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Good morning. It's Tuesday, May 21, and we're covering a move to issue arrest warrants in the Israel-Hamas war, a seafood chain bankruptcy, and much more. First time reading? Join over 3.5 million readers. Sign up here.

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Need To Know

War Crimes Warrants

The lead prosecutor at the International Criminal Court announced yesterday he would seek arrest warrants for leaders on both sides of the Israel-Hamas war on charges of crimes against humanity. Subjects include Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, along with Hamas’ political leader Ismail Haniyeh, Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar, and military head Mohammed Deif. Read the specific allegations attributed to each here.


The court—of which the US is not a member (see overview)—prosecutes individuals accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, including war crimes and genocide. The five are not immediately subject to arrest; a three-judge panel will decide whether to move the warrants forward, with a decision expected within months. The ICC also has no enforcement body and relies on member states to carry out warrants. 


Separately, Iranian officials attributed a crash that killed President Ebrahim Raisi Sunday to unspecified technical failures. See drone footage of the suspected crash site here.


Red Lobster Goes Under

Red Lobster has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, facing mounting debt and reduced sales. Established in 1968, the company is the world’s largest seafood chain, serving an estimated 64 million customers annually across more than 550 restaurants in the US and Canada.


In its bankruptcy filing, Red Lobster cited financial challenges, including rising food prices, expensive leases, and underperforming stores. Also cited was the company’s costly decision last year to make its all-you-can-eat shrimp promotion a permanent staple of its menu. The company reported a $76M loss in FY 2023 and has recently closed dozens of locations. Yesterday, it entered into a stalking horse purchase agreement (see explainer) to continue operations under an entity controlled by its more than 100,000 lenders.


The casual dining industry overall saw a slowdown at the end of last year, with 11 out of 21 publicly traded chains reporting sales declines.


UK Blood Scandal

The UK's health system wrongfully exposed tens of thousands of patients to HIV and Hepatitis C and engaged in a cover-up, a report found yesterday. The report—the culmination of a six-year independent investigation—fueled victims’ calls for compensation.


From 1970 to 1991, over 30,000 UK patients were exposed to compromised blood samples through plasma treatments for hemophilia or blood transfusions following medical emergencies or childbirth. More than 3,000 people died from the infections, including many of the more than 380 children infected with HIV.


The inquiry concluded the tragedies were largely avoidable, with doctors and authorities regularly failing to disclose risks or inform patients when they got infected. The inquiry also faulted the government for importing high-risk blood samples from US prisoners and a yearslong delay in heat-treating blood products to eliminate HIV. Authorities were believed to have destroyed documents to conceal wrongdoing.


The blood infection scandal is considered the biggest treatment disaster in the history of the UK's National Health Service. Read the report here.

In partnership with EnergyX

The Lithium Boom


Is a modern-day gold rush happening right in front of our eyes? Lithium is the essential raw material for batteries in smartphones, computers, and now EVs. It takes 10,000 smartphone batteries to make 1 set of EV batteries, which means demand for lithium is projected to soar 20x by 2040.


Creating a massive opportunity for investors, Elon Musk didn’t hold back saying, “Do you like minting money? Well, the lithium business is for you.” EnergyX’s patented LiTAS™ technology extracts up to 300% more lithium than traditional methods. They’ve inked deals with top lithium producers, including POSCO who is building a 100k ton/year plant, secured a strategic investment from GM, and won a $5M DOE grant. Most recently, they acquired a 90,000-acre mining asset that has ~5.5M tons of lithium.


Now EnergyX is accepting shareholders for a limited time. This is a unique opportunity to invest on the ground floor as the company is set to unlock a massive lithium supply. Learn more about becoming an EnergyX shareholder here.*

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In The Know

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Sean "Diddy" Combs' music catalog streaming drops 52% amid multiple allegations of sexual assault; Combs apologized over the weekend after 2016 surveillance video surfaced showing him attacking his ex-girlfriend (More

> Jim Otto, Pro Football Hall of Fame center known as "Mr. Raider," dies at 86 (More) | World No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler's arraignment set for June 3; Scheffler was arrested and released without bail Friday before playing the second round of the PGA Championship (More)

> NBA Conference Finals begin tonight with Eastern Conference top seed the Boston Celtics taking on the Indiana Pacers (8 pm ET, ESPN); Western Conference Finals begin tomorrow night, with the Minnesota Timberwolves facing the Dallas Mavericks (More

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Science & Technology

> Apple and OpenAI partner to incorporate ChatGPT into upcoming iPhone 16 and iOS18 platforms, reports suggest (More) | Heard about generative AI, but don't know how it works? (More, w/video)

> James Webb Space Telescope makes first measurement of the inside of an exoplanet; WASP-107 b, roughly 200 light-years away, has a core 12 times larger than Earth's (More)

> Cockroach genetic study reveals the most common species evolved in Southeast Asia roughly 2,100 years ago before spreading worldwide; bugs likely traveled with humans in two distinct periods around 1,200 and 270 years ago (More


Business & Markets

> US stock markets close mixed (Dow -0.5%, S&P 500 +0.1%, Nasdaq +0.7%); Nasdaq hits record high in intraday trading as Nvidia shares rise 2% (More) | JPMorgan shares drop 4.5% as CEO Jamie Dimon signals upcoming retirement may be sooner than believed (More)

> Ivan Boesky, former Wall Street titan convicted of insider trading, dies at age 87; Boesky is believed to have been the inspiration for "Wall Street" movie character Gordon Gekko, who delivered the famous line "greed is good" (More)

> New York attorney general announces $2B settlement with cryptocurrency lending firm Genesis over claims it defrauded investors; company filed for bankruptcy in the wake of the 2022 FTX collapse (More)


Politics & World Affairs

> Prosecutors rest case in hush money trial against former President Donald Trump; closing arguments expected to begin next week (More) | Key witness Michael Cohen admits to stealing from Trump Organization during tenure (More)

> WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange wins right to appeal Britain's decision to extradite him to the US to face espionage charges (More) | Legal case has been ongoing for 13 years, see timeline (More)

> Crews refloat cargo ship that destroyed Baltimore's Key Bridge in March; ship reportedly suffered four power blackouts in the hours leading up to the collision (More) | Watch video of the vessel tugged back to port (More)



> How Big Is Taylor Swift?

The New York Times | Joe Coscarelli. How do Taylor Swift's musical achievements compare to The Beatles, Michael Jackson, and other pop legends? From album and ticket sales to No. 1 hits and awards, see visual comparisons. (Read, w/graphics)


> The Boy Who Went Viral, Twice

Gazetteer San Francisco | Joshua Bote. In 1947, a fifth-grade boy spent days at a movie theater subsisting on hot dogs and candy. The anecdote—which gained national attention in 1947 and again in 2021—hides a painful backstory. (Read)

In partnership with EnergyX

How GM Is Securing Its Lithium Supply


The world will need to produce 3.8 million tons of lithium per year by 2035 to meet the demand for electric vehicles. General Motors is turning to one startup to unlock US-based lithium supply: EnergyX. EnergyX’s patented LiTAS™ technology can extract up to 300% more lithium than traditional methods.


GM led a $50 million funding round in EnergyX last year, and EnergyX is now opening up the opportunity to join them to all investors. Don’t miss out: Become an EnergyX shareholder today.*

Please support our sponsors!


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Historybook: American Red Cross is founded by Clara Barton (1881); FIFA, world governing body of association football, founded (1904); Amelia Earhart is first woman to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic (1932); Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jane Addams dies (1935); Rapper Notorious BIG born (1972).

"Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace."

- Amelia Earhart

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