Liz Cheney, Omicron Booster and the Best States to Call Home Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Tuesday, Aug. 16, and we're covering primaries in Wyoming, the UK's approval of an updated COVID-19 booster, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].


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Primary Day for Cheney

Wyoming voters head to the polls today, casting ballots in the state's primaries ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Included among the races is a high-profile challenge against Rep. Liz Cheney (R, At large), a one-time member of House Republican leadership who was removed from her party post due to her criticism of former President Donald Trump following the 2020 election. 


Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, enters the day trailing Trump-endorsed candidate Harriet Hageman by almost 30 points. After being removed as chair of the House Republican Conference, she assumed a leadership position on the Democrat-led House Jan. 6 Committee, an unpopular move in a state that backed Trump by a 70%-27% margin in 2020. It has been widely speculated the 56-year-old Cheney will consider a 2024 presidential bid.


Separately, Alaska also holds primary elections today—the first using a revamped primary system under which all candidates, regardless of party, compete for one of four spots in the general election. Notable races include Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) seeking reelection and former Gov. Sarah Palin (R) vying for the late Rep. Don Young's House seat.

UK Approves Omicron Booster

The United Kingdom became the first country to approve the use of an updated coronavirus booster shot yesterday after regulators greenlit Moderna's latest vaccine. The two-shot regimen, available to those 50 and over in early fall in the UK, will target both the original virus as well as the Omicron variants.


Clinical trials of the new booster showed strong immune responses to both strains, with mild side effects. Although original booster shots continue to fortify against severe disease, experts warn their efficacy against infections has waned amid the spread of highly-infectious Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 this spring and early summer. Some regulatory agencies have opted to wait to recommend a second booster shot to general populations until bivalent doses–or those eliciting a response from two different antigens–become available. In late July, the US ordered 66M doses of the new vaccine as it awaits approval ahead of a planned fall booster campaign.


In the US, both cases and deaths have remained relatively steady since May, while hospitalizations have gradually increased. See the data here

WeWork Founder's New Startup

WeWork cofounder Adam Neumann has raised $350M from leading US venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz for a new residential real estate venture called Flow, according to reports. The figure is the largest individual investment made by Andreessen Horowitz, also known as a16z, which has been an early investor in companies like Facebook and Airbnb. Flow is expected to launch in 2023 and is already valued at more than $1B.


Details on the venture are thin, but Neumann says Flow will provide community-centric services in branded apartment properties. As part of its plans, Flow will operate more than 3,000 apartment units Neumann has bought in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, and Nashville. 


Neumann was ousted as CEO of shared office startup WeWork in 2019 after its failed IPO and reports of mismanagement, though he received a payout worth $1.7B (see timeline). WeWork, once valued at $47B before going public, is now valued at $4B. 

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

HBO Max lays off 70 as part of the workforce reduction following WarnerMedia and Discovery merger (More) | Academy apologizes to Sacheen Littlefeather five decades after she received boos and racist verbal abuse at the 1973 ceremony in which she declined an Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando (More)


Jury selection begins in R. Kelly child pornography and obstruction trial; Kelly is currently serving 30 years on separate sex trafficking and racketeering charges (More)


Texas’ Midway All-Stars top Maryland’s Delmar All-Stars 5-4 to win 2022 Little League Softball World Series (More) | Alabama, Ohio State, and defending champs Georgia are Nos. 1, 2, and 3 in college football's preseason AP Poll (More)

From our partners: A cash back dream. This card hit the market offering 2% cash back on purchases (no more tracking categories) and a generous sign-up bonus. It's no wonder The Ascent's independent team of experts crowned it the best cash back card of 2022. Learn more today.

Science & Technology

> Top Chinese tech firms share details of proprietary algorithms with country's top regulatory agency; follows a move by Chinese officials to exert greater control over the internet sector (More)


> PTSD may be diagnosed via saliva samples; study of 200 Israeli veterans shows a link between symptoms and unique oral bacteria populations (More)


> New climate model predicts the emergence of an "extreme heat belt" in the US by 2053, stretching from Texas to the Midwest; more than 100 million Americans would see days with heat indices above 125 degrees (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets open the week higher (S&P 500 +0.4%, Dow +0.5%, Nasdaq +0.6%) as S&P 500 seeks fifth consecutive weekly gain (More)


> Wells Fargo shares drop after sources say banking giant is evaluating a reduction in its mortgage business unit (More)


> Hedge fund takes $1B stake in Disney, plans to push entertainment giant to spin off ESPN, acquire the remaining shares of Hulu (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Taliban officials mark one-year anniversary of US withdrawal from Afghanistan; country has faced a deepening economic crisis amid international sanctions, with per capita income dropping by more than one-third (More)


> Rudy Giuliani, ex-lawyer for former President Donald Trump, reportedly a subject of Fulton Country, Georgia, election interference probe (More) | FBI bolsters security at field offices following the search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence; contents of documents retrieved remain undisclosed (More)


> Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto declared winner of last week's presidential election; protests break out after four of seven members of the electoral commission resign, disputing the result (More)



Life in Color

The Marginalian | Maria Popova. A deep dive into color, consciousness, and the dazzling universe of tetrachromacy—a rare condition that allows for increased color vision. (Read)

Bees, Ants, and Cockroaches

The Conversation | Edward D. Melillo. How a high school teacher changed early 20th century insect science. (Read)



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Ranking America's best states to call home (in 2022). 


... and a list of the least-visited US national parks.


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Friends break world record by visiting 50 states in about five days.


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Historybook: Gold is discovered in Canada’s Yukon Territory, sparks Klondike gold rush (1896); Babe Ruth dies (1948); Sports Illustrated is first published (1954); Madonna born (1958); Elvis Presley dies (1977); Aretha Franklin dies (2018).


"One must dare to show what he wants."

- "Madonna" Louise Ciccone

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