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Photo illustration: Aïda Amer. Photo: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic via Getty Images.

Elizabeth Holmes today continued testifying in her criminal fraud trial, after unexpectedly taking the stand in her own defense on Friday.

The latest: The former Theranos CEO sought to undermine prosecutor claims that she lied to prospective investors about the blood testing company's work with drug makers.

  • Her basic message seems to be: I had at least some reason to believe what I was sharing was true, even if it wasn't actually true.

The stakes: Holmes, who once was the toast of Silicon Valley, could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

The scene: Today's hearing was abbreviated after beginning late for undisclosed reasons, even though Holmes was at the San Jose, Calif. courthouse on time, and she'll still be on the stand when proceedings resume on Tuesday.

The bottom line: The defense is rolling some big dice by putting their client on the stand. Either they believe Holmes can come across as more credible than prosecution witnesses, thus winning over the jury, or they feel they have no other choice.

Go deeper

Ex-Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes testifies in her own fraud trial

Elizabeth Holmes. Photo: Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taking the stand to close out the first day of her trial’s defense, ex-Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes highlighted to jurors some of the due diligence her early investors performed.

Why it matters: Though Holmes was included on her defense’s list of potential witnesses, it was unclear whether she would actually testify.

Americans are super-sizing their holiday travel

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are rushing back into holiday travel, and many are taking even longer trips now than they did before the pandemic began.

The big picture: After skipping Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings last year, many people are eager to maximize this year's celebrations with friends and family. And flexible remote working arrangements make that easier than ever.

Updated 16 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.