1.2.2024

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Tuesday, Jan. 2. We're jumping into the new year with a near-disastrous earthquake in Japan, a landmark ruling by Israel's Supreme Court, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Quake Rocks Japan

A 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck the western coast of central Japan yesterday, collapsing dozens of buildings and forcing thousands of residents to evacuate from their homes. A major tsunami warning—the country's first since a devastating 2011 tsunami that killed 20,000 and triggered a nuclear disaster—was implemented but eventually lifted without incident. Roughly 80 aftershocks hit the country throughout the day. 

 

It was the biggest earthquake on record for Japan's Noto Peninsula, which sits northwest of Tokyo near a hotbed of seismic activity. The area lies slightly east of the boundary between the Eurasian and Okhotsk tectonic plates (see map), with the Philippine and Pacific plates meeting a few hundred miles to the south. 

 

At least four deaths were reported from the quake, while officials warned of more potential seismic activity in the coming days. See photos of the damage here.

 

Michigan v. Huskies

The No. 1 Michigan Wolverines will face off against the No. 2 Washington Huskies in the college football national championship Monday (7:30 pm ET, ESPN), after each team won their respective semifinal games last night. It marks both teams' first appearance in the title game (and first playoff win) since the playoff format began in 2014.

 

The Wolverines beat No. 4 Alabama 27-20 in overtime—just the third overtime game in the 10-year playoff history. Star quarterback JJ McCarthy led Michigan on a game-tying fourth quarter drive in the final minutes, finishing the game with 221 yards, three touchdowns, and no turnovers.

 

The night's second game also came down to the wire, the Huskies holding off a final drive by the No. 3 Texas Longhorns near the goal line to win 37-30. Heisman finalist Michael Penix Jr. threw for 430 yards and two touchdowns, completing a whopping 76% of his passes. 

 

See highlights from each game here and here.

 

Judicial Overhaul Scrapped

Israel's Supreme Court struck down a key piece of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's judicial reforms yesterday, ruling 8-7 against an amendment that would have barred the court from overturning laws found to be "extremely unreasonable."

 

Part of a package that supporters said would return power to lawmakers, the changes sparked widespread protests across Israel from January up until the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas. Opponents argued the reforms undercut democratic institutions in the country, putting judges under the control of politicians (see previous write-up).  

 

Separately, the Israeli military will begin its first drawdown of forces since the current conflict began, removing thousands of troops from central Gaza and shifting focus to the southern city of Khan Younis. See updates on the war here

 

In related news, the nearby Red Sea—where Iran-backed Houthi rebels have attacked commercial ships—is increasingly becoming a regional flashpoint. US Navy helicopters sank three Houthi vessels over the weekend, while reports suggest Iran repositioned a warship into the waters Saturday.

In partnership with Autonomix

New Year, New Frontier in Healthcare

 

Investors have a unique opportunity to kick off 2024 with Autonomix, a potential pioneer in medical treatment. In the electrophysiology space where they operate, acquisitions have topped $900M+ for some companies even before receiving FDA approval. That’s just one of several factors that could make investing in Autonomix ahead of their planned Nasdaq listing an exciting opportunity.

 

The startup also joins an all-star list of names like Elon Musk and Google in studying how a variety of health issues can be traced to the nervous system. Their patented microchip-based technology is being developed to detect neuronal signals to locate nerve bundles that cause pain and other ailments. With $100B+ in potential treatment markets worldwide and 100+ patents issued and pending, the company is attempting to take the world by storm.

 

This could be the final opportunity to invest while they’re still private. See how you can become an Autonomix shareholder before the opportunity closes on January 15.*

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Cale Yarborough, legendary NASCAR driver, dies at 84 (More) | Ana Ofelia Murguía, Mexican actress known for voice acting role in "Coco," dies at 90 (More)

> Early version of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse enters public domain, making the "Steamboat Willie" character available for public use (More) | See previous write-up (More)

> Taylor Swift passes Elvis Presley for most weeks spent atop the Billboard 200 album chart by a solo artist, as Swift's "1989 (Taylor's Version)" stays at No. 1 (More)

From our partners: And the top 4 bonus cards are (cue drumroll) ... 2024 is here, and experts at The Ascent have sorted through hundreds of credit cards. These 4 are among the best bonus cards they’ve ever seen.

