Ikluft / Wikipedia

Changes in rain and snowfall patterns along California's earthquake fault lines are triggering slight increases in small quakes, according to a new study from seismologists at the University of California-Berkeley. In the state's San Andreas fault, there was an increase in small earthquakes in late summer and early fall over the past 9 years as rain and snow left the mountains, heading into the dry season.

How they discovered it: The Berkeley researchers used data from satellites involved in a regional global positioning system to calculate stresses on Earth straining under water loads. The increases in small earthquakes happened when the seasonal water stresses were at their greatest.

Fun fact: The slight increase in small earthquakes from water stress along the California fault lines is similar to the type of stress that creates seismic waves across the planet from distant mega-quakes that measure at the highest end of the Richter scale.

Go deeper

Axios-SurveyMonkey poll: Harris boosting Biden ticket with key voters

Data: SurveyMonkey poll of 2,847 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 11–12, 2020 with ±3% margin of error; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Kamala Harris is accomplishing what Joe Biden's campaign hoped she would in her first two days as his running mate — doing no harm, while exciting parts of the base with whom Biden needs the most help.

The big picture: Black women especially, but also Black men, Hispanics and Democrats and independents across the board say they are more likely to vote for Biden with Harris on the ticket, according to a new Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.

27 mins ago - Technology

Epic sues Apple over developer tax as Fortnite is pulled from App Store

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Fortnite maker Epic Games on Thursday escalated its battle over Apple's App Store tactics, suing the tech giant over antitrust claims while also baiting Apple into dropping Fortnite from the App Store.

The big picture: Epic is just one of several developers clashing with Apple. They argue the company harms competition by taking a cut of up to 30% on in-app purchases and subscriptions and blocking most developers from getting around the tax by charging their users directly.

Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandate: "Be a patriot"

Joe Biden called on governors to issue a three-month mandatory outdoor mask mandate on Thursday, telling reporters after receiving a coronavirus briefing that experts say it could save over 40,000 lives.

Why it matters: Biden was more aggressive and specific than he has been in previous calls to wear a mask, arguing that it will allow children to return to school sooner, businesses to reopen and help "get our country back on track."