2.17.2024

 

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Good morning. It's Saturday, Feb. 17, and in this weekend edition, we're covering a ruling in Trump's civil fraud case, the death of a Russian opposition leader, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

You share. We listen. As always, send us feedback at [email protected].

One Big Headline
 

Financial Fraud Fine

Former President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization have been ordered to pay $354M in a New York civil fraud case that previously found Trump overvalued his real estate assets to secure favorable terms on financial deals.

 

The judge overseeing the case backed away from a previous order seeking the cancellation of Trump's business licenses in the state, which prosecutors had sought. Instead, the judge banned Trump from serving in top roles at a New York company for three years and ordered a two-part oversight process of Trump's businesses. Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump were also banned from conducting business in New York for two years and each fined $4M. Read the ruling here.

 

Friday's ruling comes after a nearly three-month trial in Manhattan, which featured 40 witnesses, including Trump, and follows an investigation from New York Attorney General Letitia James, who filed the lawsuit and had sought a $370M penalty. Trump is expected to appeal the ruling; however, he will need to either pay the fine or secure a bond within 30 days. 

 

Trump, the Republican presidential frontrunner, also faces four criminal cases

Quick Hits
 

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies in prison.

Navalny, who was serving time at an Arctic penal colony 1,200 miles northeast of Moscow, died Friday at age 47, Russian officials announced. While the cause of death was not revealed, officials said Navalny collapsed and lost consciousness after a walk at the colony. Navalny had been in prison since January 2021 for multiple convictions, including on extremism charges and fraud (see overview). 

 

Two juveniles charged in Chiefs parade mass shooting.

The two suspects are being held at a juvenile detention center on gun-related and resisting arrest charges in the shootout that killed one person and wounded 22 others after a Chiefs Super Bowl parade in Kansas City. Additional charges are expected as police continue their investigation. Separately, Taylor Swift donated $100K to the family of a local radio DJ who was killed in the shooting. 

 

Jury deliberates in trial against NRA and former CEO Wayne LaPierre.

The jury is tasked with determining whether LaPierre and others at the National Rifle Association (the largest gun-rights lobby in the US) used millions of dollars to fund personal expenses. The lawsuit, filed by New York's attorney general, seeks to bar the defendants from leading New York nonprofits as well as financial penalties.

 

Nike to lay off 1,500 employees amid restructuring.

The job cuts amount to roughly 2% of the sneaker company's total workforce and will occur in two phases between now and the end of May. The reductions are part of a broader restructuring plan that Nike hopes will help it save at least $2B over the next three years so it can invest in its growth areas, which include women's shoes and the Jordan line. 

 

Brian Wilson's family seeks conservatorship for The Beach Boys star.

Wilson, 81, is suffering from a neurocognitive disorder similar to dementia and is unable to provide for his own personal needs, his family said in a court filing. The request for the conservatorship comes after Wilson's wife of 28 years died last month. Wilson, along with his two brothers, their cousin, and a school friend, founded The Beach Boys in 1961, creating hits like "Surfin' USA" and "I Get Around."

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Humankind
 

Stories of love: 100 people share how their partners show them they are loved. (More)

 

Kentucky bus driver buys pajamas for young boy who didn't have any for his school's pajama day. (More)

 

Meet Juanita "Lightnin'" Epton, the 103-year-old woman who has been selling Daytona 500 tickets since 1959. (More)

 

Sixteen-year-old boy jumps into an Arizona lake to try to rescue a driver. (More

 

Amateur pilot proposes to his girlfriend during a joyride, with the help of friends on a runway in Florida. (More, w/video)

 

High school sweethearts from Michigan rekindle romance 70 years later. (More

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Humankind(ness)
 

Today, we're sharing a story from reader Dan T. in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

"I grew up on a dairy farm in a small town in southern Illinois. My dad passed away unexpectedly in 2006, just as harvest was starting. The prospect of getting our harvest in was daunting to say the least. Just days after the funeral, our farmer neighbors turned out in force and completed a month long harvest in just two days. The turnout was a testament to the sense of unity in small towns, the solidarity among farmers and the respect people had for our dad. That remains one of the most remarkable examples of kindness, generosity and love I have ever witnessed."

 

What act(s) of kindness did you experience this week? Tell us here.

Etcetera
 

Bookkeeping

> This year's Super Bowl brought 882 private jets to Las Vegas airports.

> Usher's music sees a nearly 550% boost in Spotify streams after the Super Bowl

 

Browse 

> The world's smallest armadillos: pink fairies.

> Hubble telescope views a massive star forming.

> The top 100 pizza spots in the US in 2024, according to Yelp.

Breaking down Iowa star Caitlin Clark's top moments using art

AI imagines new dog breeds to represent America's states.

> Man finds 70-year-old love letter in a toolbox

 

Listen 

> The economics of ATMs and why you have to pay a surcharge.

 

Watch 

> The science of microwave ovens and what to avoid cooking in them

How a drying, toxic US lake could turn into the "Saudi Arabia of lithium."

> The family who has created neon signs for Hollywood (and hoards them). 

> A mother cat feeds her kittens

 

Long Read 

> Prison inmates craft string instruments from wrecked migrant boats.

> How a financial advice columnist got scammed out of $50K

Explaining cholesterol and heart disease. (w/visuals)  

 

Most Read of the Week: The gory origins of Valentine's Day.

 

Historybook: Football player and actor Jim Brown born (1936); Vanguard 2 launched as first weather satellite (1959); Michael Jordan born (1963); Volkswagen Beetle passes Ford Model T to become world’s bestselling car (1972); Golf great Mickey Wright dies (2020). 

"Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it."

- Michael Jordan

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