3.7.2023

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Good morning. It's Tuesday, March 7, and we're covering charges in the Atlanta police clash, kidnapped Americans in Mexico, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Atlanta Charges 

Authorities in Atlanta charged 23 people with domestic terrorism yesterday after more than a hundred protestors clashed with police over the weekend at a police training center under development outside Atlanta, Georgia. Police say all but two of the charged people are from out of state.

 

The Atlanta Police Department arrested 35 people for allegedly throwing bricks, large rocks, and Molotov cocktails at police officers Sunday and also setting construction equipment on fire. No officers were injured. The 85-acre police training center will include classrooms, administrative buildings, a shooting range, a driving course to practice chases, and a building for firefighters to practice extinguishing fires. 

 

Opponents have dubbed the site "Cop City," where 26-year-old environmental activist Manuel Esteban Paez Terán was shot to death by officers at a protest in January. They argue building the training center would cut down trees and potentially damage the environment. The mayor has said the site was cleared decades ago for a state prison farm and has been overgrown with invasive species.

 

Americans Kidnapped

Four US citizens were kidnapped Friday after crossing the border into Mexico by unidentified armed men, according to reports yesterday. The victims were taken at gunpoint from their minivan in the border city of Matamoros in the state of Tamaulipas, across from Brownsville, Texas. The four Americans were then placed in another vehicle and driven from the scene.

 

The kidnapping came on the same day as a violent shooting across the city left four dead. Matamoros is home to one of the most important operational bases for the Gulf drug cartel (see 101). US officials were ordered to avoid the area; however, it is uncertain if the abduction is related to the violence.  

 

The victims were believed to have been traveling to Mexico for medical purposes, according to receipts found in their vehicle. Tamaulipas is one of six Mexican states the US advises citizens against traveling to, citing the risk of crime and kidnapping.

                                 

 

Marlboro Maker Buys NJOY

Altria Group Inc., the maker of iconic tobacco brand Marlboro, announced yesterday it will purchase vape-maker NJOY for $2.75B, its latest investment in nontraditional smoking products. The announcement comes days after Altria divested its stake in embattled e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL Labs, where it saw the value of its initial $13B investment shrink to $250M after regulatory issues and lawsuits.

 

NJOY is one of the few in the industry whose products are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and also holds the only FDA market authorization for a pod-based e-vapor cigarette. However, it has a relatively small market share of 3% behind leaders JUUL and Vuse Alto. Experts claim the purchase price is steep for the industry, with Altria set to pay roughly 18 times NJOY's total sales in 2022. 

 

Altria has also partnered with Japan Tobacco to market two new devices that heat tobacco without producing harmful smoke. See a breakdown of heated tobacco products here

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> The 2023 World Baseball Classic set to start tonight with pool play for the 20-team tournament taking place in Taiwan, Tokyo, Miami, and Phoenix (More) | NBA star Ja Morant being investigated by police after flashing gun on Instagram (More)

> Tyler Perry in talks with Paramount to purchase majority stake of BET (More) | Elon Musk documentary in the works from Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney (More

> Men's world No. 1 Novak Djokovic withdraws from Indian Wells tennis tournament after failing to get waiver to enter the US despite not being vaccinated (More)

 

Science & Technology

> International law enforcement breaks up Russia-linked hacker group DoppelPaymer; attacks by group included a 2020 hack that paralyzed Britain’s National Health Service and Düsseldorf University Hospital, leading to at least one death (More)

> Flexible electronic bandages are shown to speed wound healing by as much as 30% in demonstration study (More)

> Antiviral pill ensitrelvir becomes the first COVID-19 treatment to show a statistically significant reduction in the number of days patients test positive post-infection (More) | See US COVID-19 stats here (More)

 

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 +0.1%, Dow +0.1%, Nasdaq -0.1%); Dow sees fourth consecutive daily gain (More)

> SiriusXM to cut 8% of workforce, or 475 jobs; stock falls to 52-week low (More)

> Tesla reduces prices on Model S and Model X electric vehicles by 4%-9% (More)

From our partners: Say hello to a one-card-wallet. The Ascent's credit card experts personally signed up for this credit card, thanks to its impressive mix of benefits. Up to 5% cash back, a big bonus, no annual fee, the list goes on.

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Norfolk Southern Railway unveils safety plan after second train derails in Ohio  and ahead of a Thursday Senate hearing featuring CEO Alan Shaw; plan includes deployment of acoustic bearing detectors to help spot issues along the tracks (More

> Bangladesh officials investigate cause of fire at world's largest Rohingya refugee camp that has displaced 12,000 people (More) | At least 10 security officers killed in a suicide attack in western Pakistan (More)

> Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign manager, agrees to pay $3.15M to settle Department of Justice lawsuit over undeclared foreign bank accounts (More)

 

In-Depth

> Using AI to Detect Breast Cancer

NY Times | Adam Satariano, Cade Metz. In Hungary, hospitals are testing AI software to screen for breast cancer by identifying signs that may be overlooked by doctors—a technological advancement that could revolutionize cancer treatment. (Read)

 

> The Fugee and the FBI

Bloomberg | Staff. Former ‘90s rapper Pras Michel is facing significant jail time—how the member of The Fugees got entangled in Malaysia's 1MDB scandal and facilitated high-stakes negotiations between global superpowers. (Read)

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Etcetera
 

States with the highest (and lowest) tax rates.

 

The best tippers in the US are from Cleveland.

 

Why the floppy disk won't die.

 

Unpacking TikTok's Bold Glamour filter

 

The richest female athletes from every state.

 

Toblerone drops iconic mountain from packaging.

 

How KFC's Double Down sandwich began as an April Fool's joke

 

An adorable baby Wookiee, or tiny thumb monkey. (via Reddit)

 

Clickbait: TSA says stop sending your pets through the X-ray

 

Historybook: Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone (1876); Actor Bryan Cranston born (1956); Bloody Sunday as 600 civil rights protesters attacked by police in Selma, Alabama (1965); American poet Amanda Gorman born (1998); Director Stanley Kubrick dies (1999).

"However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light."

- Stanley Kubrick

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