Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Senate confirms Antony Blinken as secretary of state

The Senate voted 78-22 on Tuesday to confirm Antony Blinken as secretary of state.

Why it matters: Blinken, a longtime adviser to President Biden, will lead the administration's diplomatic efforts to re-engage with the world after four years of former President Trump's "America first" policy.


Background: Blinken is a French-speaker and step-son of a Holocaust survivor whose stories he credits with shaping his worldview. Like Biden, Blinken is a committed multilateralist and advocate for the United States as a leading force for good in the world.

  • Blinken served in the Obama administration as deputy national security adviser from 2013 to 2015 and deputy secretary of state from 2015 to 2017.
  • He was Biden's top aide on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee over 15 years ago.
  • He started his career at the State Department in the Clinton administration.

Key quotes from Blinken's testimony:

  • "Humility and confidence should be the flip sides of America's leadership coin. Humility because we have a great deal of work to do at home to enhance our standing abroad ... But we'll also act with confidence that America at its best still has a greater ability than any country on earth to mobilize others for the greater good."
  • "We're as a general rule much better off being at the table than being outside the room if we're going to try and influence those institutions and organizations and move them in a better direction."
  • "We have to start by approaching China from a position of strength, not weakness, a position of strength when we are working with, not denigrating, our allies ... a position of strength when we are engaged and leading in international institutions, not pulling back and ceding the terrain to China to write the rules and norms that animate those institutions."

The big picture: Blinken is the fourth Biden Cabinet nominee to be confirmed, following Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Go deeper: What has and hasn't changed as Biden takes over U.S. foreign policy

4 ffp

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.

Keep reading... Show less

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.

Keep reading... Show less

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.

Keep reading... Show less

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.

Keep reading... Show less

"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.

Keep reading... Show less

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.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories