1.4.2022

Iran Attacks, Elizabeth Holmes Verdict, and the Museum of the World Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Tuesday, Jan. 4, and we're covering a string of Iran-backed attacks, a verdict in the high-profile trial of Elizabeth Holmes, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Booster Authorization

The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization yesterday for booster shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 12 to 15.  Officials also announced booster shots would be made available for children aged 5 to 11 who are significantly immunocompromised. 

 

Almost 1.9 million children in the 12 to 15 age bracket have tested positive for the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic (see data), with 246 reported deaths. The figure is less than 0.1% of the 826,000 total deaths reported in the US.

 

The decision comes as the omicron variant of the virus has disrupted post-holiday reopening plans for schools across the country. Trial data from December suggest booster shots result in a 25-fold increase in neutralizing antibodies effective against the strain.

 

The US is currently averaging more than 480,000 new cases per day. Total current hospitalizations from the virus are at 95,000—up 50% over two weeks, but still less than the peak seen during infection surges last winter and over the summer. Explore US data here.

Iran-Linked Attacks

A series of attacks across the Middle East ensued yesterday, coinciding with a memorial in Tehran for Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian general killed in a US drone strike in 2020.

 

Yemen’s Houthi rebels overtook a UAE cargo vessel in the Red Sea, a key route for international trade. Two drones targeted Baghdad’s international airport, where Soleimani was killed. In Israel—also involved in Soleimani's death—hackers targeted the Jerusalem Post newspaper. 

 

Footage provided by an official of a US-led international military coalition showed the wing of one drone reading “Soleimani’s revenge." Both drones were shot down. Meanwhile, hackers replaced the Jerusalem Post’s website with an illustration of a missile coming out of a ring associated with Soleimani. No groups have claimed responsibility for either attack.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called on former President Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to face trial for Soleimani's assassination.

Guilty Verdict in Theranos Trial

Elizabeth Holmes, former CEO and founder of failed blood-testing startup Theranos, was found guilty of fraud yesterday in a criminal case that’s seen as one of the biggest scandals in Silicon Valley in recent memory. Theranos, once valued at $10B before collapsing, had failed to design technology that generated accurate blood tests via a single finger prick.
 

The federal jury convicted 37-year-old Holmes on four of 11 charges—three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They found Holmes not guilty of four counts tied to patients and lying in paid advertisements. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on three counts tied to defrauding individual investors.

Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison on each count as well as a fine of $250K plus restitution for each charge. Read more about the four-month-long case here.

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In partnership with The Farmer's Dog

NATURALLY HEALTHY

 

We’d all like to eat healthier this year, but doing it every single meal? Impossible. Unless, of course, you’re a dog.

 

That’s because, unlike humans, dogs are lucky enough to be healthy by nature: They never have trouble falling asleep, they actually enjoy exercise, and they love nutritious food as much as we love a cheat meal. Which is why The Farmer's Dog believes in feeding their healthy nature. That’s why all their vet-developed recipes are made with fresh meat and vegetables, gently cooked to retain their maximum nutritional integrity. Plus, they personally portion it all for your dog and deliver it right to your door—so it’s better for them and easier for you.

 

The Farmer's Dog makes food the right way. Today, take 50% off your first box of fresh food from The Farmer’s Dog.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> The 2022 Grammy Awards (Jan. 31) likely to be postponed for second year in a row due to omicron variant fears (More)

 

> Richard Leakey, Kenyan conservationist and paleoanthropologist who campaigned to end the African ivory trade, dies at 77 (More)

 

> David Bowie's estate reaches deal to sell entire publishing catalog of the late musician's work to Warner Chappell Music for more than $250M (More)

From our partners: Make 2022 your year for a one-card wallet. This card offers up to 5% cash back at places you already shop and 0% APR until 2023 on purchases and balance transfers. All with no annual fee. Making this card the only one you need.

Science & Technology

> James Webb Space Telescope begins process of unfolding its tennis court-sized sun shield; erecting the shield considered the riskiest part of the deployment (More) | Track the JWST in real time (More)

 

> Samsung debuts remote that recharges via radio frequency energy emitted by wireless internet routers (More)

 

> Researchers develop new method of creating useful chemical products from carbon dioxide removed from factory emissions; the byproducts, cyclic carbonates, can be used in batteries and drug production (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher in first session of 2022 (S&P 500 +0.6%, Dow +0.7%, Nasdaq +1.2%); S&P 500 and Dow close at fresh record highs (More)

 

> Apple becomes the first US company to surpass $3T in market value; milestone comes roughly three-and-a-half years after reaching $1T, a feat which took more than four decades to reach (More)

 

> Starbucks to require its approximately 220,000 US employees to be vaccinated or tested weekly as of early February; employees must disclose vaccination status by next Monday (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> New York Attorney General Letitia James subpoenas Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr. in probe as part of civil fraud investigation into the Trump Organization's business dealings (More)

 

> Winter storm knocks out power to at least 850,000 people across the Southeast and East Coast; federal government shuts down as snow blankets nation's capital (More) | See photos (More)

 

> Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok resigns amid protests against a power-sharing deal brokered with the military, who previously ousted Hamdok in an October coup (More)

IN-DEPTH

 

In Their Footsteps

BBC | Lucy Wallis. An American expatriate in France sets out to retrace the journey of her great aunt, part of a group of Resistance women who escaped a Nazi death march in 1945. (Read)

Copper and the King

Smithsonian | Matti Friedman. Recent archaeological discoveries in Israel point toward an advanced society during the time of the biblical King Solomon. (Read)

OUT WITH THE OLD

 

In partnership with The Farmer's Dog

 

Dogs are naturally healthy. And it would be easier for them to stay that way if their humans knew that the food they fed them was actually healthy. But when a bag labeled “premium” and “organic” can be filled with the same old highly processed mystery pellets, that’s almost impossible.

 

So we say out with the old and in with the new. In 2022, try fresh food delivered to you. Get 50% off today.

Please support our sponsors!

ETCETERA

 

Waste hours (days?) exploring the Museum of the World. (Best on desktop)

 

The top insights from Gallup polling in 2021.

 

... and Pew's most interesting findings from the past year.

 

On a mission to find the world's best rice.

 

Dazzling photos of the northern lights.

 

An in-depth look at San Francisco's skyline.

 

Archaeologists discover an ancient 100-pound millipede.

 

Watch a puppy grow into a 170-pound giant.

 

Clickbait: Nightmare fuel on the golf course (w/video).

 

Historybook: Boxer Floyd Patterson born (1935); HBD biographer and journalist Doris Kearns Goodwin (1943); Luna 1 is first spacecraft to reach vicinity of the moon (1959); RIP poet T.S. Eliot (1965); Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, opens in Dubai (2010). 

 

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."

- T.S. Eliot

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