10.14.2022

Jan. 6 Hearing, Parkland Sentencing, and Making a Bestseller Everything you need to know for the day in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Friday, Oct. 14, and we're covering the ninth public hearing on the events of Jan. 6, the sentencing of the Parkland school shooter, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

 

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Jan. 6 Hearings (Part Nine)

The House Select Committee investigating the events surrounding the storming of the US Capitol last Jan. 6 held its ninth public hearing yesterday, voting unanimously to subpoena former President Donald Trump to testify. Rep. Liz Cheney (R, WY-At large) introduced the resolution, saying several witnesses pleaded the Fifth Amendment when pressed about their dealings with Trump. All nine members of the bipartisan panel voted yes.

 

The hearing summarized the investigation's findings thus far, focusing on Trump's role leading up to the day, and displayed new evidence and testimony (watch here). In particular, an Oct. 31, 2020, memo sent to White House officials from conservative activist Tom Fitton showed plans for Trump to declare victory before all mail-in ballots were counted. In an email on Dec. 26, 2020, Secret Service warned of a tip that armed members of the Proud Boys planned to outnumber law enforcement in a Jan. 6 march in Washington, DC. Further, recorded testimony from former aides showed Trump privately said he knew he had lost to Joe Biden.   

 

The hearing marked the committee's final public presentation before the midterm elections.

Parkland Shooter Sentencing

A jury yesterday recommended life in prison without parole for the gunman who killed 17 people in the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, sparing the assailant from the death penalty. The case is the deadliest US mass shooting to go to trial. 

 

The now-24-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student, pleaded guilty last year to murdering 17 people and injuring 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The jury's recommendation caps a three-month trial on whether the gunman should face death or life in prison. Jurors agreed aggravating factors (see 101) existed to warrant the death penalty, including that the murder was cruel and heinous. But jurors did not unanimously find the aggravating factors outweighed the mitigating circumstances, such as mental illness, which spares capital punishment. 

 

The jury's recommendation is not official yet; the judge hearing the case will issue the formal sentencing Nov. 1.

Inflation Remains High

US inflation rose 8.2% year-over-year in September, according to government data released yesterday. The metric estimates the change in a currency's purchasing power; higher inflation means consumers can buy fewer goods with each dollar they spend (see 101).

 

The growth is primarily driven by price increases in shelter (+0.8%), food (+0.8%), and medical care (+1%). A continued decline in gas prices (-4.9%) and energy (-2.1%) helped to offset the increases. See data in charts here. The core consumer price index, which removes volatile food and energy prices, rose 6.6% year-over-year, the highest since 1982. The news puts continued pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates to help curb rising prices. The Fed is expected to announce three more rate hikes.

 

Separately, cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security payments are set to rise 8.7% in 2023, the highest jump since 1981. The average recipient will receive monthly paychecks of $1,827.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with Seed

> The 2022 American Music Awards (Nov. 20) nominations announced; Bad Bunny leads all artists with eight nods, with Beyoncé, Drake, and Taylor Swift hauling in six apiece (More) | Bruno Mars pulls "Silk Sonic" album from Grammy Awards consideration (More)

 

> Cuba Gooding Jr. avoids jail time after pleading guilty to lesser charges in forcible touching case stemming from 2018 incident (More)  

 

> The 2022 MLB Division Series is underway with three matchups today; see latest scores and playoff bracket (More)

From our partners: Gut health and probiotics are trending. And it's no surprise: Both are strongly tied to overall health. But with just-about-everything labeled a "probiotic" nowadays—it’s confusing. Seed is setting the record straight. Their DS-01™ Daily Synbiotic pre- and probiotic is designed for 100% survivability to your colon—promoting ease of bloating, healthy regularity, and more. Use code “1440” for 15% off your first month.

Science & Technology

> Three NASA astronauts and an astronaut with the European Space Agency are expected to return home today from the International Space Station on a SpaceX capsule, after a six-month-long mission (More) | Watch the splashdown live (More)

 

> Astronomers discover barium at high altitudes in the atmospheres of two hot gas giant exoplanets, WASP-76b and WASP-121b, which are planets located outside our solar system; barium is the heaviest element ever found in an exoplanet atmosphere (More)

 

> Google to test 3D video calling booths, known as Project Starline, at offices of WeWork, Salesforce, T-Mobile, and others (More) | See technology (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher (S&P 500 +2.6%, Dow +2.8%, Nasdaq +2.2%) after initially falling intraday following the release of September inflation data (More)

 

> Netflix to launch ad-supported plan at $6.99 per month in early November; ads will be 15 or 30 seconds and will air for four to five minutes per hour of content (More)

 

> Apple and Goldman Sachs partner to launch an interest-bearing savings account for Apple credit cardholders (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Russia hits Ukraine's capital of Kyiv and port city of Odesa with Iranian-made kamikaze drones, shells dozens of other Ukrainian cities (More) | Russian-installed leader of Ukraine's southern Kherson region calls on civilians to evacuate as Ukrainian forces advance (More)

 

> New York attorney general seeks court oversight in the Trump Organization's upcoming financial submissions, requests judge to block organization from restructuring itself or moving assets without court approval (More) | Supreme Court declines to intervene in Trump's bid to block Justice Department's review of a segment of classified documents seized at Mar-a-Lago (More)

 

> Iraqi parliament elects Abdul Latif Rashid as country's new president and names Mohammed Shia al-Sudani as prime minister-designate, ending stalemate one full year after holding national elections (More)

IN-DEPTH

 

Exploring a Body Farm

MIT Tech Review | Abby Ohlheiser. Of an estimated 20,000 bodies donated to medical research in the US each year, a portion end up decomposing in open-air enclosures—to teach how bodies decay. (Read, paywall)

What Makes a 'Bestseller'

Public Books | Jordan Pruett. It turns out that bestseller lists—like the one published by The New York Times—aren't a neutral record of what everyone's reading; instead, they're a product of editorial decisions. (Read)

A Tale of Forgotten Women

Pushkin | Hallie Rubenhold. (Podcast) While the city of London hid in darkness from German bombers in 1942, the Blackout Ripper killed four women over a six-day period. (Listen)

Recycling Glass Into Sand

Business Insider | Staff. (Video) Two wine-drinking college students are taking recycling glass into their own hands—by crushing it into shore-restoring sand. (Watch)

DATA STORYTELLING (AND ILLUSTRATING)

 

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ETCETERA

 

Embryonic gecko hand wins microscopic photo competition.

 

World's first space tourist signs up for flight around moon.

 

An 86-year-old bodybuilder breaks his own record.

 

Qatar plans to send drunk World Cup fans to sober zones.

 

Georgia inmate pulls off $11M heist—from inside his cell.

 

A glimpse into the future of travel. (w/video)

 

Turns out Texas Pete hot sauce isn't from Texas.

 

A cute cat and its furry noble steed. (via Reddit) 

 

Clickbait: Lab-grown brain cells learn to play a video game.

 

Historybook: President Dwight D. Eisenhower born (1890); Chuck Yeager becomes first person to fly faster than speed of sound (1947); Cuban Missile Crisis begins (1962); Martin Luther King Jr. wins Nobel Peace Prize (1964); American photographer Dody Weston Thompson dies (2012).

 

"We must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose."

- Dwight D. Eisenhower

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