5.25.2023

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Good morning. It's Thursday, May 25, and we're covering a new phase in the 2024 presidential race, the death of a legendary performer, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

DeSantis Declares

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) made his long-anticipated jump into the 2024 presidential race yesterday, making the announcement in a livestreamed conversation with Twitter CEO Elon Musk. DeSantis has positioned his campaign as focused on conservative populism with an emphasis on effective governing and joins a field of seven other candidates seeking the Republican nomination (see list). 

 

Former President Donald Trump, whose campaign began in November, currently leads DeSantis by more than 30 points in primary polls taken before last night's announcement. Separate polling suggested DeSantis is the second choice for roughly half of voters ranking Trump as their preferred candidate. Reports suggest a DeSantis-affiliated group has budgeted at least $200M for voter outreach in the first four early primary states—Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. The first GOP primary will be held in early January at the Iowa caucuses.  

 

Hear a replay of the announcement here (note—the audio stream suffered a number of glitches throughout, find a cleaned-up version on Twitter here).

 

Tina Turner Dies 

Tina Turner, known as the “Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll," died yesterday at the age of 83 at her home in Switzerland. The cause of death was not reported, though she was known to have health issues in recent years, including a stroke, cancer, and kidney failure. 

 

Born as Anna Mae Bullock in Tennessee in 1939, Turner rose to fame in the 1960s and 1970s as the lead singer of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, alongside husband Ike Turner, who gave Turner her stage name. The 12-time Grammy winner eventually launched her solo career after leaving her abusive relationship in 1976 and following the success of her second album, “Private Dancer,” in 1984.

 

Turner sold over 150 million records worldwide and was voted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with Ike in 1991 and on her own in 2021. Her hits include Grammy-winning "What's Love Got to Do with It," which topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984 and made Turner, then 44, the oldest female solo artist to achieve the feat at the time.

 

See more of the icon's hits here. See photos of her life here.

 

Paralysis Breakthrough

Swiss neuroscientists have successfully utilized a brain-spine interface to enable a paralyzed man to walk using his thoughts, according to a study released yesterday. The breakthrough development expands on recent innovations using spinal implants to generate movement in patients with immobilizing spinal injuries.

 

Gert-Jan Oskam, a Dutch 40-year-old who was paralyzed 12 years ago (see documentary), received two brain implants and one on his spine, creating a so-called "digital bridge" across the injured nerves. A portable computer decodes his brain's electrical signals and relays them to a spinal pulse generator, resulting in the perception that his lower body movements are voluntary. Combined with regular therapy, the procedure allows Oskam to walk and climb stairs with a natural gait aided by a walker, at times without the digital bridge activated. 

 

The procedure further opens the possibility for victims of paralysis to regain control of their legs, with researchers hoping to reduce the size and invasiveness of the implants. Learn more about the group's founder here

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Two-time Grammy-nominated rapper Fetty Wap sentenced to six years in prison on federal drug trafficking charges (More)

> Florida Panthers sweep Carolina Hurricanes to advance to NHL Stanley Cup Final; Vegas Golden Knights will look to sweep the Dallas Stars tonight (8 pm ET, ESPN) (More)

> Kenneth Anger, avant-garde filmmaker and influential counterculture author, dies at 96 (More) | "The Little Mermaid" expected to reel in $180M at worldwide box office over Memorial Day weekend (More)

 

Science & Technology

> US officials cut ribbon on the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas; the biosafety level 4 lab will focus on research to combat human and animal disease threats (More)

> Key molecule in breast milk helps shift newborn heart cells from using simple sugars for energy to fatty acids, a requirement for healthy heart development, new mice study finds (More)

> World's strongest laser recreates the pressure-driven ionization—when electrons are ripped from their host atoms—which occurs inside giant planets and stars (More)

 

Business & Markets

In partnership with LiquidPiston

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.7%, Dow -0.8%, Nasdaq -0.6%) amid ongoing debt ceiling discussions (More)

> Target to remove certain Pride Month products after customer backlash and employee threats (More) | Kohl’s shares up 7% after announcing unexpected first quarter profit (More

> Nvidia shares up over 20% in after-hours trading after chipmaker announces stronger-than-expected forecast (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> Communities across Texas hold vigils marking the anniversary of the mass school shooting at Uvalde's Robb Elementary School; 19 students and two teachers were killed in the attack (More) | See murals honoring the victims (More) | Criminal probe over delayed police response to the massacre remains ongoing (More

> Head of Russia's Wagner group says more than 20,000 of his troops died in the battle for Ukraine's eastern city of Bakhmut (More) | Russian hypersonic missile scientist accused of leaking state secrets, likely to China (More) | US officials say Ukraine is likely responsible for this month's Kremlin drone attack (More)

> Canada and Saudi Arabia restore diplomatic relations, appoint new ambassadors five years after dispute over jailed women's rights activists held by Saudi Arabia (More) | Greece appoints judge as caretaker prime minister after Sunday's general election failed to produce a new government; new elections set for June (More)

 

In-Depth

> Inside the Secret CIA Museum

In the Room | Peter Bergen. (Podcast) Award-winning investigative journalist Peter Bergen tours the CIA's private gallery of artifacts, detailing the agency's legacy—both good and bad. (Listen)

 

> The Diary of a Ukrainian Filmmaker-Turned-Soldier

New Lines Magazine | Artem Ryzhykov, David Lepeska. Artem Ryzhykov, a 32-year-old cinematographer and filmmaker, recounts his experience fighting in Ukraine, including holding a gun for the first time, and provides insights into the challenges faced by those involved in the war. (Read)

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Etcetera
 

The most trusted brands of 2023.

 

Looking back at popular Happy Meal toys.

 

Examining play frequency of female artists on country radio.

 

Ranking the top multisport athletes.

 

Misspelling ends nine-day “Jeopardy!” winning streak.

 

Germans begin to sour on currywurst.

 

Dutch mushroom coffin biodegrades after 45 days

 

Overdue book returned to library 100 years later.

 

Clickbait: Fans go nuts over the new Yankee.

 

Historybook: Constitutional Convention convenes in Philadelphia (1787); Author Ralph Waldo Emerson born (1803); Businesswoman Madam C.J. Walker dies (1919); "Star Wars" premieres in theaters (1977); George Floyd is killed by police during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota (2020).

"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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