7.18.2022

Drug Lord Arrested, Monkeypox, and the Year's Best Architecture Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Monday, July 18, and we're covering the arrest of a notorious Mexican drug kingpin, the monkeypox epidemic, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Drug Lord Captured

Mexican marines captured fugitive drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero in western Mexico Friday, ending a nine-year search for one of the FBI’s most wanted traffickers. The Justice Department announced they will seek his extradition to the US on drug charges.  

 

Quintero, a founder of the infamous Guadalajara cartel (see overview), joined several other men in the 1985 kidnapping and murder of Enrique Camarena, an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent. Abruptly released on a technicality in 2013 after serving 28 years in prison, Quintero became a fugitive after the Mexican Supreme Court ruled his release three months earlier was an error. He has since continued drug smuggling operations, with the DEA offering a $20M reward for his capture.  

 

In a related incident, at least 14 Mexican service members died when a helicopter crashed in an operation that appears to be separate from the operation to capture Quintero.

Twitter Legal Battle Looms

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk asked a Delaware court to delay a trial to decide whether he must proceed with the acquisition of Twitter, according to court filings Friday. The request came several days after the social media giant sued Musk for attempting to withdraw from a $44B agreement struck in late April (see timeline). 

 

Musk has accused the company of obscuring the percentage of fake accounts on the platform. Twitter claims fewer than 5% of accounts are bots, but has not publicly revealed how it reached the figure. Independent analysts say an accurate estimation is challenging, with automated accounts having become more sophisticated.

 

The company's stock price has dropped below $38 per share, roughly 30% less than the agreed-upon purchase price. Twitter asked the court for an expedited four-day trial in September, citing an October deadline to close the deal. 

US Monkeypox Cases Rise

The number of confirmed monkeypox cases has risen to more than 1,800, with instances of the viral infection having been reported in 43 states and the District of Columbia. Officials say vaccine demand has outpaced supply—the federal government has ordered 7 million doses, though the majority will not become available until the end of the year.

 

The spread comes amid a broader global outbreak, with more than 11,000 cases reported across 65 countries. It marks the largest known spread of the virus outside central and western Africa, though researchers say the current outbreak does not yet qualify as a pandemic. Learn more about the virus here.

 

Separately, average US COVID-19 deaths have risen above 400 per day, with more than 130,000 new daily infections reported, fueled by the spread of the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron strains. See what we know about the subvariants here.

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STAY SALTY

 

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with Magic Spoon

> Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce leads Jamaica to sweep in 100-meters at Track and Field World Championship (More) | Fred Kerley leads first American 1-2-3 sweep in 100 meters in 31 years (More) | See full world champ results (More)

 

> Ricky Martin denies allegations of sexual relationship with adult nephew; hearing set for this week in Puerto Rico (More) | Stand-up comic Jak Knight dies at 28 (More)

 

> Cameron Smith edges Cameron Young and Rory McIlroy to win 150th British Open (More) | Baltimore Orioles take high school shortstop Jackson Holliday with top pick in MLB Draft (More)

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Science & Technology

> NASA releases photos of Jupiter and three of its moons taken by the James Webb Space Telescope (More) | Explore the first batch of publicly released images here (More)

 

> Scientists aboard the International Space Station begin stem cell experiment, including testing whether the cells are easier to mass produce in zero-gravity environments (More)

 

> Engineers develop flexible rubber pump capable of driving a circulatory-like system in soft robots; device may replace bulky external systems, making such robots more versatile and efficient (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher Friday (S&P 500 +1.9%, Dow +2.2%, Nasdaq +1.8%), but all three indices close lower for the week (More)

 

> US retail sales increased 1% in June, after a 0.1% decline in May, per the Department of Commerce (More)

 

> Banking giant Citigroup beats quarterly revenue and earnings expectations; shares up 13% Friday (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> British intelligence estimates at least 50,000 Russian troops have been killed or injured during the war in Ukraine (More) | Russia continues to consolidate gains in Ukraine's east, may look to retake the city of Kharkiv (More)

 

> House Jan. 6 Committee subpoenas Secret Service over deleted texts from the day; pushes for the communications to be produced by tomorrow (More) | Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon begins trial on contempt of Congress charges (More)

 

> At least 360 deaths linked to ongoing heat wave in Spain; temperatures exceeded 105 degrees Fahrenheit in some locations, with nearby Pinhão, Portugal, passing 116 degrees (More)

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ETCETERA

 

Travel with beluga whales as they migrate from the Arctic. (via YouTube)

 

Explore the world's best new architecture.

 

Search for the ratings of your favorite television show.

 

Photos of July's supermoon from around the world.

 

Ancient Rome's icosahedron dice.

 

... and archeologists uncover a previously unknown Roman city.

 

Lego releases its Dunder Mifflin collaboration.

 

Tourist survives 18 hours lost at sea, clinging to a soccer ball.

 

Clickbait: A canine-inspired fitness routine.

 

Historybook: RIP novelist Jane Austen (1817); Nelson Mandela born (1918); Astronaut and politician John Glenn born (1921); Nadia Comăneci gets first perfect 10 in Olympic gymnastics history (1976); HBD actress Priyanka Chopra (1982).

 

"It always seems impossible until it's done."

- Nelson Mandela

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