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Texas GOP state House speaker signs warrants to arrest 52 Democrats

The Texas House Speaker signed late Tuesday civil arrest warrants for 52 Democratic lawmakers who fled the state last month to block a GOP effort to pass voting restrictions, per the Dallas Morning News.

Driving the news: The GOP-led Texas House of Representatives voted 80-12 in favor of the move, hours after the state Supreme Court temporarily blocked a restraining order by a lower court protecting the Democrats.


  • It means that those among the group who have returned to Texas can be detained and forcibly returned to the state Capitol to reestablish quorum, the Texas Tribune notes.

What they're saying: "The Supreme Court of Texas swiftly rejected this dangerous attempt by Texas Democrats to undermine our Constitution and avoid doing the job they were elected to do," said Renae Eze, a spokesperson for Abbott, in a statement, per the Tribune.

  • "It is no surprise that Republican Governor Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan want to arrest their political opponents. ... We will defend the freedom to vote, and we look forward to our temporary injunction hearing on August 20th," said state Reps. Trey Martinez Fischer, Gina Hinojosa and Jasmine Crockett in a joint statement after the Supreme Court ruling, per CNN.

Of note: The Democrats had until 4pm Thursday to respond to the court.

Editor's note: This a breaking 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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