12.11.2023

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Good morning. It's Monday, Dec. 11, and we're covering the fallout from controversial congressional testimony, a historic sports contract, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Penn Reckoning 

University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill resigned Saturday amid backlash over remarks made during a congressional hearing about on-campus antisemitism Tuesday. Reports of antisemitic harassment have increased at US universities since the start of the Israel-Hamas war two months ago, prompting scrutiny of those institutions' responses. A major donor withdrew a $100M partnership with Penn Thursday as a protest of Magill's comments.

 

Magill, whose tenure began just 16 months ago, appeared to hedge when asked whether extreme forms of antisemitism, including calling for genocide of Jews, violated Penn's code of conduct, instead saying each situation required further context. A brief clip of the five-hour testimony (watch here) was viewed over 30 million times and led to widespread bipartisan condemnation. Magill's counterparts at the hearing, the presidents of Harvard and MIT, also face calls to resign (read more about tensions at Harvard).

 

Magill will act as president until her successor is announced and will continue as a faculty member at the school. 

 

Diamond Deal

Shohei Ohtani, one of baseball's biggest stars, will depart the Los Angeles Angels and head across town to the Los Angeles Dodgers after signing a contract reportedly worth $700M. In total value, the 10-year deal is believed to be the biggest contract signed by any athlete in global sports history. 

 

A rare two-way player (pitching and hitting), Ohtani was considered one of the most sought-after free agents in baseball history. Last season, he became the first-ever player to win 10 games as a pitcher and hit more than 40 home runs, and is the only player to have twice been unanimously selected as league MVP. Since entering the MLB in 2018, he's notched 38 wins and more than 600 strikeouts from the mound while knocking 171 home runs and driving in another 437 runs. 

 

The three-time All-Star joins an already formidable Dodgers squad. Since 2017, they have won 100 games or more five times and played in three World Series, winning the title in 2020. 

 

Texas Abortion Battle

The Texas Supreme Court paused a lower court's ruling over the weekend allowing a Dallas-area woman to receive an abortion despite the state's new laws limiting access to the procedure. The case is believed to be the first of its kind in the US since Roe v. Wade was overturned last June.  

 

Kate Cox, a 31-year-old mother of two, sued for an exemption to the state's restrictions after learning her unborn baby was at high risk for Edwards syndrome (see overview). A genetic disorder, the condition causes severe developmental issues—the majority of diagnoses (above 80%) result in fetal loss during pregnancy; roughly 50% carried to term survive birth, and of those, 5%-10% survive past 12 months. 

 

Cox was 20 weeks pregnant when the suit was filed. Texas bans the procedure after around six weeks except for medical emergencies; Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) argued Cox's case does not meet the medical requirements for termination because the mother's life is not at risk. 

 

The court did not signal when it may make a decision in the case. 

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1. "Journal of Retirement Study Winter" (2020). The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of your future results. Please follow the link to see the methodologies employed in the Journal of Retirement study.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels wins 2023 Heisman Trophy as college football's most outstanding player (More) | See full list of college football award winners (More)

> Ryan O'Neal, Oscar-nominated actor known for starring roles in "Love Story" and "Paper Moon," dies at 82 (More)

> Los Angeles Lakers win first-ever NBA In-Season Tournament (More) | Columbus Crew top Los Angeles FC to win their third MLS Cup (More)

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Science & Technology

> European Union reaches world's first comprehensive set of regulations for AI; plan creates a risk ranking system for different types of AI and allows consumers to file complaints against platforms (More)

> Paleontologists discover 75-million-year-old fossil of a Gorgosaurus, a species of tyrannosaur from what is now western North America, with its final two meals preserved in its stomach (More)

> Physicists demonstrate optical tweezers—focused laser beams that can hold and move tiny objects—which can position single molecules so precisely they can be used for quantum computing (More)

 

Business & Markets

> All three major markets end up Friday (S&P 500 +0.4%, Dow +0.4%, Nasdaq +0.5%), notch the sixth straight week of growth; S&P 500 reaches highest point of the year, up 20% in 2023 (More)

> Health insurance giant Cigna drops bid to acquire rival Humana, will buy back $10B worth of shares (More) | What are stock buybacks? (More) | Honeywell to buy Carrier for nearly $5B (More)

> Southwest Airlines' flight attendants union rejects contract proposal; vote not expected to disrupt holiday air travel (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Israel Defense Forces order civilians to evacuate Khan Younis in southern Gaza amid push into city center; total Palestinians killed surpasses 18,000, according to Hamas-led health ministry (More) | See war updates here (More

> X (formerly Twitter) reinstates account of InfoWars' Alex Jones after user poll, five years after he was permanently banned from the site for abusive behavior; Jones previously denied 2012 Sandy Hook massacre (More

> Six killed, including two children, with dozens of others injured amid severe storms and tornadoes in central Tennesee, Kentucky Saturday (More) | See photos (More)

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Etcetera
 

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Historybook: King Edward VIII abdicates throne to younger brother King George VI (1936); Germany and Italy declare war on the US (1941); John Kerry born (1943); Musician Sam Cooke dies (1964); Model Bettie Page dies (2008).

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