1.6.2023

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Good morning. It's Friday, Jan. 6, and we're covering evidence in Idaho's quadruple murder case, the capture of a wanted drug lord, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

New Details in Idaho

Bryan Kohberger did not enter a plea and was denied bail in an Idaho court appearance yesterday. The criminology doctoral student is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary in connection with the November slayings of four University of Idaho students.

 

Newly unsealed court documents indicate a single source of male DNA, matching DNA recovered from his parents' trash, was found on a knife sheath left at the crime scene. Police matched the suspect's vehicle to surveillance footage that captured a white sedan in the area between 3:29 am and 4:04 am before departing the area 16 minutes later at high speed.

 

The defendant’s cellphone records show the suspect visited the neighborhood 12 times in the months before the killings and also pinged near the scene the morning following the murders. In a chilling recount of the night, one of the surviving roommates stated she heard crying and opened her door before an intruder matching the suspect’s description walked past her and out the door. Read the full affidavit here.

 

The documents do not reveal a possible motive for the crime.

 

'El Ratón' Nabbed

Drug lord Ovidio Guzmán, son of the notorious kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, was captured by military personnel in the city of Culiacán, Mexican officials announced yesterday. US officials had posted a $5M reward for information leading to the capture of the younger Guzmán, who has been accused of overseeing heavy flows of fentanyl into the US.

 

Culiacán is the capital city of Sinaloa state, and the power base of the similarly named Sinaloa cartel (see 101). One of Mexico's most powerful drug organizations, the group evolved into an international crime syndicate largely under the leadership of the elder Guzmán. The capture of the younger Guzmán comes more than three years after a high-profile raid in the same city descended into chaos, with Mexican forces overwhelmed by Sinaloa gunmen. Nicknamed "El Ratón," or "The Mouse," Guzmán may be extradited to the US to face charges. 

 

Analysts say Mexico's Sinaloa and rival Jalisco cartels have come to dominate the illicit US fentanyl market, often using homemade recipes.

 

Border Policy Expansion

President Joe Biden announced yesterday the expansion of the Title 42 border policy to allow the expulsion of migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela caught crossing the border illegally. The move comes as Biden prepares for his first visit to the US-Mexico border while in office and weeks after administration lawyers argued for an end to the policy in front of the Supreme Court. 

 

Implemented in March 2020 as an emergency health order to blunt the spread of the coronavirus, the policy allows the quick removal of migrants without the opportunity to claim asylum. Almost 1.1 million migrants were expelled under Title 42 in fiscal year 2022—roughly 45% of all southwest border encounters (see data)—with most originating from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Migrants from the four newly added countries accounted for more than 82,000 border stops in November alone. 

 

The US will also accept up to 30,000 eligible migrants from the four new countries each month for two years. 

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with Purity Woods

> Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin is awake, able to communicate in writing three days after collapsing on the field during Monday Night Football (More) | Game in which Hamlin collapsed won't be completed (More) | See playoff projections ahead of final NFL regular season games (More) | Bills-Bengals 

> Prince Harry reportedly accuses Prince William of 2019 physical attack in upcoming memoir due to be released Tuesday (More)

> "Avatar: The Way of Water" tops $1.5B at global box office, now the 10th highest grossing film of all time (More) | Actor Jeremy Renner shares first video update while recovering in hospital from Jan. 1 snowplow accident (More)

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Science & Technology

> Mercedes-Benz to build a network of 400 fast-charging stations for electric vehicles across the US by 2027 (More)

> Scientists identify 74 human protein genes that originally arose from mutations in seemingly useless genetic material, including ones potentially linked to the development of larger brains (More)

> Diet-induced obesity may prompt changes in the innate immune response of the central nervous system that persist even after losing weight, study finds (More)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -1.2%, Dow -1.0%, Nasdaq -1.5%); markets on track for fifth consecutive week of losses (More)

> Amazon to reduce headcount by 18,000, roughly 1.2% of 1.5 million global employees (More) | Shares of retailer Bed Bath & Beyond fall 8% after warning the company is considering bankruptcy (More)

> Federal Trade Commission proposes new rule to ban noncompete agreements; approximately one in five workers have noncompetes (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-20) falls short in bid to become speaker of the House for third straight day, remaining at 200 of 218 votes needed after 11th round of voting (More) | Stalemate persists despite more concessions by McCarthy to conservative opposition group (More)

> South Carolina Supreme Court strikes down state's ban on abortion after six weeks, concluding it violated the right to privacy; the procedure is currently available in the state up until about 22 weeks (More)

> Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) says she will retire at end of term, opening a competitive senate seat in the swing state of Michigan in 2024 (More) | Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) announces prostate cancer diagnosis, will have surgery in coming months (More)

 

In-Depth

> A Breakthrough in Obesity Drugs

Nature | McKenzie Prillaman. Researchers have sought to produce an effective weight-loss drug for decades—and recent, promising developments are forcing an ethical reckoning with the treatments. (Read)

 

> Living With Wolves

Catapult | Nikki Kolb. The lessons one writer learned after volunteering to live among rescued wolves in a New Mexico sanctuary. (Read)

> A Train Crash, Revisited

Aeon | James P. Gannon. A filmmaker's parents return to the site of a near-fatal fluke accident 48 years later in this oddly charming short recorded on Kodak Super 8 film. (Watch)

 

> The Guide to Happiness

Ten Percent Happier | Dan Harris. (Podcast) Veteran ABC journalist-turned-wellness-podcaster ventures to India to learn how to be happy from the Dalai Lama. (Listen)

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Etcetera
 

America's loneliest cities.

 

The world's best places to retire (for this year). 

 

Satellite captures the Pineapple Express hitting California.

 

Amateur sleuth helps solve 20,000-year-old mystery

 

The best food trucks in every state

 

BMW unveils color-changing concept car.

 

All aboard the bus to doggie day care.

 

Be held accountable for your LOLs

 

Clickbait: Wisconsin canal clogs with melted butter.

 

Historybook: Joan of Arc born (1412); Telegraph publicly demonstrated for first time (1838); President Teddy Roosevelt dies (1919); US Capitol stormed in attempt to disrupt certification of 2020 electoral results (2021); Actor Sidney Poitier dies (2022). 

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