4.3.2024

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Good morning. It's Wednesday, April 3, and we're covering an earthquake hitting Taiwan, a school shooting in Finland, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

Breaking news: A 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck off the eastern coast of Taiwan Wednesday morning local time, triggering a tsunami and damaging buildings. The earthquake is believed to be the strongest to hit Taiwan in 25 years. This is a developing story. See updates here.

Finland School Shooting

Finnish police detained a 12-year-old boy yesterday after he opened fire at a school in a city northeast of Finland's capital of Helsinki, killing one student and wounding two others. The suspect and three victims were all sixth graders attending the Viertola school of roughly 800 students in Finland's fourth-largest city, Vantaa. 

 

Police, who are investigating the case as a murder and attempted murder, said the young suspect had a handgun in his possession when he was found in the Helsinki area less than an hour after the shooting took place. The handgun was registered and licensed to a relative. The suspect admitted to the shooting in a preliminary interview with police, but a motive is unclear. No other details were made public. Children under the age of 15 are not criminally liable in Finland, meaning the suspect cannot be formally arrested and will be handed over to social services. 

 

School shootings in Finland are considered rare, with four having occurred in the past 35 years. See an overview here

 

Disney Proxy Battle

The Walt Disney Co.'s monthslong battle with billionaire investor Nelson Peltz and his firm, Trian Fund Management, will come to a close today, as shareholders vote to determine the company's future board. Shareholders will decide between Disney's incumbent slate of 12 members and Trian's two candidates, Peltz and former Disney CFO Jay Rasulo, who aim to replace two current members. Investor Blackwells Capital has also nominated three candidates. The board sets the strategy and oversees the management of the entertainment giant.

 

The proxy battle, among the most expensive ever, poses a significant challenge to CEO Bob Iger's leadership since his return in November 2022. Key points of contention include Disney's stock performance and Trian's critique of the board's handling of industry shifts like the $71B acquisition of 21st Century Fox and Disney's late entry into streaming (see Trian's white paper). Disney has said many of Trian's claims are misleading, emphasizing Iger's efforts to revitalize the company.

 

Trian controls 1.8% of Disney's shares. Disney's shareholder base comprises nearly 65% institutional investors and 33% executives and individual stockholders. See a breakdown here.

 

Tropicana Hotel Shutters

The Tropicana closed its doors yesterday, marking an end to the third-oldest hotel-casino in Las Vegas, with ties to the Mafia and celebrities.

 

Opened in 1957, the Tropicana was operated by an associate of mob boss Frank Costello. Costello was further tied to the resort when he was shot in New York carrying a paper with the resort's earnings. In the 1970s, the Tropicana was one of several hotels named in a mob plot to skim collectively $2M in gambling revenue from casinos. 

 

The Tropicana, also known as the "Tiffany of the Strip," cost $15M to build—the most expensive Las Vegas resort at the time—and was frequented by celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra. Parts of “The Godfather” and the James Bond franchise were filmed at the resort. See photos of the Tropicana here.

 

The Tropicana’s closure paves the way for the construction of a $1.5B Major League Baseball stadium that will house the Oakland Athletics. It is part of a broader pivot in the city over the past decade toward sports venues.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Billie Eilish, Pearl Jam, and Nicki Minaj among group of 200 artists who penned an open letter to tech and digital music companies, expressing their concerns over the use of AI in music (More)

> Joe Flaherty, prolific actor and comedian, dies at age 82 (More) | Larry Lucchino, former president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox, dies at age 78 (More)

> Chicago Symphony Orchestra taps Klaus Mäkelä, 28, as its next music director; will be youngest in the orchestra's 133-year history (More) | SiriusXM to launch Taylor Swift channel April 7 ahead of the release of her new album (More)

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Science & Technology

> Amazon to phase out its "Just Walk Out" technology at Amazon Fresh stores; approach, which scanned and billed customers via cameras and sensors, to be replaced with carts that let users scan items while they shop (More)

> Left-handedness linked to specific genetic variation that controls the production of tiny structures known as microtubules; feature was found at almost three times the rate in lefties, who make up about 10% of the population (More)

> Prototype smart contacts for health monitoring and drug delivery demonstrated; devices are powered by light and electrolytes contained in tears (More)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.7%, Dow -1.0%, Nasdaq -1.0%) as US 10-year Treasury yield rises to highest level since November (More) | US crude oil prices surpass $85 per barrel, highest since October (More)

> Tesla shares close down 5% after Q1 electric vehicle deliveries drop 8.5% year-over-year, the first quarterly decline since 2020 (More) | General Electric completes split into three public companies as aerospace and energy businesses begin trading on New York Stock Exchange; healthcare business split off in January 2023 (More

> Bernard Arnault and his family ($233B), Elon Musk ($195B), and Jeff Bezos ($194B) top Forbes annual list of the world's billionaires, which features 2,781 people, up from last year; Taylor Swift and Earvin “Magic” Johnson among first-timers on list (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> World Central Kitchen suspends Gaza aid deliveries after an Israeli airstrike kills seven aid workers; Israel claims responsibility for the strike, says the incident was unintentional (More) | See war updates (More)

> Fire in Istanbul nightclub kills at least 29 people; police say fire—which took place during daytime hours—may have been caused by renovation work and have detained at least eight people (More

> Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek (D) signs bill recriminalizing hard drug possession (More) | See previous write-up (More) | Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) vetoes bill barring transgender student-athletes from teams aligned with gender identity (More

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Etcetera
 

Why Germany is redesigning its soccer jerseys.

 

... and why Botswana wants to send Germany 20,000 elephants.

 

The best of this year's April Fools' Day pranks.

 

Google has shut down its podcasting app.

 

Browse a paper airplane collection from the 1960s-1980s.

 

... see a smartphone-controlled paper airplane. (via X)

 

A view of the Northern Lights from the slopes.

 

... and a deep-dive into the Southern Lights.

 

Clickbait: Krispy Kreme's total solar eclipse doughnut.

 

Historybook: American politician Boss Tweed born (1823); Actress Doris Day born (1922); Eddie Murphy born (1961); First mobile phone call is made (1973); Apple releases the first iPad (2010).

"The really frightening thing about middle age is the knowledge that you'll grow out of it."

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