. She looked at the damage done in her community and she said this, "This doesn't reflect my son, or my family."

The state of play: The Blake family's attorney Ben Crump told a news briefing on Wednesday that it's "going to take a miracle" for him to walk ever again, and that Blake was "struggling to sustain his life."

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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