7.28.2023

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Good morning. It's Friday, July 28, and we're covering positive economic numbers, an advance in the question to slow aging, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Economic Growth Continues

The US economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.4% in the second quarter of the year, according to preliminary data released yesterday. The figure exceeded both analysts' estimates of 1.7% and first-quarter growth, which came in at 2%. 

 

The overall growth was attributed to a 7.7% year-over-year rise in investments by businesses in the second quarter, up from 0.6% in the previous quarter, as well as a 1.6% year-over-year rise in consumer spending—which accounts for two-thirds of gross domestic product. See other takeaways from the report here

 

Analysts say the data show resiliency in the economy amid a strong labor market, with average hourly earnings rising 4.4% year-over-year last month and as annual inflation growth continues to slow following the Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes. The Fed this week raised rates by a quarter point as part of its campaign to bring annual inflation to its 2% target. In June, annual inflation rose 3%, the smallest year-over-year increase since March 2021. 

 

The total US GDP is $26.8T. See historical data here.

 

New Blood, Slower Aging

Scientists have shown transfusing the blood of younger mice with older ones successfully extends the life span of older mice by almost 10%, according to new results published yesterday. The findings may help further understanding of biological anti-aging mechanisms, which could eventually be of use in humans. 

 

The technique, known as heterochronic parabiosis, essentially ties two mice together for an extended period of time with their circulatory systems surgically connected. A main signature of aging is the inability of organs and tissues to regenerate and maintain their integrity. Younger blood has more components that assist this process; older blood has fewer.

 

The phenomenon has been known for decades (see overview); however, the new study is the first to show the length of the transfusion increases the length of the benefits, and to quantify the benefits to older mice. 

 

Researchers said the results translate into about eight additional years added to a subject's life span if translated to humans. 

 

Coup in Niger

The Niger military declared support for a group of soldiers claiming to have seized power from President Mohamed Bazoum, prompting protests by hundreds of supporters on both sides. The president remains defiant, and his foreign minister denies any support for the coup, which has closed the nation's land borders.

 

The coup in the West African country was initiated when soldiers, allegedly led by Gen. Omar Tchiani, stormed the presidential palace and ousted Bazoum from power, citing deteriorating security in the country. Bazoum, who was democratically elected in 2021, is a key ally of the West in the battle against Islamist forces in West Africa. Other countries in the Sahel region, including Mali and Burkina Faso, have sought support from Russia's Wagner mercenary group. 

 

It was not immediately clear who will assume power in the country. The attempt comes amid a rise in coups in Africa and is the fifth successful attempt in Niger since it gained independence from France in 1960. See a timeline here.

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In partnership with Mode Mobile

Beyond iPhone: Dawn of a New $martphone Era

 

Flip the script: Turn your phone from a cost to an income source. Intriguing idea,

isn't it? Which is why, this week, we have our eyes on the launch of Mode Mobile’s

Public Equity Offering. It’s the latest in a series of impressive raises among smartphone innovators, likely spurred by Apple’s recent $3+ trillion valuation.

 

Mode saw 150x revenue growth from 2019 to 2022, a leap that has made them one of America’s fastest growing companies, potentially signaling a new era for smartphones. Mode is on a mission to disrupt the entire industry with their "EarnPhone," a budget smartphone that’s helped consumers earn and save $150M+ for activities like listening to music, playing games, and ... even charging their devices.

 

Early backers are getting up to 60% bonus stock, and in the first month alone, 9,000+

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> The 2023 News and Documentary Emmy nominations announced; CNN (47) and Vice News (30) lead for most nods per outlet (More)

> Randy Meisner, founding member of the Eagles and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, dies at 77 (More) | London police say no foul play suspected in Sinéad O'Connor's death (More)

> Bronny James, the 18-year-old son of NBA superstar LeBron James, released from hospital three days after suffering a cardiac arrest during practice (More)

From our partners: Do you spend way too much time researching literally everything? Us too. But the experts at The Ascent have sorted through countless credit cards so you don't have to. They found a card so good, even they couldn't resist applying for it. It offers a big sign-up bonus, up to 5% cash back, no annual fee, and the list goes on. Learn more.

 

Science & Technology

> July on track to be the hottest month on record, with the global average temperature roughly 2.7 degrees above the preindustrial mean (More)

> Study suggests the breakup of tectonic plates over millions of years is responsible for driving diamond-rich material to the Earth's surface; process is the source of the majority of known diamond deposits (More) | How are diamonds formed? (More)

> DNA analysis from remains found in modern-day France reveals the genealogy of seven generations of a single family that lived roughly 6,500 years ago; data come from a study constructing the largest prehistoric family tree to date (More)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.6%, Dow -0.7%, Nasdaq -0.6%); Dow snaps 13-session win streak (More)

> Anheuser-Busch to lay off 350 employees, roughly 2% of staff; Bud Light lost status as top-selling US beer in May (More)

> Ford beats earnings expectations, raises 2023 guidance (More) | Intel returns to profitability after two consecutive quarters of losses (More) | McDonald’s same-store US sales up 10%, tops expectations (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> US officials say Ukrainian counteroffensive has escalated significantly, deploying thousands of additional troops in the country's southeast (More) | Former Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin appears at Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg (More) | See updates on the war here (More)

> Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly in wheelchair periodically, one day after appearing to freeze at podium during briefing (More) | Former President Donald Trump to face additional federal charges related to retaining classified documents; Trump was recorded discussing the material, per reports (More)

> Wildfires in Greece trigger a series of explosions after flames reach an air force ammunition depot, no injuries reported; fires have been driven by three successive heat waves in recent weeks (More)

 

In-Depth

> Faking Illness

The Drift | BD McClay. An essayist explores the problem of medical testimony, suggesting every patient-doctor relationship, in some way, relies on mutually agreed-upon fictions. (Read)

 

> The Quest for the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

Garden & Gun | Lindsey Liles. One of the world's largest extant woodpeckers hasn't been credibly sighted since 1944, so this faithful birder has sought to photograph one before the species is declared extinct. (Read)

> Kowloon Walled City

Neo | Staff. Considered in its time to be the densest city in the world, this now-razed 6-acre enclave in Hong Kong contained the entire lives of roughly 50,000 people within haphazardly built walls. (Watch)

 

> The Myth of Sam Bankman-Fried

Wondery | Hannah Miller. (Podcast) A series exposing the intimate details behind the rise and fall of cryptocurrency's charmingly awkward superstar. (Listen)

In partnership with Mode Mobile

First Disruption to Smartphones in 15 Years

 

Consumers clock in a staggering 40 hours a week on smartphones; for the younger generation, this number is even greater. Taking a cue from Uber and Airbnb, Mode monetizes phone usage and unlocks a new asset class for billions, akin to how cars and homes were turned into income generators.

 

Apple's $3T market sets the stage for Mode, which is now being sold at Amazon,

Walmart, and BestBuy, facilitating $150M in user earnings and savings. You can now join 9000+ investors & get 60% in bonus stock by participating prior to close.

 

Disclosure: Please read the offering circular at invest.modemobile.com. This is a paid advertisement for Mode Mobile’s Regulation CF Offering.

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Clickbait: Frying the friendly skies.

 

Historybook: Composer Johann Sebastian Bach dies (1750); 14th Amendment, granting US citizenship to formerly enslaved persons, is officially adopted (1868); Former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis born (1929); Tangshan earthquake kills more than 240,000 in China (1976).

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