5.9.2024

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Good morning. It's Thursday, May 9, and we're covering aid in the Israel-Hamas war, FTX's recovery of billions of dollars, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

US Stalls Bombs to Israel

President Joe Biden yesterday said if Israel launched a full-scale invasion of Rafah in Gaza, the US would stop supplying bombs and other weapons. The announcement came after the Pentagon yesterday revealed it had stalled a shipment of bombs to Israel last week, the first such delay since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. The shipment holds 3,500 munitions, divided roughly evenly between 2,000- and 500-pound bombs. The White House had called Israel's actions in Rafah this week a limited operation, falling short of the full-scale invasion it has warned against.

 

The Biden administration is also due to deliver a verdict this week on whether Israel has violated US and international law requiring foreign beneficiaries of US military aid to provide protections for civilians and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid. The investigation began in February at the behest of Democratic lawmakers pressuring the Biden administration to withhold US weapons from Israel until the determination is made.

 

Separately, Israel yesterday said it had reopened its Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza, closed earlier this week after a Hamas rocket attack. US and UN officials say aid has not yet passed through the crossing. Meanwhile, battles continue between Israeli and Hamas forces in eastern Rafah. See war updates here.

 

Wisconsin Data Center

Microsoft will construct a $3B AI data center in Racine, Wisconsin, company president Brad Smith announced yesterday. It's the latest billion-dollar investment in AI infrastructure as tech companies look to keep up with surging demand.

 

The project is expected to create 2,000 permanent jobs at the center, in addition to 2,300 construction gigs. The data center will add to the roughly 2,500 such structures across the US responsible for computing, storing, and processing the nation's data (see map). Microsoft is a major stakeholder in ChatGPT-creator OpenAI, whose technology requires enormous energy sources to train and deploy. Analysts expect data centers will account for roughly 6% of all annual US electricity use by 2026, up from 4% last year. 

 

The plant is located near the site of a since-stalled project tech manufacturer Foxconn announced in 2017 to construct a $10B liquid crystal plant.

 

FTX Recovers Funds

FTX said this week it has recovered enough funds to repay defrauded investors in full and provide the vast majority with interest. The failed cryptocurrency exchange platform filed its proposal late Tuesday to a federal bankruptcy court for approval.

 

Since FTX collapsed in 2022, CEO John Ray III (see previous write-up) has worked to track down more than $8B in missing assets to repay an estimated $11.2B owed to creditors. This week, Ray said the company has recovered between $14.5B and $16.3B, with much of the funds tied to government-seized FTX properties or recovered from investments FTX and its sister company made in hedge funds, digital assets, and AI startup Anthropic. FTX is also working to recoup payouts made to former company executives and the parents of its convicted founder, Sam Bankman-Fried.

 

If the proposal is approved, 98% of customers—those who invested $50K or less—will receive 118% of their investment. A hearing on assets dispersal is planned for June 25.

In partnership with Miso Robotics

Remember When Humans Did That?

 

Working the fryer at the local hot chicken joint is a tough job. Between the grease burns and low wages, it’s getting harder and harder for fast-food restaurants to staff their kitchens. In fact, around 3 million jobs will go unfilled in the US alone.

 

Miso Robotics has the solution: their AI-powered robot, Flippy, can take over the deep fryer. That’s exactly why fast-food giants like White Castle and Jack in the Box have turned to Miso Robotics’ tech to operate their kitchens and boost profits. With proven success in fast-food kitchens, Miso plans to scale.

 

To fuel their growth, Miso has opened a funding round for investors to get in on the automation of the $1 trillion fast-food market. See why 34,000 investors have already joined them by checking out the Miso investment offering today.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokić wins 2023-24 NBA Most Valuable Player award, his third MVP win in four years (More) | Minnesota Timberwolves' Rudy Gobert wins a record-tying fourth Defensive Player of the Year award (More) | Miss Teen USA UmaSofia Srivastava gives up title two days after Miss USA resigns (More)

> Steve Albini, iconic rock producer and engineer who worked with Nirvana, the Pixies, and many others, dies at 61 (More)

> South by Southwest festival to expand to London in 2025 (More) | Ten countries advance to Eurovision 2024 Grand Final set for May 11 (More)

 

Science & Technology

> Astronomers discover the first known exoplanet similar to Earth with a substantial gas atmosphere; 55 Cancri e, roughly 41 light-years away, is too hot for organic life but may provide insight into Earth's early development (More)

> Researchers develop modified chemical compound based on the psychedelic venom of the Colorado River toad that reduces anxiety and stress without inducing hallucinations (More)

> Google's DeepMind announces its AlphaFold platform now allows researchers to predict protein structures when interacting with other molecules; capability, currently under restricted access, likely to help accelerate new drug discovery (More)

In partnership with Pacagen

Doctors Have Conquered Cat Allergens

If you cough, sniffle, and sneeze any time a cat is around, you know how miserable allergies to cats can be. Most existing treatments are invasive shots and pills that aren’t much help, but Pacagen is changing that.

 

Founded by two doctors, Pacagen addresses the root cause of cat allergies by using nanobodies to neutralize the allergens. The end result? A spray that removes 98% of active allergens immediately, has zero side effects, and is safer and friendlier than existing alternatives.

 

Fewer sniffles, more snuggles → Get 15% off Pacagen’s Cat Allergen Neutralizing Spray with code 1440May2024.

 
 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 0.0%, Dow +0.4%, Nasdaq -0.2%); Dow extends winning streak to sixth day (More)

> Airbnb shares fall 8% in after-hours trading on weaker Q2 forecast (More) | Robinhood shares rise over 3% in after-hours trading on better-than-expected Q1 earnings and revenue (More) | Uber shares close down 5%, Lyft shares close up 7% following ride-share companies' respective earnings reports a day earlier (More

> Archegos Capital founder Bill Hwang and company's chief financial officer begin trial for fraud and racketeering charges over an alleged stock manipulation scheme; Archegos Capital collapsed in 2021 with $36B in assets, drove $10B in losses at global banks (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> House Democrats join Republicans in 359-43 vote to dismiss motion from Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R, GA-14) to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson (R, LA-4) (More

> Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has suffered from a series of health issues, including a parasite that infected part of his brain, as well as a neurological disorder, heartbeat abnormality, and mercury poisoning, per new report (More)

> Russia launches more than 70 missile and attack drones targeting Ukrainian power plants across six regions (More) | See updates on war (More)

 

In-Depth

> The Unexpected Pro Soccer Rookie

WSJ | David Marino-Nachison, Patricia Kowsmann. How a 45-year-old venture capitalist (and brother-in-law to Paris Hilton) became the latest rookie member of a professional soccer team in Portugal. (Read)

 

> Seven Takeaways from the Late Daniel Kahneman

Clearer Thinking | Staff. When pioneering psychologist Daniel Kahneman died this year, he left behind a sweeping body of work. Here are seven discoveries he made about human quirks and how to work with—or around—them. (Read)

In partnership with Miso Robotics

Fast Food’s Flipping Out

 

Why are 34,000+ investors backing Miso Robotics? Miso’s the leader in fast-food kitchen automation. Their flagship robot, Flippy, has already fried 2 million baskets for brands like White Castle. They’ve even opened their own fully automated store with Caliburger. 

 

They’re just getting started too. Miso’s rolling out a next-gen Flippy and starting to scale. Over 100,000 fast-food stores are ripe for Miso’s automation. Don’t miss your chance to tap into their growth potential by investing in Miso Robotics today.

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