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Val Demings launches Senate bid against Marco Rubio with "law and order" message

Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) officially announced her Senate campaign against Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Wednesday with a promotional video that emphasized her "law and order" credentials.

Why it matters: Demings, who was on the shortlist to be Joe Biden's vice president, is viewed as Democrats' best chance to win a Senate seat in a state that has tilted increasingly red in recent years.

The big picture: Demings' video highlights her experience as a Black woman with a background in law enforcement, namely as Orlando's first female chief of police.

  • Demings, who sits on the House Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Intelligence committees, served as an impeachment manager for former President Donald Trump's first impeachment trial.
  • In her "Never Tire" campaign video, Demings describes herself as having brought "law and order to a lawless president." She also attacks Rubio as close to Trump and "too tired to fight the efforts to suppress the people's vote."

Between the lines: Demings' emphasis on law and order stands in contrast to the message promoted by progressive activists who support the "defund the police" movement, which some Democrats believe hurt the party in the 2020 election.

The other side: Rubio posted a video on Twitter in response to Demings' announcement, calling her a "do-nothing House member with not a single significant legislative achievement in her time in Congress."

  • "I've always known that my opponent for the Senate is going to be a far-left liberal Democrat. Today we just found out which one of them Chuck Schumer has picked," Rubio said.

Go deeper: Rep. Val Demings to challenge Marco Rubio for Senate seat.

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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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