Thibault Camus / AP

"China's Google" nabs a Microsoft vet to help run the company

Qi Lu, a former Microsoft executive who ran the Office and search groups during his tenure, is joining Baidu, China's largest search engine, as group president and COO, the company told media outlets. Lu left Microsoft last year for health reasons.

Why now: One particular area of Lu's expertise is artificial intelligence. While AI is still going through its period of massive hype in the industry, it will undoubtedly be important to future technologies and products. Baidu is already working on AI-related technologies such as self-driving cars and augmented reality.

In good AI company: In 2014, Baidu hired Andrew Ng as chief scientist in its Silicon Valley office. Ng is incredibly well respected among AI circles.

Facebook wants French entrepreneurs

The social network giant is one of the launch partners of Station F, a large startup hub in Paris set to open in the coming months, COO Sheryl Sandberg told local reporters on Tuesday.

The details: Facebook will have 80 desks within Station F's campus and will work with 10 to 15 data-focused startups every six months to provide mentorship. The arrangement could also be an opportunity for Facebook to get an early look at startups it may want to acquire.

That's not all: Sandberg also said that Facebook is also working on a separate program with Sciences Po, a local university, to develop a program around policy and privacy issues.

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Updated 18 mins ago - World

China says U.S. is "endangering peace" with high-level visit to Taiwan

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar during a June briefing in Washington, DC. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced Tuesday night he will lead a delegation to Taiwan "in the coming days."

Why it matters: It's the highest-level visit by a U.S. cabinet official to Taiwan since 1979. Azar is also the first U.S. Cabinet member to visit the island state in six years. The visit has angered China, which views Taiwan as part of its territory. Chinese officials accused the U.S. early Wednesday of "endangering peace" with the visit, AFP reports.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 18,543,662 — Total deaths: 700,714 — Total recoveries — 11,143,031Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 4,771,236 — Total deaths: 156,807 — Total recoveries: 1,528,979 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. States: New York City health commissioner resigns in protest of De Blasio's coronavirus response — Local governments go to war over schools.
  4. Public health: 59% of Americans support nationwide 2-week stay-at-home order in NPR poll.
  5. Politics: Trump's national security adviser returns to work after coronavirus recovery Republicans push to expand small business loan program.
  6. Sports: Indy 500 to be held without fansRafael Nadal opts out of U.S. Open.
Updated 2 hours ago - World

At least 100 killed, 4,000 injured after massive explosion rocks Beirut

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion has slammed central Beirut, Lebanon, damaging buildings as far as several miles away and injuring scores of people.

Driving the news: At least 100 people have been killed and over 4,000 injured in the blast — and the death toll is likely to rise, the Lebanese Red Cross said, per AP. Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the explosions occurred at a warehouse that had been storing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate for the past six years.