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Louisiana governor says damage from Hurricane Ida is "catastrophic"

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday the damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, one of the strongest hurricanes to hit the state on record, "is really catastrophic."

Why it matters: Edwards, speaking on NBC's the TODAY Show, did not confirm if there were additional deaths beyond the first death that had been confirmed on Sunday night but said, "I fully expect the confirmed death total to go up considerably."

  • Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that deputies responding to reports of a tree falling on a person in Prairieville on Sunday night "confirmed that the victim" had died.

What they're saying: The damage from Hurricane Ida, while severe, would have been far more extensive if the Louisiana's levee system did not hold throughout the storm, Gov. Edwards said.

By the numbers: More than 1 million customers in the state, particularly in the southeast, were still without power on Monday.

  • Entergy Louisiana, one of the energy providers in the state, said in a statement Sunday that people could be without power for weeks after the storm passes.

New Orlean's 911 dispatch system and other emergency services were still offline on Monday morning after the storm knocked out power for the entire city on Sunday night and heavily damaged several buildings and homes.

Sharing some pics of #Ida’s damage around town. This is an extremely hazardous situation and we encourage everyone to stay off the roads. 911 service remains out at this time.

— NOLA Ready (@nolaready) August 30, 2021

The big picture: Though Ida has weakened to a tropical storm, it is still projected to bring heavy rainfall and flooding to the South into parts of the East as it moves inland, according to the National Weather Service.

Go deeper: Climate change lurks behind Hurricane Ida's unnerving intensification rate

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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