2.15.2023

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Good morning. It's Wednesday, Feb. 15, and we're covering falling inflation, a deadly outbreak in Africa, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Michigan State Shooting

Details emerged from Monday night's shooting at Michigan State University, where police said sophomores Brian Fraser and Arielle Anderson, and junior Alexandria Verner, all from Michigan, were killed. Five others remain in critical condition.

 

Police identified the shooter as Anthony McRae, 43, of Lansing, although a motive remains unclear. As the school of 50,000 sheltered in place, police published an image of the shooter pulled from security cameras, leading to tips within minutes. He was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot. The university claimed he was not affiliated with the school.

 

The suspect pleaded guilty in 2019 to a misdemeanor gun charge. Police found two notes in the shooter's clothes threatening schools in Ewing, New Jersey, which closed out of caution Tuesday.

 

The attack occurred a day shy of the fifth anniversary of the shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, where 17 were killed and 17 others injured. 

 

Inflation (Slightly) Cools

The consumer price index in January fell for the seventh consecutive month to 6.4% year-over-year growth, down from the 6.5% rise in December but greater than the 6.2% increase economists predicted. The data, released by the Labor Department yesterday, indicate it may take longer than anticipated for inflation to decrease.

 

Prices increased by 0.5% on a month-to-month basis, the largest increase in three months, with food (0.5%) and gas prices (2.4%) accounting for much of the increase. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.4% over the month or 5.6% year-over-year. Rent (0.7%) was the largest contributor to the monthly increase, with prices for used cars, medical care, and air travel declining. See a breakdown here.

 

The inflation rate remains above the Federal Reserve's 2% target (see 101). Analysts expect the Fed to continue to deliver quarter-point interest rate hikes at its next two meetings in March and May with a 4.75%-5.00% year-end projection.

 

Marburg Outbreak

Health officials have confirmed the first-ever Marburg virus outbreak in the Central African nation of Equatorial Guinea as well as two suspected cases in neighboring Cameroon. At least nine people have died from the Ebola-like virus in Equatorial Guinea, with 16 suspected cases being monitored. The World Health Organization said it is sending medical experts to help stem the outbreak.

 

First discovered in 1967, instances of the Marburg virus are rare, with fewer than 400 lab-confirmed deaths on record (see data). The lack of widespread outbreaks has prevented an assessment of its mortality rate—limited reports have seen death rates ranging from 23% to 90%. The biggest known outbreaks of the virus occurred from 1998-2000 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and from 2004-05 in Angola, when hundreds of people died.

 

Over 200 people have been quarantined in Equatorial Guinea's Kié-Ntem province, where the virus was detected. No approved vaccines or antiviral treatments exist. Ebola and Marburg are part of the filovirus family—see what makes them dangerous here.

In partnership with LiquidPiston

Innovation for the Better

 

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We've largely relied on the internal combustion engine (ICE) for the past 150 years to power our cars, electric generators, and many other powered machines, with little innovation along the way. But now, LiquidPiston is revolutionizing the engine for a $400B market where doing more with less is becoming a critical imperative. Its X-Engine™ is up to 10x smaller, 30% more fuel efficient, and much quieter than its piston ICE competitors. In fact, LiquidPiston engines have already earned $30M in funding from the likes of the US Department of Defense, Army, and Air Force.

 

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> "Rust" film to resume production this spring amid criminal and civil cases related to October 2021 shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (More) | Pharrell Williams tapped as men's creative director at Louis Vuitton (More)

> The 2026 World Cup cohosts the United States, Canada, and Mexico all confirmed to qualify for automatic entries to the newly expanded 48-team tournament (More)

> Michigan State cancels all athletic events for 48 hours in the wake of Monday night's campus shooting (More)

 

Science & Technology

> US defense researchers successfully demonstrate the use of AI to control and fly various scenarios with a modified F-16, a step toward potential autonomous fighter jets (More)

> Researchers uncover how certain centipedes detect sunlight despite having no eyes or photoreceptors; temperature increases from light cause their antennae to heat, triggering signaling pathways (More)

> Global temperatures recorded the seventh-warmest January on record, which dates to 1850, federal data show (More) | European Union approves vehicle emission standards banning most new vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2035 (More

 

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 -0.03%, Dow -0.4%, Nasdaq +0.6%) as US inflation cools slightly (More)

> Air India places order for 470 Boeing and Airbus jets, the largest commercial aircraft deal in history (More)

> Airbnb shares up in after-hours trading after beating expectations on 24% Q4 revenue growth; average daily booking rate at $153 (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> US officials say three separate unidentified floating objects shot down following the appearance of a Chinese surveillance balloon were likely benign (More) | White House provides classified briefing on all four incidents to lawmakers (More)

> Nikki Haley becomes second major candidate to enter the 2024 Republican presidential primary after former President Donald Trump; Haley was the UN ambassador under Trump and former governor of South Carolina (More)

> Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will not seek reelection in 2024; race to replace the 89-year-old is expected to be among the most competitive next cycle (More)

In partnership with LiquidPiston

A Nifty New Engine

 

LiquidPiston is best known for its revolutionary X-Engine™: a smaller, more fuel-efficient alternative to traditional engines. But size and fuel efficiency are just the tip of the iceberg: The X-Engine can help reduce the need for lithium batteries in EVs by 80%, and can operate using low-to-zero carbon fuels such as hydrogen. Check out this cutting-edge technology and how it's beginning to be incorporated into generators and drones as we speak.

 

The best part: You can check out LiquidPiston's investment opportunity and become an early shareholder today.

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Etcetera
 

Ranking America's best places to work (in 2023).

 

Animated map illustrates the growth of Target.

 

See stunning shots from the underwater photography contest.

 

... and microscopic photos capture the bright beauty of chemicals.

 

Why artificial intelligence could make dating better but duller.

 

A 1908 Harley Davidson sells for record $935K

 

Retired Boeing 737 transforms into a private villa

 

A falcon hitches a ride on a goose.

 

Clickbait: A stomach-churning reptilian nightmare.

 

Historybook: Astronomer Galileo Galilei born (1564); Women's rights activist Susan B. Anthony born (1820); Musician Nat King Cole dies (1965); Soviet-Afghan War ends as all Soviet troops depart Afghanistan (1989); Millions of people in 600 cities protest Iraq War (2003).

"People don't slip. Time catches up with them."

- Nat King Cole

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