4.27.2022

Remain in Mexico, Harvard, and the Best Cities to Start a Business Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Wednesday, April 27, and we're covering a Supreme Court hearing impacting the border, Harvard's push to address its history of slavery, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

NEED TO KNOW

 

UN Chief Visits Putin

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres visited Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday, urging an end to the two-month-long war in neighboring Ukraine. Reports said the meeting, criticized by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, failed to produce any change in Russia's position. 

 

Separately, two explosions were reported in the Trans-Dniester region yesterday. The thin, 249-mile-long strip of land (see 101), sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine, has been controlled by separatists since 1992 and is home to roughly 1,500 Russian troops. Concerns have grown that the troops, ostensibly there for peacekeeping efforts, may attempt to invade Ukraine and link to the eastern Donbas region, giving Russia control of the country's south. 

 

Meanwhile, US officials said they've accelerated deliveries of military supplies to Ukraine, while Germany said it would send anti-aircraft tanks to bolster defenses. The aid comes as Russia continues to bombard much of the Donbas region with heavy artillery—see updates here.

Remain in Mexico Hearing

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday over whether the Biden administration can end a Trump-era policy requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases are processed. The administration is appealing a lower court ruling reinstating the "Remain in Mexico" policy after two states sued the government for trying to rescind it. A decision in the case is expected by June.

 

The Trump administration in 2019 adopted the policy, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, to limit illegal immigration (see 101). Texas and Missouri assert the Biden administration's move to end the policy violated federal laws governing immigration and procedures federal agencies must follow to explain their decision-making.

 

Yesterday's arguments came a day after a Louisiana judge temporarily blocked the administration's planned end to another Trump-era policy known as Title 42 (see 101), which allows authorities to quickly expel migrants during the pandemic.

Harvard to Address Slavery History

Harvard University released a report yesterday tying slavery to several university presidents, faculty, and staff between the university’s founding in 1636 and when slavery was outlawed in Massachusetts in 1783. Harvard leaders enslaved more than 70 Black and Indigenous people during the timeframe. The Ivy League school also benefited through its financial ties to donors who profited from slave trading. The 134-page report recognized the university as complicit in racial segregation and discrimination well into the 20th century.

 

The university announced it would set aside $100M for further research and to provide educational opportunities for those descended from enslaved people. However, the report stops short of recommending direct financial reparations.

 

The move comes amid a broader conversation in universities, including Georgetown and Brown, about remedying their ties to slavery, with many creating scholarships to benefit the decedents of those enslaved.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Manchester City tops Real Madrid 4-3 to kick off first leg of UEFA Champions League semifinal (More) | See full Champions League semifinal schedule (More)

 

> Police release "Rust" set footage, including the aftermath of accidental fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (More) | Theater owners chief rebukes same-day release business model for theaters and streaming (More)

 

> Russia removed as host of 2023 World Men's Ice Hockey Championship (More) | Reagan Carey to lead Premier Hockey Federation; the federation is the biggest professional women's hockey league in the US (More)

Science & Technology

> Biden administration finalizes lightbulb efficiency rule, will prohibit bulbs under 45 lumens; rule is expected to cause the eventual phase-out of many incandescent and halogen lights (More)

 

> Study finds remaining two nucleobases—units of genetic information in DNA and RNA—in meteorite samples; discovery lends support to theories that extraterrestrial material contributed to the development of life on Earth (More)

 

> Researchers develop a flexible, paper-thin loudspeaker; the device, which uses much less power than traditional speakers, may be used to turn flat surfaces into audio sources (More)

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets fall (S&P 500 -2.8%, Dow -2.4%, Nasdaq -4.0%) as investors await Big Tech earnings (More) | Shares of Alphabet (Google) down over 5% in after-hours trading after missing earnings expectations (More)

 

> Ford’s electric F-150 pickup truck rolled off the assembly line for the first time yesterday (More) | General Motors posts lower Q1 profits amid supply chain issues, but reaffirms full-year outlook (More)

 

> Free stock trading provider Robinhood to cut 9% of workforce; shares fall 5% in after-hours trading (More) | Fidelity will allow individuals to allocate a portion of their 401(k) accounts to Bitcoin (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> Vice President Kamala Harris and Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) test positive for COVID-19; Murphy and Wyden are experiencing mild symptoms while Harris is experiencing none (More) | See US COVID-19 stats here (More)

 

> President Joe Biden uses clemency powers for first time to pardon three people, including a former Secret Service agent; Biden also commutes sentences of 75 people serving for nonviolent drug crimes (More)

 

> More than a billion people in India and parts of Pakistan are experiencing unprecedented heat waves, with record-breaking temperatures reaching 113 degrees Fahrenheit (More)

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ETCETERA

 

Ranking America's best big cities for starting a business.

 

Rents are rising everywhere.

 

How stenographers type at 300 words per minute.

 

Melting ice in Norway exposes 1,700-year-old shoe.

 

A 13-year-old boy is graduating from college.

 

California to build world's biggest wildlife crossing.

 

A limited-edition Queen Elizabeth II Barbie doll is released.

 

... and an abandoned farmhouse is turned into a life-size dollhouse.

 

Clickbait: The Penguin Post Office is hiring.

 

Historybook: Ferdinand Magellan dies (1521); RIP Ralph Waldo Emerson (1882); Coretta Scott King born (1927); Nelson Mandela wins election to become first Black president of South Africa (1994); New York City’s Freedom Tower construction begins (2006).

 

"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members."

- Coretta Scott King

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