1.20.2023

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Good morning. It's Friday, Jan. 20, and we're covering charges over a tragic on-set Hollywood death, a massive walkout by French workers, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Baldwin Charged in Set Shooting

Actor Alec Baldwin will be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film "Rust." The film's armorer (see 101), Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, is facing the same charges.

 

The two will be charged "in the alternative," meaning if they are found guilty, it will be on only one of the charges: involuntary manslaughter, which comes with a sentence of up to 18 months in jail, or involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, which carries a mandatory five years; however, it requires proof of more than simple negligence.

 

The incident occurred in October 2021, when Baldwin discharged a revolver prop, killing Hutchins and wounding the film's director. Baldwin has maintained the crew told him the gun was not loaded, and he did not pull the trigger. An investigation revealed Gutierrez-Reed had put a live round in Baldwin's gun instead of using a dummy round.

 

The news comes as film production is set to resume this year, with Hutchins' husband serving as an executive producer on the project.

 

NFL Playoff Picture

The NFL playoffs resume tomorrow, headlined by a pair of games between longtime rivals among the four matchups.

 

The action kicks off with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the underdog Jacksonville Jaguars (NBC, 4:30 pm ET), followed by the Philadelphia Eagles welcoming division rivals the New York Giants (Fox, 8:15 pm ET). The Chiefs, led by QB Patrick Mahomes, and the Eagles, behind QB Jalen Hurts, finished tied for the best regular season record in the league at 14-3. 

 

Sunday begins with last year's runner-up the Cincinnati Bengals taking on the Buffalo Bills (CBS, 3 pm ET), a rematch of a Jan. 2 game that sent shockwaves through the NFL after Bills' safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest after making a tackle. Hamlin is recovering and reportedly spending time at the Buffalo facility with teammates. That game will be followed by the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers (Fox, 6:30 pm ET), the ninth time the historic rivals have met in the playoffs. 

 

The Chiefs are the current favorite to win Super Bowl LVII; see odds here.

 

French Pension Plan Strike

Over 1 million workers yesterday held nationwide strikes against France's proposed pension overhaul, disrupting schools, transportation, and other public services (see photos).

 

The proposal, unveiled last week, would raise the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2030. France's current retirement age is on the lower end, with age 65 being the most common in Europe (see chart). The proposal would also require at least 43 years of work, rather than 42, to qualify for a full pension starting in 2027.

 

President Emmanuel Macron contends the plan would preserve the pension system without raising taxes or increasing the national debt. Current workers pay for retirees' government pensions. However, analysts say the ratio of workers to retirees has decreased as people live longer and the population grows older, straining the system. The plan is estimated to raise $19B in annual pension contributions, helping the system to break even by 2027.

 

This is Macron's second attempt at pension reform after a separate plan in 2019 failed, following the country's longest transport strike in decades. 

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> "All Quiet on the Western Front" leads all film nominees for the 2023 British Academy Film Awards, or BAFTA Awards (More)

> David Crosby, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame founder of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, dies at 81 (More) | British actor Julian Sands still missing six days after going for hike in California mountains (More)

> Saudi-backed LIV Golf secures TV, streaming deal with CW to broadcast all 14 of its 2023 tournaments (More) | Major League Soccer player Anton Walkes dies at 25 after boating accident in Miami (More)

 

Science & Technology

> Astronomers release highest resolution panoramic image of the Milky Way ever taken; updated survey took two years to compile, captures an estimated 3.3 billion objects representing 6.5% of the night sky (More)

> Scientists identify four genes responsible for the large size of whales and their innate protection against cancer (More) | How cetaceans defy "Peto's Paradox" (More, w/video)

> Engineers grow defect-free, atomically thin films on top of silicon wafers; new method may allow computer chipmakers to produce 2D transistors for electronics (More)

 

Business & Markets

In partnership with LiquidPiston

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.8%, Dow -0.8%, Nasdaq -1.0%); Dow and S&P 500 fall for third consecutive session (More)

> Netflix Co-CEO Reed Hastings stepping down to become executive chairman; Netflix adds better-than-expected 7.6 million paid subscribers in fourth quarter of 2022 (More) | Amazon to discontinue AmazonSmile charity program, which has donated approximately $500M since 2013, amid cost cuts (More

> Hacker breaches T-Mobile accessing personal data of 37 million customers (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> The US reaches debt ceiling, Treasury officials to begin additional measures to avoid financial default (More) | See previous write-up here (More)

> Protesters, police clash in the Peruvian capital of Lima, as demonstrators demand President Dina Boluarte step down; Boluarte's predecessor was ousted in December after attempting to dissolve Congress (More)

> Supreme Court officials say monthslong probe into who leaked a draft of the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson case, which overturned federal abortion protections established in Roe v. Wade, has not identified a suspect (More)

 

In-Depth

> Spherical Descent

MIT Press | William Firebrace. The obscure depths of our world's oceans have been imagined for centuries by storytellers, inspiring real-life explorers. (Read)

> Visualizing the Brazil Capitol Riots

Reuters Graphics | Staff. An interactive timeline detailing the Jan. 8 storming of Brazil's capitol by thousands of supporters of former President Jair Bolsanaro. (Read)

 

> Images from a Forgotten Festival

New Yorker Radio Hour | David Remnick. (Podcast) Photographer Marilyn Nance's forgotten images of a major 20th century Pan-African cultural festival were published a half-century later. (Listen

 

... and see the photos here.

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Etcetera
 

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Clickbait: Solving the national debt with a trillion-dollar coin.

 

Historybook: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin born (1930); Iran hostage crisis ends as 52 Americans are released after 444 days (1981); Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed for first time (1986); Actress Audrey Hepburn dies (1993); Barack Obama becomes first Black president of the US (2009).

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- Buzz Aldrin

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