Novak Djokovic, North Korean Missile Launch, and Hangover Cures Everything you need to know for today in five minutes

Good morning. It's Friday, Jan. 7, and we're covering a sports standoff in Australia, North Korea's missile program, and more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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Djokovic in Limbo

Tennis star Novak Djokovic spent yesterday confined to a hotel room in Australia while facing deportation after his visa was refused Wednesday. Djokovic, 34, had been awarded a medical exemption from Victoria state to compete, a decision that drew widespread criticism throughout the country. He was then denied entry into the country by border officials for failing to provide sufficient proof for exemption.


The Serbian athlete had traveled to the country this week to play for his 10th Australian Open title. Djokovic is tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for all-time men's Grand Slam victories at 20—the tournament may potentially allow him to capture the record.


Regulations require all in attendance to be fully vaccinated; he has previously expressed opposition to COVID-19 vaccines. The reason he initially received the exemption has not been disclosed; however, it was reportedly due to being infected with the virus within the last six months. Australia is currently dealing with its highest spike in COVID-19 infections on record.


A decision is expected Monday.

North Korean Missile Launch

North Korean media claimed yesterday the country had tested a hypersonic missile, the second reported test of such military technology by the country. The launch would be the latest in rising tensions on the peninsula following the end of talks with South Korea and the US last year. 


Hypersonic missiles represent a step-change in a country's military capability as they travel at roughly five times the speed of sound and may evade radar more effectively (see 101). North Korea has traditionally focused on nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, which have a long range but are less controllable. 


In related news, reports suggest a person who entered the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea may have originally been a defector from the North who decided to return home. 

Violence Spirals in Kazakhstan

Russia has sent peacekeeping troops to Kazakhstan as mass protests and unrest in the country escalate. A police officer was allegedly found beheaded, among dozens of other deaths and hundreds of injuries as well as government buildings set ablaze. Russia and Kazakhstan share a border and are members of an alliance of former Soviet states, which was set up to counter external military threats.


Russian-led alliance troops arrived yesterday at the request of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to help protect state and military facilities. Kazakhstan sits on the southern border of western Russia and is the ninth largest country in the world by land mass (see overview). It has major oil reserves as well as coal and gas sectors—making the country a strategic linchpin in the region.


The protests, which began Sunday, were first triggered by the rising price of fuel and spread into broader grievances over three decades of rule by former president Nursultan Nazarbayev. Catch up on the unrest here.

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In partnership with 800º GO



It's no surprise that Americans love pizza. But did you know the US pizza market is expected to grow to $54B by 2023?


In a restaurant market that's already been impacted by a shortage of labor, it'll likely be hard to meet all that demand for pizza. That’s why 800 Degrees Pizza and Piestro have teamed up to create 800º GO: A fully automated robotic pizzeria that crafts fresh artisanal pizza within three minutes. Marrying sophisticated culinary offerings with cutting-edge technology, 800º GO is redefining the restaurant industry with lower costs, a highly scalable concept, and the exact same ingredients, recipes, and cooking techniques you'd see in a professional kitchen.


Learn more about 800º GO today to see how they're disrupting the American pizza market and the US on-demand food delivery market (expected to reach $45B in 2026). They're looking for investors like you, so check it out today.

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Kanye West and Billie Eilish tapped to headline 2022 Coachella festival (April 2022) in Indio, California (More) | Peter Bogdanovich, Oscar-nominated director known for "The Last Picture Show," dies at 82 (More


> California health officials confirm Super Bowl to remain in Los Angeles despite COVID-19 concerns (More


> The New York Times acquires sports news subscription site The Athletic for $550M (More) | Caesars, DraftKings among online betting operators to launch New York sports betting market beginning Saturday (More)

Science & Technology

> Team of 32 scientists begins two-month mission to study Antarctica's Thwaites glacier; the Florida-sized ice shelf would raise global sea levels by more than 2 feet if fully melted (More)


> Preliminary study suggests a link between Down syndrome and senescent cells; such cells have lost the ability to divide and are involved in aging (More) | A deeper look at senescence (More)


> Protons and antiprotons confirmed to share same charge-to-mass ratio in most precise measurement ever conducted on antimatter (More) | Ten things to know about antimatter (More)

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> Tech stocks drag US markets lower: S&P 500 -0.1%, Dow -0.5%, Nasdaq -0.1% (More)


> France’s data protection watchdog fines Google ($170M) and Facebook ($68M) for failing to comply with cookie consent policies (More)


> Shares of video game retailer GameStop surge over 20% in after-hours trading after announcing plans it will launch an NFT marketplace (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> President Joe Biden accuses former President Donald Trump of spurring the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol (More) | Trump responds, accuses Biden of political theater (More)


> Supreme Court to hear two cases deciding whether to allow the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-testing mandate for large employers and most healthcare workers today (More)


> Storm drops snow across region stretching from Tennessee up through the Northeast; system follows Monday storm that left thousands without power in the Mid-Atlantic (More)



House of Cards

Miami Herald | Staff. An investigative look into the decades of problems that led to the collapse of a Surfside, Florida, condo building last summer. (Read)

The Future of Food

Eater | Jaya Saxena. The food service industry is converging to a model of food-on-demand. But is that ultimately what consumers want? (Read)

Batteries' Big Question

BBC Future | Allison Hirschlag. As the world moves toward electrification, one big question remains—what will happen to all the discarded batteries? (Read)

Diet and Sleep

Knowable | Marie-Pierre St-Onge. On the vicious cycle between a lack of sleep and poor diets. (Read)



In partnership with 800º GO


It's no secret: We love pizza, and we're excited by the robotic pizzerias being built by 800 Degrees Pizza and Piestro in their joint venture: 800º GO. But did you know you can invest in 800º GO today?


Boasting double the profit margins of traditional pizzerias thanks to lower real estate and labor costs, these nifty robots are poised to grow within the US pizza market (which is projected to reach $54B by 2023). Take a look at the 800º GO offering to invest in faster, cheaper, tastier, robot-powered pizza.

Please support our sponsors!



Science says there's no such thing as a hangover cure


A 200-hundred-cracker probe into food allergies.


Americans saved 60 million commute hours in 2020


The effects of the Mid-Atlantic snowstorm from space


The best reveals from CES 2022


The year's most exciting art exhibitions.


BMW unveils a color-changing SUV.


Lifeguard rescues drowning kangaroo. (w/video)


Clickbait: Kuwaiti woman carries escaped lion down street. (also w/video)


Historybook: Galileo Galilei discovers first three Jupiter moons (1610); First US presidential election held (1789); Author Zora Neale Hurston born (1891); RIP Nikola Tesla (1943); HBD Katie Couric (1957).


"One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane."

- Nikola Tesla

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