Palmer Luckey, a founder of Facebook-owned VR company Oculus, has stealth a new company working on surveillance technology that could be deployed on country borders and military bases, according to a report from the New York Times. Peter Thiel and his VC fund, Founders Fund, are said to be planning to fund the venture.

"We need a new kind of defense company, one that will save taxpayer dollars while creating superior technology to keep our troops and citizens safer," said Luckey in an email to the Times. Luckey has reportedly discussed border technology with Trump advisor Stephen Bannon and recently met with the secretary of interior.

Why it matters: Luckey and Thiel are part of the small part of Silicon Valley that backs President Trump, and the only two who have been public about it, investor Marc Andreessen recently told Axios's Dan Primack. Thiel made headlines last year when he donated to Trump's campaign and spoke at the Republican National convention, while Luckey's support for anti-Hillary Clinton organization was made public last year and reportedly led to his eventual departure from Facebook.

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Felix Salmon, author of Capital
15 mins ago - Economy & Business

How equity became more attractive than debt

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The prime example of something highly improbable that became conventional wisdom: The idea that both interest rates and inflation will remain near zero for well over a decade.

Why it matters: As Axios' Dan Primack writes, private equity firms (the polite rebranding of "leveraged buyouts") have historically bought companies and loaded them up with debt.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
18 mins ago - World

When society faces the unprecedented

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Our febrile world is not normal.

The big picture: The precautions that we're taking against the spread of COVD-19; the way in which the president of the U.S. delights in violating political norms; the fires, hurricanes and other signs that catastrophic global warming has arrived; the virulent spread of the QAnon conspiracy theory — all of these things, and many more, represent a stunning break with the world as we knew it.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 34,026,003 — Total deaths: 1,015,107 — Total recoveries: 23,680,268Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 7,237,043 — Total deaths: 207,008 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Health: New poll shows alarming coronavirus vaccine skepticism — New research centers will study "long-haul" COVID — Coronavirus infections rise in 25 states.
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