 

Science & Technology

> Sony, Canon, and Nikon to develop digital signatures for photographs, distinguishing shots from AI-generated images (More)

> NASA's Juno spacecraft returns images from Jupiter's moon Io, the most volcanic object in the solar system, after a flyby brings it within 930 miles of the surface (More)

> Study of the Mongolian Arc—a 250-mile-long, 1,200-year-old extension of the Great Wall of China—suggests it was not used as a defensive barrier, may have provided control points for migration (More)

 

Business & Markets

> Markets close down Friday (S&P 500 -0.3%, Dow -0.1%, Nasdaq -0.6%), but set to begin 2024 trading today near record highs (More) | "Magnificent Seven"—Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, Meta, Nvidia, and Tesla—made up two-thirds of the S&P 500's gains in 2023 (More)

> Chinese automaker BYD reports selling more than 526,000 fully electric vehicles in the fourth quarter, potentially overtaking Tesla as world's top EV seller; Tesla to report sales figures today (More)

> Global minimum tax rolled out in certain jurisdictions, including the UK, European Union, and Japan; corporations making more than roughly $828M will see at least a 15% tax on profits, the US and China have not yet agreed to the deal (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Russia launches 90 drone strikes across Ukraine, the largest drone attack since the start of the war; follows Ukrainian shelling near the Russian town of Belgorod, which killed at least 21 people (More) | See an overview of the Iran-made Shahed drones (More)

> Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) vetoes bill limiting transgender care for minors and prohibiting transgender girls from high school sports (More) | See state laws that went into effect Jan. 1 (More)

> Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II to step down Jan. 14, making way for her son, Crown Prince Frederik, to assume the throne (More)

 

In-Depth

> Secrets of the Michelin Man

Air Mail | Adam Hay-Nicholls. The famous Michelin Guide has been known to make or break high-end restaurants. With plans to expand to hotels, what do we know about the criteria used by the famously secretive group? (Read)

 

> Artificial Expertise

Politico Magazine | Mohar Chatterjee. The rise of chatbots modeled on the life's work of real-world experts—generated by AI, without consent—has raised wide-ranging legal questions, with few answers. (Read)

In partnership with Autonomix

Invest Before This Planned Nasdaq Listing

 

Autonomix, the company developing first-in-class electrophysiology technology, is planning a Nasdaq listing (ticker symbol: AMIX)—and they’re starting the new year by inviting you to become a shareholder.

 

The company already has 100+ patents (issued and pending across 15 patent families) and an estimated $100B market opportunity ahead of them. And, their management team has approximately $600M in previous exits. Consider joining the excitement and invest in Autonomix by Jan. 15.*

Please support our sponsors!

Etcetera
 

Ringing in 2024 around the globe (in photos).

 

Science finds the best way to make New Year's resolutions.

 

Massive waves slam California all holiday weekend

 

A cargo ship carrying batteries floats ablaze near Alaska

 

Forget Gen Z, meet Gen Alpha.

 

Visualizing the 50-year evolution of video games.

 

Human blood gets vampire spiders hot and bothered.

 

Bowl mascot sacrifices themselves to the victors.

 

Clickbait: Bad haircut tops some of Canada's worst 911 calls

 

Historybook: Spanish Reconquista completed (1492); Viet Cong achieve first major victory of Vietnam War (1963); President Ronald Reagan sworn in as California governor (1967); President Jimmy Carter ends US-Russia détente (1980). 

"The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave."

- Ronald Reagan 

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*Disclosure: This is a paid advertisement for Autonomix’s Regulation A+ Offering. Please read the offering circular at invest.autonomix.com

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