5.23.2022

Australia, Hepatitis Mystery, and Where to Retire Early Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Monday, May 23, and we're covering a change in leadership in Australia, unexplained cases of liver inflammation in children, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

NEED TO KNOW

 

Political Shift in Australia

Australia's opposition Labor Party appears set to lead the country following national elections over the weekend. With a handful of races still being tabulated, the center-left party has captured 72 of the 76 seats needed for a parliamentary majority. If Labor does not pass the threshold, alliances with smaller parties and independents are expected to yield a governing coalition. Labor leader Anthony Albanese is expected to become the next prime minister.

 

The results end nine years of leadership by the country's conservative coalition led by the center-right Liberal Party. Labor sought to make the election a referendum on former Prime Minister Scott Morrison, with opponents having criticized his aggressive approach to politics. Morrison's government was also knocked for its response to devastating 2019-20 brush fires. 

 

Despite the win, analysts say the outcome reflects voter dissatisfaction with both major parties. Each lost vote share from 2019 elections, while the number of independent members doubled. 

Weekend Heat Wave

An estimated 38 million Americans sweltered under weekend heat advisories, with elevated temperatures stretching from Texas to New England. The heat approached 100 degrees in some places, with a number of daily records falling Saturday.

 

Austin, Texas, hit 100 degrees Saturday, beating the daily record of 99 degrees set in 1939. Richmond, Virginia, hit 95 degrees (93 degrees, 1966), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, reached 97 degrees (95 degrees, 1934), and Montpelier, Vermont, notched its first 90 degree recording for the day. For New York City and Boston, it marked the earliest in the calendar year a heat advisory had gone into effect since at least 2006. The high temperatures are expected to subside beginning today.

 

Meanwhile, a winter storm pummeled Colorado early Saturday, dropping more than 12 inches of snow in some locations and knocking out power to more than 66,000 customers in Denver. 

Hepatitis Mystery

The number of US deaths linked to unexplained cases of liver inflammation, or hepatitis, in children has risen to six over the past seven months, officials revealed. A reported 180 cases are being investigated across 36 states. All cases occurred in children under 10, but primarily affected younger children, with a median age of 2 years old.

 

Between 1,500 and 2,000 pediatric hepatitis cases are reported nationally each year, and officials said it was unclear whether the current cases are above what would typically be expected. However, researchers have expressed concern as a number of common causes have been ruled out, including hepatitis types A, B, C, D, and E (see overview). 

 

Doctors say one potential culprit is adenovirus 41, which typically causes stomach pain and diarrhea. Nearly half of the patients tested positive for the strain, though it has not previously been linked to hepatitis. More than 600 cases and 14 deaths have been reported worldwide.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Soccer superstar Kylian Mbappé decides to stay with Paris Saint-Germain after reports last week of his move to Real Madrid (More) | Manchester City edges Liverpool to win English Premier League title (More)

 

> Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon among group departing "SNL" (More) | Motion Picture Academy member Jeffrey Cooper found guilty of child molestation (More)

 

> Early Voting tops favorite Epicenter to win 147th Preakness Stakes (More) | Justin Thomas beats Will Zalatoris in playoff to win his second PGA Championship (More)

Science & Technology

In partnership with Pendulum

> Archaeologists uncover tomb of ancient Egyptian dignitary who handled secret documents for the pharaoh roughly 4,300 years ago (More) | Inside Egypt's famed Saqqara necropolis (More)

 

> Researchers demonstrate AI system capable of accurately predicting a patient's self-identified race from analyzing medical images like X-rays and CT scans (More)

 

> Scientists successfully synthesize graphyne for the first time; similar to graphene—a single layer of carbon atoms—the material had been hypothesized since 1960 (More

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Business & Markets

> S&P 500 briefly entered bear market territory Friday when it declined 20% from its all-time high in January; Dow is down for the eighth consecutive week, its longest weekly losing streak since 1923 (More)

 

> US gas prices continue to rise, set record prices last week; current national average at $4.59 per gallon, with California prices above $6 per gallon (More)

 

> The first shipment of baby formula from Europe arrives over the weekend in Indianapolis via a military cargo plane amid national shortage (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> New York judge finalizes redrawn congressional maps for the state; contentious process is expected to lead to a number of primary battles between sitting US representatives (More) | See nationwide midterm calendar (More)

 

> Polish President Andrzej Duda visits Kyiv, expresses solidarity with Ukraine (More) | Ukrainian officials say Russian forces pushed back from key eastern city of Severodonetsk (More) | See updates on war here (More)

 

> Israeli lawmaker Ghaida Rinawi Zoabi reverses last week's decision to leave fragile ruling coalition; her departure would have left Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government one seat short of a majority (More)

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ETCETERA

 

Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display.

 

Where to retire early in the US.

 

The black market is brimming with spiders

 

A handy infographic on monkeypox.

 

Babysitters are raking in cash.

 

Accountant retires on cruise ships to avoid the cost of living on land.

 

The "Full House" Painted Lady is back on the market

 

Texas fishermen net a black river beast.

 

Clickbait: Jumping worms have arrived in California.

 

Historybook: Infamous bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde are killed by police (1934); RIP John D. Rockefeller (1937); German Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann revealed to have been captured in Argentina (1960); HBD musician Jewel (1974); RIP James Bond actor Roger Moore (2017).

 

"Try to turn every disaster into an opportunity."

- John D. Rockefeller

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