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Good morning. It's Thursday, Jan. 18, and we're covering a deal to provide medical supplies in Gaza, plans for a city-from-scratch in California, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.


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Need To Know

Aid Deal in Gaza

Shipments of medicine for both Palestinians and Israelis held hostage by Hamas began arriving in the Gaza Strip yesterday—aid delivered as part of a deal brokered by Qatar and France. The agreement marked the most significant diplomatic breakthrough since a November hostage exchange. 


Reports suggest supplies will provide three months worth of medicine for around 45 hostages with chronic illnesses. In exchange, 1,000 boxes of medical aid would be provided for injured and sick Gazans for each box delivered to hostages. Red Cross workers are said to be responsible for end-point delivery (how this would be confirmed was not specified).


Separately, US officials said yesterday the Iran-backed Houthi rebel group operating in Yemen would be redesignated as a foreign terrorist group starting next month. The decision comes after months of attacks by the group—purportedly in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza—on commercial vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.


The attacks have had a noticeable effect—insurance rates for cargo hauls have skyrocketed while global trade has dipped by more than 1%. Explore a map of maritime traffic in the region here


On the ground, Israel carried out a string of airstrikes in the southern city of Khan Younis, suggesting a more targeted phase of the war may begin soon. 


See updates on the broader conflict here.


California Forever

A company backed by Silicon Valley tech titans unveiled details of an ambitious plan to turn thousands of acres of rural land between San Francisco and Sacramento into a walkable new city of at least 50,000 residents. The proposal has support from LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, and philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs.


The company, California Forever, purchased 60,000 acres of land in Solano County for roughly $800M over the last five years. It plans to convert 18,600 acres into a city between Travis Air Force Base (the largest employer in the county) and the small city of Rio Vista (see map). California Forever promises to offer $400M to help county residents buy an initial 20,000 homes in the new city and create 15,000 jobs that pay above-average wages. The proposal also includes creating a buffer from the Air Force base to alleviate concerns about interfering with military operations.


However, decades-old county protections prevent farmland from turning into urban space. To bypass those protections, organizers will need to collect at least 13,000 signatures for the issue to appear on the November ballot and win voter approval. 


Royal Treatment(s)

British royals King Charles and Catherine, the Princess of Wales, will take time off from public events in the coming weeks due to planned medical procedures, according to two separate palace announcements yesterday. The revelations came less than two hours apart in what some observers have described as atypical candor around the royals' health.


The king was in Scotland for talks when Buckingham Palace announced the 75-year-old would undergo a corrective procedure for his prostate next week. The prostate is a gland in the male groin area that commonly enlarges in men over 50, a low-risk condition distinct from prostate cancer. Charles is expected to make a quick recovery.


Catherine, the 42-year-old wife of Prince William and future queen, underwent abdominal surgery at a private hospital in London and is expected to remain there for two weeks. Kensington Palace revealed the issue was not cancer but provided no further details as to the specific procedure. The princess is recovering normally.

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In The Know

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Lana Del Rey, Tyler the Creator, and Doja Cat to headline 2024 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (April 12-14, 19-21) (More) | R.E.M, Steely Dan, and Timbaland highlight 2024 inductees into Songwriters Hall of Fame (More)

> Amazon to partner with The Wonder Project to produce faith-based content for Prime Video (More) | Amazon purchases minority stake in Bally Sports regional networks, which owns rights to local broadcasts for 37 teams in the NBA, MLB, and NHL (More)

> The 40th Sundance Film Festival kicks off today (Jan. 18-28) from Park City, Utah; see list of some of the most anticipated films (More)


Science & Technology

In partnership with EnergyX

> Greenland's ice sheet has lost roughly 2,000 square miles since 1985 due to rising temperatures, with previous calculations underestimating total ice loss by 20% (More) | Inside a proposal to halt ice loss using undersea curtains (More)

> Google's DeepMind solves geometry problems on par with top competitors in international math competition; ability to solve geometric theorems requires deeper reasoning useful in other applications (More)

> Engineers create artificial plants that generate electricity by harvesting energy from the wind and rain, proof-of-principle study shows (More)

From our partners: The next gold rush? The demand for lithium is projected to grow 20X by 2040, creating a massive opportunity for investors. Elon Musk described it as “like minting money.” Enter EnergyX. Their tech can extract 300% more lithium, earning them investments from GM and POSCO. Now you can invest in EnergyX too. And for a limited time, you can get in at their $8/share price. Watch this video to learn more or become a shareholder here.*


Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.6%, Dow -0.3%, Nasdaq -0.6%); December US retail sales rose more than expected to 0.6% over November (More)

> Sheryl Sandberg to step down from Meta's board of directors, will become informal adviser in May (More) Venture capital firm General Catalyst announces plans to buy Ohio health system Summa Health and turn it into a for-profit (More

> Spirit Airlines shares continue to slide after potential sale to JetBlue blocked, shares close down more than 22% (More) | US Federal Aviation Administration says first 40 inspections of Boeing 737 Max 9 planes complete (More


Politics & World Affairs

> Maine judge pauses secretary of state ruling that made former President Donald Trump ineligible for state's GOP primary ballot, says US Supreme Court must decide on the same issue for Colorado first (More) | Supreme Court considers case challenging extent of regulatory authority granted to federal agencies (More

> CNN cancels Republican primary debate in New Hampshire ahead of state's primaries next week due to lack of participation from Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (More) | ABC News also cancels its New Hampshire debate (More) | Latest New Hampshire poll ties Trump, Haley (More)

> China's population declines for second consecutive year in 2023; population of 1.4 billion is down more than 2 million from 2022 due to record-low births and COVID-19 deaths (More



> The Consciousness Wars

Nature | Mariana LenharoOne of the most fundamental mysteries in science is explaining consciousness, what it is, and how it arises. A new approach may allow us to begin testing some of the many theories attempting an explanation. (Read)


> Inside Misophonia 

Psyche | Nathaniel Scharping. New clues are shedding light on misophonia, a condition in which specific sounds cause intense and visceral negative reactions, with roots in both psychology and neurology tied together. (Read)

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Historybook: President John Tyler dies (1862); Actor Cary Grant born (1904); WWI Paris Peace Conference begins (1919); Author Rudyard Kipling dies (1936); Willie O’Ree becomes first Black player in the National Hockey League (1958).

“I did not realize I had made history until I read it in the paper the next day.”

- Willie O'Ree

Why 1440? The printing press was invented around the year 1440, spreading knowledge to the masses and changing the course of history. More facts: In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. We’re here to make each one count.


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