6.7.2022

UK Vote, Twitter Tiff Escalates, and the Encyclopedia of Memes Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Tuesday, June 7, and we're covering a no-confidence vote in the UK, an escalation in Elon Musk's bid for Twitter, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

NEED TO KNOW

 

Johnson Survives Vote

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a no-confidence vote yesterday, securing enough support from his Conservative Party to remain in office. The vote—211 in favor and 148 against—fell short of the simple majority of Conservative lawmakers needed to oust Johnson, who has come under fire for hosting a series of social gatherings and breaking protocols during the 2020-21 COVID-19 lockdown.

 

The win insulates Johnson from another vote for 12 months under current rules, but those rules could change. The vote was triggered after 15%, or 54, of the Conservative Party's 359 lawmakers submitted a letter of no confidence. Votes of no confidence allow for the removal of a prime minister deemed unfit to serve.

 

Observers say the vote still adds to Johnson's weakening reputation and that he could face a fate similar to his predecessor, Theresa May. In 2018, May survived a no-confidence vote, 200 to 117, in response to her actions on Brexit before ultimately resigning in 2019. See a history of no-confidence votes here.

Twitter Tiff Escalates

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk signaled he may walk away from his potential $44B acquisition of Twitter, according to a letter sent by Musk’s legal team yesterday (read here). Musk said the company has not provided adequate user data on the platform’s spam and fake accounts, as required by the merger agreement. Twitter has said fewer than 5% of accounts are fake, a claim for which Musk has demanded independent confirmation.

 

The letter is the latest volley from Musk following his initial April offer. Twitter’s stock has fallen more than 20% in the last month and is about 28% below the buyout price of $54.20 per share. Analysts say Musk has waived his rights to perform due diligence on the company, and the company is unlikely to accept his right to withdraw. See possible outcomes here.

 

Separately, Texas officials said they would probe the accuracy of Twitter's bot claims.

(Another) San Francisco Recall

Voters in San Francisco cast ballots today in a referendum of the city's district attorney, Chesa Boudin. The recall effort has gained national attention as a proxy of voters' shifting attitudes amid a nationwide rise in violent crime during the pandemic.

 

Boudin was elected in 2019 as part of a wave of progressive prosecutors, having run on a platform of decarceration and police accountability. His critics argue lax policies have led to a rise in crime, though some argue data have not established a clear link to Boudin's prosecutorial decisions. High-profile attacks in the city on Asian Americans and a rash of smash-and-grab robberies helped fuel the effort.

 

Surveys show city residents feel the quality of life has declined in recent years, and polls from mid-May showed Boudin trailing by 10 points. The vote follows the recall of three of the city's school board commissioners in February.

 

Separately, seven states—including California—hold primary elections today.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with ButcherBox

> Colorado Avalanche top Edmonton Oilers in overtime to advance to the Stanley Cup Final (More) | Oklahoma and Texas to face off in NCAA Women's College World Series Final (More)

 

> Queen to unveil previously unreleased song featuring Freddie Mercury (More) | Paramount Pictures sued over "Top Gun: Maverick" alleged copyright infringement (More

 

> Phil Mickelson joins group of players facing fines, discipline from PGA Tour for participating in Saudi-backed LIV Golf's inaugural event Thursday in London (More)

From our partners: Fire up the grill. For the next five days, 1440 readers can enjoy two 10 oz. ribeye steaks, 5 lb. of chicken drumsticks, and a pack of burgers, all free in your first order. It's the ButcherBox Grilling Bundle, and it'll help you throw the cookout that the neighborhood never stops talking about. Enjoy your Grilling Bundle alongside boxes containing 100% grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, crate-free pork, wild-caught seafood, and so much more, all delivered directly to your door. Redeem your offer today!

Science & Technology

> Biden administration suspends tariffs on overseas solar panels for two years, invokes Defense Production Act to stimulate US clean energy manufacturing (More) | See US energy consumption by source (More

 

> First-of-its-kind study reveals how venom production and key regulatory systems for its control evolved in snakes at a genetic level (More)

 

> Axon, developer of the Taser and a popular line of police body cameras, drops plans for a Taser-equipped drone after the majority of its ethics board resigns over the project (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets up (S&P 500 +0.3%, Dow +0.1%, Nasdaq +0.4%) to kick off the week (More)

 

> US gas prices up to record average of $4.87 per gallon (More) | Mercedes-Benz to recall nearly 1 million cars globally due to potential brake problems (More)

 

> Bristol Myers to acquire clinical-stage precision oncology company Turning Point Therapeutics for $4.1B (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) signs 10 public safety bills, including raising the minimum age to purchase a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21 (More) | Enrique Tarrio, ex-leader of the right-wing extremist Proud Boys group, and four others charged with seditious conspiracy for role in Jan. 6 storming of the US Capitol (More)

 

> Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to skip US-hosted Summit of the Americas over snub of officials from Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela; marks the first time the US has hosted the event since 1994 (More)

 

> At least 50 people killed during Catholic church service in southwest Nigeria; no group has claimed responsibility for the attack as of this morning (More)

IN-DEPTH

 

The Last Train Robbery

Truly*Adventurous | Rhema Sayers. In 1900, a group of cowboy bandits attempted what is considered the last train heist in the Old West. This is the story of how the crime led a series of investigators down unexpected paths to a surprising conclusion. (Read)

Encyclopedia of Memes

Cybernaut | Fadeke Adegbuyi. A wide-ranging interview with Don Caldwell, the editor-in-chief of meme-cataloger Know Your Meme, on the evolution of internet memes, the challenges of finding a meme's origins, Web3, and more. (Read)

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ETCETERA

 

New US quarter honors Cherokee Nation's first female chief.

 

Why the moon looks close some nights and far away on others.

 

Introducing the first two-story Taco Bell with four drive-thru lanes.

 

Striking studio portraits of wild animals.

 

... and an up-close look at live jellyfish.

 

See a prototype of a flying taxi.

 

What your favorite color says about you.

 

Disneyland Paris employee ruins a marriage proposal. (w/video)

 

Clickbait: When you find $36K hidden in your free Craigslist finds.

 

Historybook: RIP Jean Harlow (1937); RIP mathematician Alan Turing (1954); Musician Prince born (1958); US Supreme Court legalizes contraception use by married couples (1965); RIP writer Dorothy Parker (1967). 

 

"Always cry for love, never cry for pain."

- Prince Rogers Nelson, from "Sometimes It Snows in April"

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