6.12.2024

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Wednesday, June 12, and we're covering a criminal conviction against the US president's son, an attack on US teachers visiting China, and much more. First time reading? Join over 3.5 million intellectually curious readers. Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

Hunter Biden Verdict

A federal jury yesterday found Hunter Biden guilty of three gun-related felony charges, the first conviction of a child of a sitting US president. The 54-year-old son of President Joe Biden faces up to 25 years in prison, though he is likely to receive a lesser punishment as a first-time offender. Sentencing is expected in four months. 

 

The conviction comes after a plea deal to avoid indictment fell through last summer. The jury took three hours to reach the verdict, finding Hunter Biden had lied to a federally licensed gun dealer and falsely claimed he was not addicted to illicit drugs on a 2018 gun application. At the time, he was embroiled in a yearslong drug addiction detailed in a 2023 memoir. The case involved intimate testimony about Hunter Biden's struggles from his ex-wife, adult daughter, and sister-in-law. 

 

President Biden later indicated he would not use his executive power to pardon his son. The younger Biden faces a separate trial in September over federal tax fraud charges. 

 

Stabbing in China

Four American college instructors were stabbed in northeastern China yesterday. The victims, instructors from Iowa’s Cornell College who are part of an exchange program with Beihua University, were visiting a public park in Jilin when the attack occurred. A 55-year-old suspect surnamed Cui was arrested the same day, and no motive has been released.

 

The instructors and a Chinese citizen who attempted to intervene were hospitalized and are expected to make full recoveries. Among the wounded is David Zabner, the brother of Iowa State Rep. Adam Zabner (D). Despite the country’s low crime rate, China has seen an uptick in public mass stabbings, including a knife attack at a hospital last month.

 

The attack comes as Washington and Beijing are hoping to restart academic exchanges post-pandemic. There are about 700 US exchange students currently in China, compared to almost 300,000 Chinese students in the US. See President Xi Jinping’s connection to Iowa here.

 

Space Travel Study

Civilians traveling briefly in space experience some of the same physical and psychological shifts as astronauts who spend months in orbit but return to normal within a few months, according to new research. The findings, released yesterday, represent the most comprehensive analysis of the effects of spaceflight on the human body and come amid growing investments in commercial space travel.

 

The studies particularly rely on a historic all-civilian mission launched by SpaceX in 2021. Two women and two men, each representing a different decade of life, spent three days orbiting roughly 360 miles above Earth's surface. The crew was exposed to similar hazards as highly trained astronauts, including altered gravity and radiation. They collected samples of their blood, saliva, and more; tracked other internal data; and completed routine surveys.

 

While the crew showed signs of aging, 95% of the measurements studied eventually returned to normal. The findings also revealed space travelers have a higher risk of kidney stones. Explore all findings here (w/visuals). 

In partnership with SmartAsset

7 Mistakes When Choosing A Financial Advisor

 

Working with a financial advisor can be a crucial part of any healthy retirement plan.

 

Research suggests that people who work with a financial advisor feel more at ease about their finances and could end up with about 15% more money to spend in retirement.* But choosing the wrong one could wreak havoc. Check out these 7 mistakes people make when hiring an advisor so you can work to potentially avoid years of stress. See the list.

 

With thousands of options available, finding an advisor can seem daunting. That's why SmartAsset developed a free quiz to help match you with up to 3 vetted financial advisors serving your area, each legally bound to work in your best interest. It's never too late to plan to work toward a comfortable retirement. Get your financial advisor matches today.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> The 2024 James Beard Awards announced; Michael Rafidi from Albi in Washington, DC, named outstanding chef and Portland's Langbaan won outstanding restaurant (More

> Ben Potter, YouTube content creator known as Comicstorian who had amassed over 3 million subscribers, dies at 40 of "unfortunate accident;" details of accident have not been made public (More

> Dallas Mavericks take on the Boston Celtics tonight (8:30 pm ET, ABC) in Game 3 of the NBA Finals; Celtics lead the series 2-0 (More) | WNBA pulling in 1.3 million TV viewers per game, a record for the league and triple last year's average (More)

In partnership with Masterworks

What Smart Money’s Buying Today to Hedge Stocks

Stocks have been driven to record highs. So, some investors are hedging potential losses with an unconventional asset class whose prices have outpaced the S&P 500 with -.06 correlation (‘95-’23): Contemporary Art.

 

With Masterworks, 65,431 investors are diversifying with roughly $1B in shares of multimillion-dollar works by artists like Banksy, Monet, and Picasso. Some investors saw representative annualized net returns of 17.6%, 17.8%, and 21.5%.

