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12.3.2021

Funding Deal, Columbus Charges, and the Most Clicked Stories of the Month Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Friday, Dec. 3, and we're covering a short-term deal to keep the government open, charges in an Ohio police shooting, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at hello@join1440.com.

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Government Funding Deal

Congressional leaders announced yesterday a short-term deal that would provide funding for federal operations through Feb. 18. The agreement would avoid a potential government shutdown ahead of a deadline at midnight tonight.

 

The House passed the bill by a vote of 221-212, followed by Senate approval by a vote of 69-28. The Senate vote came despite opposition from a number of GOP senators who object to use of federal funding to carry out vaccine mandates for workers at federal agencies. The legislation includes an additional $7B to help resettle Afghan refugees. 

 

In related news, Treasury officials have warned the debt ceiling—the limit on how much the US can borrow to cover its obligations—must be raised by Dec. 15. 

 

See our guide on how the federal budget works here.

White House Plots for Omicron

President Joe Biden announced his winter COVID-19 strategy yesterday in a speech at the National Institutes of Health, part of an effort to keep schools and businesses open in the face of a potential winter wave of COVID-19 cases.

 

The strategy includes reimbursement for at-home tests, an extension of the federal mask mandate for airlines and public transit through March 18, and an effort to encourage vaccines and boosters by launching hundreds of family vaccination centers. Also included are strict requirements for international air travelers, including demonstration of a negative test by inbound travelers within 24 hours of their flight, reduced from the current three-day policy.

 

Meanwhile, the US identified its second and third cases involving the omicron variant, one in Minnesota and one in Colorado. The findings suggest the strain is likely already circulating within the country. Almost 75% of Americans over 5 years old have received at least one dose of the vaccine. The US averages around 85,000 new cases per day, with just over 850 daily deaths (see stats). 

Charges in Columbus

A former Ohio sheriff's deputy was charged with murder yesterday in the fatal shooting of Columbus resident Casey Goodson Jr. last December. The shooting led to a string of racial justice protests in the city. 

 

Jason Meade, a now-retired 17-year veteran of the county sheriff's office, shot Goodson five times in the back while searching for a fugitive as part of a US Marshals task force. The 23-year-old Goodson, who was at his grandmother's house at the time, was not related to the search. Meade initially said Goodson drove by him waving a gun but later withdrew the statement; Goodson's family says he was holding a Subway sandwich, though a gun was recovered from the scene (Goodson had a license to carry).

 

Details of the encounter are muddled, with no body-camera or dashcam footage available. Goodson's family separately filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Meade yesterday.  

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Meghan Markle wins court appeal against Mail on Sunday for breach of privacy after the UK tabloid published a private letter the Duchess of Sussex sent to her father (More)

 

> Eddie Mekka, Tony-nominated actor best known for "Laverne & Shirley," dies at 69 (More) | Suspect arrested in shooting death of Jacqueline Avant, philanthropist and wife of Clarence Avant (More)

 

> Olympic officials say they spoke with Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai via video call for second time (More) | Memphis Grizzlies top Oklahoma City Thunder 152-79; 73-point margin of victory breaks all-time NBA record (More)

Science & Technology

> Scientists identify reaction likely behind blood clotting issues caused by the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine; protein attracted by the vaccine can trigger an immune response in rare cases, with antibodies clumping together (More)

 

> Google's DeepMind used for the first time to help mathematicians identify patterns in unsolved problems; breakthrough led to new discoveries in knot and symmetry theories (More)

 

> Engineers demonstrate solar-powered soft aquatic robots capable of autonomously cleaning ocean and lake surfaces; device uses water as fuel, similar to a steam engine (More)

Business & Markets

In partnership with NowRX

> US stock markets rebound (S&P 500 +1.4%, Dow +1.8%, Nasdaq +0.8%) after Wednesday’s losses on omicron variant fears (More)

 

> The Federal Trade Commission sues chipmaker Nvidia to block $40B planned acquisition of semiconductor design giant Arm (More)

 

> Shares of Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing app, fall over 20% in trading debut to $34B valuation after completing the highest valued special purpose acquisition company merger in history (More)

From our partners: Technology-enabled pharmacy taking the industry by storm. Thanks to its proprietary software and robotics that enable free same-day medication delivery, NowRx achieved $13.4M in revenue in 2020—up 89% annually. Now on track to achieve $22M in projected annual revenue in 2021, NowRx is offering shares of its growing business to investors like you.

Politics & World Affairs

> Biden administration strikes deal with Mexico; will restart Trump-era policy that requires most migrants seeking asylum to stay south of the US border while their cases are adjudicated (More)

 

> Michigan prosecutor pushes for charges against parents of 15-year-old who killed at least four and injured seven others in a Tuesday school shooting north of Detroit (More)

 

> Germany to institute COVID-19 restrictions barring unvaccinated residents from nonessential stores, restaurants, and other venues (More)

IN-DEPTH

 

Hiding in Plain Sight

Boston Globe | Emily Sweeney. How one of the country's most wanted fugitives managed to live a normal life in a Boston suburb. (Read)

Take Two Shrooms and Call Me in the Morning

Walrus | Brad Badelt. On the medical promise of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms—if use of the substance can overcome legal barriers. (Read)

Digital Unrealities

Wired | Adam Rogers. Can brain-computer interfaces be used to upload fabricated memories into our brains? (Read, paywall)

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ETCETERA—BEST OF NOVEMBER 2021

 

Editor's note: More than 3 million monthly clicks can't be wrong. Here are the most popular stories we ran in November. Enjoy!

 

(11/16/21) Why pickleball is blowing up.

 

(11/29/21) Tiffany & Co. unveils its most expensive item ever.

 

(11/3/21) The most prescribed drugs in America.

 

(11/10/21) Maine lobsterman captures a rare cotton candy lobster.

 

(11/18/21) Scientists identify the perfect hug.

 

(11/12/21) Christopher Walken destroys a $13M Bansky artwork.

 

(11/12/21) Visit the nation's most expensive ZIP code.

 

(11/15/21) The ups and downs of sudden genius syndrome.

 

(11/10/21) Mapping alcohol consumption by country.

 

(11/30/21) Dogs bearing an uncanny resemblance to celebrities.

 

(11/17/21) The year's best natural landscape photos.

 

(11/17/21) A cool animation demonstrating how mRNA vaccines work. (via YouTube)

 

(11/19/21) When children name snowplows.

 

(11/4/21) Clickbait: Man jumps into lake to escape bees, gets eaten by piranhas.

 

Historybook: RIP novelist Robert Louis Stevenson (1894); HBD rock star Ozzy Osbourne (1948); HBD actress Julianne Moore (1960); First human heart transplant carried out (1967); Mikhail Gorbachev and George H.W. Bush declare end to Cold War (1989).

 

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