Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Two of the biggest tech companies are repositioning themselves — one to get rid of troublesome baggage, the other to expand into new territory.

What's happening: Facebook is getting rid of the "Trending" news section that has caused it so many headaches. Instead, it says it's trying other things, like "breaking news" labels for posts from publishers and a news video section in Facebook Watch. Meanwhile, Apple is trying to move into the digital ad business.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has met with Snap Inc., Pinterest Inc. and other companies to lure them to an Apple network that would distribute ads to their apps, with Apple sharing revenue with the apps.

Facebook's swap-out
  • Why it matters: It's the latest sign that Facebook is trying to crack down on the practices that have allowed fake news to spread on its platform — but also that it's still reckoning with all the ways the platform can be abused.
  • The catch: Even as Facebook makes these changes, it's losing the next generation. The Pew Research Center finds that it has fallen behind YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat as the most popular online platforms among teens.
Apple's big move
  • Why it matters: This would push Apple way beyond its dominance of device sales — and into territory dominated by Google and Facebook.
  • The big picture, per Axios' Kim Hart: Big tech companies are all trying to expand into new areas (often on each others’ turf) in search of new growth. But doing so opens them up to new vulnerabilities. For Apple, moving into the advertising market means it will have to be in the user data business — something it’s prided itself on avoiding.
  • A new move into advertising would also drag Apple into data privacy debates, which Google and Facebook, at this point, have a lot more experience dealing with.

One more tech headache: Misconfigured Google Groups may accidentally be spewing private conversations over the internet, according to a study published today by Kenna Security, Axios' Joe Uchill reports.

  • Out of 9,600 public Google Groups it found by researching domains held by some of largest web sites, around a third leaked email sent through the platform.

Go deeper

16 mins ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: Fear of voting

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±3.0% margin of error for the total sample; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to worry about in-person voting — with nearly two in three seeing it as a large or moderate risk to their health — according to this week's installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This could pose a significant disadvantage for Joe Biden and other Democratic candidates in November if the pattern holds — especially in states where high infection rates persist, or where there are significant hurdles to mail-in, absentee or early voting.

Trump: Coronavirus is "under control"

President Trump said in an interview with “Axios on HBO” that he thinks the coronavirus is as well-controlled in the U.S. as it can be, despite dramatic surges in new infections over the course of the summer and more than 150,000 American deaths.

  • “They are dying, that's true. And you have — it is what it is. But that doesn't mean we aren't doing everything we can. It's under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague,” he told Axios' Jonathan Swan.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 18,295,434 — Total deaths: 694,233 — Total recoveries — 10,926,704Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 4,717,716 — Total deaths: 155,471 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Education — Fauci: Schools can reopen with safeguards, but those in virus hot spots should remain closed
  4. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  5. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign.
  6. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.