9.13.2023

 

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Good morning. It's Wednesday, Sept. 13, and we're covering a House impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, the deadly aftermath of flooding in North Africa, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Biden Impeachment Inquiry 

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-20) yesterday announced the House will open an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden over allegations of possible financial misconduct. McCarthy is launching the proceedings without a formal House vote and is directing three House committees—Oversight, Judiciary, and Ways and Means—to carry out the inquiry, allowing them to use their subpoena power to directly investigate potential wrongdoings by the president.

 

House Republicans have been investigating the business dealings of the Biden family, including the president's son, Hunter Biden, who currently faces federal charges over tax evasion and a gun violation. House Republicans claim President Biden profited off his son's overseas business ventures while serving as vice president during 2009-17. Those allegations are based on an FBI tip sheet, which the FBI says can contain incomplete and uncorroborated information.  

 

The House would need to bring articles of impeachment against President Biden if it finds evidence of wrongdoing and adopt the charges by a simple majority vote. The Senate would then hold an impeachment trial (see overview). Only three presidents have been impeached: Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump. None were convicted by the Senate. 

 

Libya Flood Death Toll Rises

An estimated 5,300 people in northeast Libya are feared dead, with thousands more missing amid devastating floods from Mediterranean storm Daniel's historic rainfall Sunday. The rare, tropical storm-like phenomenon—the same storm responsible for last week's floods in southeastern Europe—lost strength yesterday as it tracked east into Egypt.

 

The country's northeastern port city of Derna, roughly 150 miles east of Benghazi, was hit hardest, with over 16 inches of rain falling in 24 hours (its September average is 1 inch). Roughly a quarter of the city of 90,000, bisected by the Wadi Derna river (see map), was completely washed away after two upriver dams failed, sending walls of water down the valley and across the city's delta to the Mediterranean Sea. See photos here.

 

Rescue efforts have been delayed as a result of flooded or destroyed infrastructure, a network of aging bridges and roads experts claim have not been maintained amid the country's decadelong division into rival east and west governments. See an overview of Libya's civil war here

 

Apple's 'Wonderlust' Event

Apple unveiled its latest flagship device, the iPhone 15, at its annual product event yesterday in Cupertino, California. The most notable change is the adoption of USB-C, replacing the Lightning port, in compliance with the European Union's charger port standardization mandate for 2024.

 

Among other changes, the iPhone 15 Pro models introduce spatial video capabilities, using wide and regular cameras to create immersive 3D videos, which can be used with the Vision Pro. On the design side, the Pro models will feature a mostly titanium framework instead of stainless steel, while the base models offer five color options: pink, black, green, blue, or yellow. Apple also introduced the Apple Watch Series 9, featuring a double-tap gesture for answering calls and snoozing alarms by tapping your thumb and index finger together twice. See a list of all the updates here

 

The announcement coincides with Apple facing three consecutive quarters of year-over-year sales decline. The company's stock price has dropped nearly 10% since mid-July, causing its market value to dip below the $3T threshold it achieved earlier this summer. 

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers will miss the remainder of the 2023 season after tearing his left Achilles tendon just four snaps into Monday's game against the Buffalo Bills (More)

> WWE and UFC officially merge to form TKO Group, with the newly formed company now valued at $21B (More)

> The 2023 WNBA playoffs begin tonight; see full preview and predictions (More) | See latest bracket and schedule (More)

 

Science & Technology

> MIT Technology Review releases annual list of the top 35 innovators under 35 years of age; Sharon Li, an AI researcher and professor at the University of Wisconsin, named innovator of the year (More)

> US health advisory panel finds phenylephrine, a nasal decongestant found in dozens of over-the-counter cold medicines, is ineffective; decision may lead to a number of products being removed from shelves (More)

> Analysis identifies colonies of red fire ants in Italy, warns the species may spread across Europe; the insects are the fifth most costly invasive species, damaging crops and plants and pushing out native insects (More)

 

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.6%, Dow -0.1%, Nasdaq -1.0%) led by tech stocks (More)

> Bernard Looney, CEO of British energy giant BP, steps down over previous relationships with company colleagues (More)

> Sandal maker Birkenstock files for initial public offering; analysts expect the company could be valued at $8B, company posted $1.3B in revenue and $201M in profit in 2022 (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives in Russia, expected to discuss potential arms deals to support Russia's war in Ukraine in exchange for economic aid (More) | See updates on the war here (More)

> Five former police officers from Memphis, Tennessee, indicted on federal civil rights charges over the January death of Tyre Nichols (More) | See case overview (More)

> Search for Pennsylvania fugitive continues; officials say Danelo Cavalcante is now armed, having stolen a rifle from a homeowner late Monday (More) | See previous write-up (More)

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Etcetera
 

Double rainbow appears in New York City on 9/11 anniversary.

 

Jimmy Buffett's posthumous album set for November release.

 

The most famous US streets, according to Instagram.

 

See 30 mistakes from movies and TV shows

 

Coca-Cola debuts new mystery flavor created by AI

 

... and McDonald's says goodbye to self-serve soda machines.

 

... while Olive Garden's never-ending pasta bowl returns

 

The Mona Lisa gets a starchy makeover

 

Clickbait: "Jets lose, you win" free drinks promo goes awry.

 

Historybook: Francis Scott Key writes America’s national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner" (1814); Actor and producer Tyler Perry born (1969); Israel and Palestine sign peace accord (1993); Rapper Tupac Shakur dies six days after a drive-by shooting (1996); Ann Richards, educator and former governor of Texas, dies (2006).

"I've always said that in politics, your enemies can't hurt you, but your friends will kill you."

- Ann Richards

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