Bebeto Matthews / AP

Italian-born sculptor Arturo Di Modica erected the "Charging Bull" statue in 1987 without a permit, in the middle of the night, outside the New York Stock Exchange, as a symbol of American resilience after the stock market crash. Authorities removed it, only to reinstall it because of its popularity with the public.

On the morning of International Women's Day last month, Wall Street woke up to the "Fearless Girl" staring down the bull, symbolizing female empowerment. It was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors, a mutual fund company that tracks gender diversity.

"Fearless Girl" was granted an extended stay from Mayor Bill de Blasio after increased popularity.

Now, the "Charging Bull" artist is suing State Street Global Advisors, for copyright and trademark infringment, arguing that the "Fearless Girl" changes the meaning of the bull and takes away from his artistic vision.

Mayor de Blasio missed the mark, and misrepresented Di Modica's argument in a tweet yesterday saying, "Men who don't like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless Girl."

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Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.

Senate passes bill funding government through December

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Where it stands: The legislation will avert a government shutdown before funding expires Wednesday night and before the Nov. 3 election. The House passed the same measure last week by a vote of 359-57 after House Democrats and the Trump administration agreed on the resolution.

  • Both sides agreed early in negotiations that the bill should be a "clean" continuing resolution — meaning each party would only make small changes to existing funding levels so the measure would pass through both chambers quickly, Axios' Alayna Treene reported last week. The bill now goes to President Trump for his signature.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Technology

The age of engineering life begins

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Synthetic biology startups raised some $3 billion through the first half of 2020, up from $1.9 billion for all of 2019, as the field brings the science of engineering to the art of life.

The big picture: Synthetic biologists are gradually learning how to program the code of life the way that computer experts have learned to program machines. If they can succeed — and if the public accepts their work — synthetic biology stands to fundamentally transform how we live.