 

Shares are offered first-come first-serve, but 1440 readers skip the waitlist.**

 
 

Science & Technology

> Expert panel recommends experimental Alzheimer's drug donanemab, finding its slowing of cognitive decline outweighed safety concerns (More) | What is Alzheimer's and how does it work? (More, w/video)

> Cancer-spreading gene identified by researchers; silencing the gene prevented metastatic cancer cells—responsible for 90% of cancer deaths—from growing and spreading in mice tests (More

> Evidence discovered of skull elongation of women in medieval Viking culture; finding provides new insight into body modification practices of the region during the period (More

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 +0.3%, Dow -0.3%, Nasdaq +0.9%) with Apple shares closing up 7%; Federal Reserve to share interest rate policy decision today (More)

> Raspberry Pi—creator of tiny computers used for robotics and dashboards, among other purposes—goes public on the London Stock Exchange, valued at $690M; retail investors able to buy shares beginning Friday (More)

> Shari Redstone, controlling shareholder of Paramount Global through National Amusements, reportedly rejects Skydance's offer to purchase the company; instead will pursue a sale of National Amusements (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Malawi's vice president and nine others confirmed dead after the small military plane they were traveling in crashed due to bad weather conditions in the mountainous northern region near the city of Mzuzu (More)

> Ukraine strikes missile launch sites in Russia (More) | See updates on the war (More) | Israel and Hamas signal openness to UN-backed cease-fire proposal as negotiations continue (More)

> Boat carrying migrants from Ethiopia and Somalia capsizes off the coast of Yemen, with 49 people dead as of this writing and more than 140 missing (More)

In partnership with SmartAsset

Vanguard vs. Fidelity vs. Schwab

 

Who are you partnered with? It’s no secret these could be considered three of the most popular brokerage firms. But they stack up slightly differently when it comes to fees and their specific suite of services. Learn more about who should work with Vanguard, Fidelity, and Schwab.

 

Try SmartAsset's free quiz to get matched with up to 3 vetted financial advisors serving your area. While your advisor matches may not necessarily be associated with the above institutions, consulting a fiduciary can be a great first step to helping make sure you're on track to meet your retirement goals. Get your financial advisor matches today.

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Etcetera
 

Sixteen-time Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest winner barred from recompeting

 

What the Olympic rings mean.

 

See the world's tallest bicycle at 25 feet, 5 inches high

 

California windsurfer rescued after spelling out "help" with rocks.

 

The latest critters invading New York: mitten crabs.

 

Spinel gemstones are growing in popularity.

 

New Zealand's Tree of the Year looks like an Ent. (w/photo)

 

Krispy Kreme introduces four new mini doughnuts.

 

Clickbait: You may have screen apnea.

 

Historybook: Former President George HW Bush born (1924); Anne Frank born (1929); Nelson Mandela sentenced to life in prison in South Africa (1964); President Ronald Reagan delivers famous "tear down this wall" speech (1987); 49 killed in mass shooting at nightclub in Orlando (2016).

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside ... Nature brings solace in all troubles."

- Anne Frank

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*Disclosure: "Journal of Retirement Study Winter" (2020). The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of your future results. Please follow the link to see the methodologies employed in the Journal of Retirement study.

**Disclosure: The content is not intended to provide legal, tax, or investment advice. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Investing involves risk. See important Reg A disclosures at masterworks.com/cd. No money is being solicited or will be accepted until the offering statement for a particular offering has been qualified by the SEC. Offers may be revoked at any time. Contacting Masterworks involves no commitment or obligation. Data based on repeat-sales index of historical Post-War & Contemporary Art market prices from 1995 to 2023 developed by Masterworks. There are significant limitations to the utility of comparative asset class data, particularly over shorter time periods. Indices are unmanaged and a Masterworks investor cannot invest directly in an index. "Net Annualized Return" refers to the annualized internal rate of return net of all fees and expenses, calculated from the offering closing date to the date the sale is consummated. IRR may not be indicative of Masterworks paintings not yet sold and past performance is not indicative of future results. For additional information regarding the calculation of IRR for a particular investment in an artwork that has been sold, a reconciliation will be filed as an exhibit to Form 1-U and will be available on the SEC’s website. Masterworks has realized illustrative annualized net returns of 17.6% (1067 days held), 17.8% (672 days held), and 21.5% (638 days held) on 13 works held longer than one year (not inclusive of works held less than one year and unsold works).

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