4.16.2024

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Tuesday, April 16, and we're covering a criminal investigation into the Baltimore bridge collapse, internal changes at Tesla, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

Baltimore Bridge Probe 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reportedly launched a criminal probe into last month's collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. The investigation will focus on whether the crew departed the port knowing the Singapore-based cargo ship had system issues, violating federal maritime law. The March 26 crash killed six members of a repair crew and halted shipping traffic in the Port of Baltimore (see previous write-up).

 

In related news, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott (D) yesterday announced legal action against the ship’s owner, charterer, operator, and manufacturer. The FBI investigation is separate from a probe by the National Transportation Safety Board, which is focusing on the vessel’s electrical power system. Attorneys representing three of the construction workers involved said they are also pursuing legal action.

 

The ship’s owners filed a court petition last month to limit their liability from the crash. See how a 173-year-old maritime law could determine who owes what.

 

Tesla's Internal Shake-Up

Tesla is planning to lay off over 14,000 employees—more than 10% of its global workforce—in its first large-scale layoffs in over a year, according to an internal memo this week. The company's electric vehicle sales have begun to stagnate amid a decline in demand and increased competition from Chinese carmakers. Tesla's shares fell over 5% on the news. 

 

CEO Elon Musk said the layoffs are part of cost-cutting measures as the company prepares for its next phase of growth. Also yesterday, two top executives at Tesla announced their departure: engineering executive Drew Baglino and policy and outreach executive Rohan Patel.

 

The shake-up comes after Tesla earlier this month posted its first year-over-year decline in quarterly sales since 2020. The report came after China’s BYD briefly overtook Tesla as the world's top seller of battery electric vehicles last year. In January, Musk said Tesla would soon release a cheaper, $25K model rumored to compete with BYD. That plan has now reportedly been tabled, with Musk prioritizing the debut of a robotaxi fleet in August.

 

'Rust' Armorer Sentenced

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer who handled the weapons on the set of the Western film "Rust," was sentenced to 18 months in prison yesterday for the October 2021 shooting death of the film's cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins. 

 

Gutierrez-Reed, 27, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter by a New Mexico jury in March for erroneously putting a live round into a prop gun (see 101). Alec Baldwin, the film's star and coproducer, fired the loaded weapon during rehearsal, shooting the 42-year-old Hutchins. Baldwin, 66, faces his own trial July 10 on an involuntary manslaughter charge for which he has pleaded not guilty. 

 

Attorneys for Gutierrez-Reed plan to file an appeal. The defense argued the armorer was not given enough time to check the weapon and that Baldwin was reckless with the prop. Prosecutors argued Gutierrez-Reed failed to take accountability in her role, pointing to her recorded conversations from jail, where she has been held for the past month.

In partnership with Aura

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Their new investment round just opened to fuel internationalization, and is filling up fast. Over 2,000 people have already invested in Aura, so don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to back a rapidly growing start-up transforming mental wellness. This opportunity ends on 4/29—learn more here.*

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with Seed

> Indiana Fever take Iowa's Caitlin Clark with top pick in 2024 WNBA Draft; see complete list of draft picks (More) | NBA Play-In Tournament kicks off today; see full schedule (More)

> "The Gates" to premiere in January 2025 on CBS and will be first daytime network soap opera in over 30 years to primarily feature a Black family (More)

> Kenya's Hellen Obiri and Ethiopia's Sisay Lemma win women's and men's titles at 128th Boston Marathon (More)

From our partners: Probiotics are a science. It’s important that they are developed, manufactured, and vetted with scientific rigor and precision. Seed’s DS-01® Daily Synbiotic is a pre-and-probiotic engineered by science to help you feel your best—formulated with strains that have benefits going beyond gut health, like skin and heart health! Use code NEWS25 for 25% off your first month.

 

Science & Technology

> Stanford University releases its annual artificial intelligence index report, finds AI systems now match or exceed human performance on a number of basic tasks (More) | OpenAI's GPT-4 cost $78M to train, Google's Gemini cost $191M; see full report (More)

> New RNA-based vaccine shown effective against all strains of a virus, may eliminate need for annual boosters against illnesses like the common flu (More) | The hunt for a universal vaccine (More, w/video)

> Astrophysicists resolve mystery of Pluto's heart-shaped structure, conclude it was created with a 400-mile-wide planetary object early in its history; study also suggests Pluto has no subsurface ocean (More)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -1.2%, Dow -0.7%, Nasdaq -1.8%) as Middle East tensions weigh on investor sentiment (More) | US retail sales rise 0.7% month-over-month in March, up from economist forecast of 0.3% and the second consecutive monthly rise (More

> Goldman Sachs tops earnings and revenue expectations, reports 28% increase in first quarter profits of over $4B, or $11.58 per share—the highest earnings per share since the third quarter of 2021 (More

> Salesforce shares fall 7% on reports of potential deal to buy data-management firm Informatica, valued at $10B (More) | Trump Media and Technology Group shares fall 18% as it eyes issuing more shares (More) | Live Nation shares fall in after-hours trading on report of possible Justice Department antitrust suit (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Former President Donald Trump's criminal hush money trial in Manhattan begins; first day concludes with no jurors selected, more than 50 in the jury pool dismissed (More) | See our previous write-up (More

> US Supreme Court allows Idaho law banning gender-affirming care for minors to broadly take effect—excluding plaintiffs who challenged the law—while appeals process plays out (More) | Supreme Court rejects hearing appeal over whether a Black Lives Matter demonstration leader can be sued for an injury to a police officer caused by a different protester (More)

> At least four people, including a bishop and a priest, wounded in a knife attack during a church service in Sydney, Australia; police arrest teenage suspect, treating attack as terrorism (More

 

In-Depth

> Doomsday Designs for the Ultrawealthy

Architectural Digest | Sarah Archer. There is a niche demand for building designs that can protect inhabitants from doomsday scenarios. Architects share how safety factors into their designs and perspectives on the high-end prepper market. (Read)

 

> Business Tactics for Everyday Life

NPR | Staff. Career coach Joan Moon shares a range of tips to apply successful business negotiation tactics to everyday challenges—from making big purchases to navigating conflict with romantic partners. (Listen)

In partnership with Aura

Why 2,000+ Investors Are Backing Aura

 

Notable Silicon Valley investors have backed the next “Spotify” of wellness founded by Forbes 30 Under 30 members. Aura has announced 8 million users, $25M in revenue, and a quarter billion minutes spent every year—and they’re just getting started.

 

Their new investment round has opened to fuel internationalization. Over 2,000 people have already invested in this start-up, and the opportunity is closing on 4/29—don’t miss out; learn more here.*

Please support our sponsors!

Etcetera
 

The Lyrid meteor shower begins this week

 

Americans are sleeping less and stressing more

 

Ben & Jerry's is offering free ice cream cones today.

 

Ranking the world's busiest airports

 

Alien-like plant blooms for first time in a decade.

 

New York proposes birth control to rein in rat problem.

 

The world's oldest beer recipe—featuring old bread crusts

 

"Bluey" season 3 finale has kids and parents in their feels.

 

Clickbait: "If gratitude had a face, it wouldn't be this kitty." 

 

Historybook: Actor Charlie Chaplin born (1889); Harriet Quimby is first woman to fly across English Channel (1912); Kareem Abdul-Jabbar born (1947); Singer-songwriter Selena Quintanilla-Pérez born (1971); 32 die, 17 injured in Virginia Tech mass shooting (2007)

"The good and the great are only separated by the willingness to sacrifice."

- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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