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Facebook is seeking to force a face-off with Apple over its 30% in-app purchase commission fee, which Facebook suggests hurts small businesses struggling to get by during the pandemic.
The big picture: Facebook has never publicly gone after Apple, a key strategic partner, this aggressively. Both companies face antitrust scrutiny, which in Apple's case has centered on the very fee structure Facebook is now attacking.
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President Trump added more pressure Friday night on China-based TikTok parent ByteDance to exit the U.S., ordering it to divest all assets related to the U.S. operation of TikTok within 90 days.
Between the lines: The order means ByteDance must be wholly disentangled from TikTok in the U.S. by November. Trump had previously ordered TikTok banned if ByteDance hadn't struck a deal within 45 days. The new order likely means ByteDance has just another 45 days after that to fully close the deal, one White House source told Axios.
- Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 21,056,850 — Total deaths: 762,293— Total recoveries: 13,100,902 — Map.
- U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m ET: 5,306,215 — Total deaths: 168,334 — Total recoveries: 1,796,309 — Total tests: 65,676,624 — Map.
- Health: CDC: Survivors of COVID-19 have up to three months of immunity —Fauci believes normalcy will return by "the end of 2021" with vaccine — The pandemic's toll on mental health — FDA releases first-ever list of medical supplies in shortage.
- States: California passes 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.
- Cities: Coronavirus pandemic dims NYC's annual 9/11 Tribute in Light.
- Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
- Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.
In her first sit-down interview since being named Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris talked about what she'll do to fight for women if elected VP, and how the Democrats are thinking about voter turnout strategies ahead of November.
What they're saying: "In a Biden-Harris administration women are going to be a priority, understanding that women have many priorities and all of them must be acknowledged," Harris told The 19th*'s Errin Haines-Whack.
The UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, told me in an exclusive interview that his country wants to implement its normalization deal with Israel “as soon as possible."
What he's saying: Gargash said he was confident that the U.S.-brokered deal moved Israeli annexation of the West Bank off the table for a “long time.” He also said Israeli tourists would soon be able to travel to the UAE.
President Trump on Friday refused to answer a direct question on whether or not he supports the QAnon conspiracy theory during a press briefing.
Why it matters: Trump congratulated Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, who vocally supports the conspiracy theory, on her victory in a House primary runoff earlier this week — illustrating how the once-fringe conspiracy theory has gained ground within his party.
The National Association of Letter Carriers, the union representing roughly 300,000 current and former postal workers, on Friday endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, calling him "a fierce ally and defender of the U.S. Postal Service," reports NBC News.
Why it matters: The endorsement comes as President Trump has vowed to block additional funding for the USPS in the next coronavirus stimulus package, linking it to his continued baseless claims that increased mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud.
U.S. lawmakers are demanding answers from the World Bank about its continued operation of a $50 million loan program in Xinjiang, following Axios reporting on the loans.
Why it matters: The Chinese government is currently waging a campaign of cultural and demographic genocide against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, in northwest China. The lawmakers contend that the recipients of the loans may be complicit in that repression.
Former President Barack Obama tweeted Friday that everyday Americans could become "collateral damage" if President Trump continues to attempt to slash funding for the U.S. Postal Service as part of his campaign against mail-in voting.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has spent more than a decade trying to disrupt the traditional auto industry, is sounding more and more like the man most closely associated with it: Henry Ford.
Why it matters: In his quest to build affordable electric cars for the masses, Musk is starting to embrace many of the ideas pioneered by Ford's founder — things like vertical supply chains and an obsession with manufacturing efficiency. A century ago that approach helped to popularize the American automobile by lowering the cost of the Model T.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and his acting deputy Ken Cuccinelli are ineligible to be serving in their positions, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) decided in a report released Friday.
Why it matters: While the finding has no immediate power, it could be important evidence in litigation over policies enacted under Wolf and Cuccinelli's leadership, said America's Voice's Ur Jaddou, who served as chief counsel to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) under President Obama.
EPA's decision to cut regulation of methane is laying bare an oil-and-gas industry divide and setting the stage for political battles this fall and beyond.
Why it matters: Methane is an extremely powerful greenhouse gas and the industry is a key emissions source.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner told "CBS This Morning" on Friday that he does not believe President Trump promoted a baseless claim that Sen. Kamala Harris is ineligible to be vice president.
Driving the news: During a press briefing on Thursday, Trump did not question the veracity of a Newsweek op-ed that inaccurately claimed Harris may be ineligible for the office due to her parents' naturalization status at the time of her birth. Harris is an American citizen and was born in Oakland, Calif.
The story of American businesses in the coronavirus pandemic is a tale of two markets — one made up of tech firms and online retailers as winners awash in capital, and another of brick-and-mortar mom-and-pop shops that is collapsing.
Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic has created an environment where losing industries like traditional retail and hospitality as well as a sizable portion of firms owned by women, immigrants and people of color are wiped out and may be gone for good.
Millions of angry gamers may soon join the chorus of voices calling for an antitrust crackdown on Apple, as the iPhone giant faces a new lawsuit and PR blitz from Epic Games, maker of mega-hit Fortnite.
Why it matters: Apple is one of several Big Tech firms accused of violating the spirit, if not the letter, of antitrust law. A high-profile lawsuit could become a roadmap for either building a case against tech titans under existing antitrust laws or writing new ones better suited to the digital economy.
Younger Americans are increasingly concerned that Social Security won't be enough to wholly fall back on once they retire, according to a survey conducted by AARP — in honor of today's 85th anniversary of the program — given first to Axios.
Why it matters: Young people's concerns about financial insecurity once they're on a restricted income are rising — and that generation is worried the program, which currently pays out to 65 million beneficiaries, won't be enough to sustain them.
One in four Americans is worried their ballot won't be accurately counted this year, and four in 10 worry mail-in voting could yield less reliable results, according to a new Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.
The big picture: Partisan identification is a massive driver of distrust in both categories — and the stakes are huge this year.
Joe Biden's campaign is doubling down on its criticism of President Trump's mishandling of the coronavirus, launching two new 30-second ads today on the heels of Biden's own call for an outdoor mask mandate.
Why it matters: With Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris, now in place to amplify and augment the message, the campaign is signaling it will hit Trump on the pandemic every day until Nov. 3.
On the next episode of "Axios on HBO," acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf tells Axios co-founder Mike Allen why he "would be concerned" about Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in office.
Catch the full interview on Monday, August 17 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on all HBO platforms.
The coronavirus isn't as deadly for children as it is for adults, but kids still get it and can still get seriously sick from it. The risk is higher for Black and Hispanic children.
Why it matters: In communities with high caseloads, cases among children could explode as schools reopen. And kids in the communities already hit hardest by the pandemic are the most at risk.
The U.S. Postal Service told Pennsylvania officials in a July letter that "there is a significant risk" that mail-in ballots may not be delivered on time for the November election because the state’s election deadlines are "incongruous with the Postal Service's delivery standards," according to a Thursday court filing.
Why it matters: The letter comes as President Trump has repeatedly attacked mail-in voting and vowed that he will block demands to fund mail-in voting and the USPS, claiming without evidence that the ballots produce widespread voter fraud.
Palm Beach County election officials sent President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump their mail-in ballots on Wednesday for Florida’s Aug. 18 primary election.
Why it matters: Both Trump and his wife voted by mail in the presidential primary in March, according to records cited by AP. Trump continues to baselessly sow distrust in the mail-in voting process by claiming it leads to fraud with no evidence as November's general election inches closer. He also vowed to block stimulus funding to make implementing mail-in voting more difficult.
President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.
Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.