6.26.2024

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Wednesday, June 26, and we're covering the end of a long-running extradition fight, China's historic moon samples, and much more. First time reading? Join over 3.5 million intellectually curious readers. Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

Assange Pleads Guilty

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiring to obtain and disclose US national defense information, ending over a decade of fighting extradition. Assange's plea deal includes a 62-month sentence, crediting the five years already served at a London prison, allowing him to avoid US imprisonment. The 52-year-old is expected to return to his home country of Australia.

 

The charges stem from hundreds of thousands of classified US military documents released by WikiLeaks in 2010 about the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As part of the plea, Assange must destroy the information he supplied to WikiLeaks. Assange was granted asylum in 2012 and spent seven years at Ecuador’s London embassy before being arrested in 2019. He faced an 18-count indictment in the US and up to 175 years in prison. In April, the US provided assurance Assange could seek First Amendment protection and that no death penalty would be imposed.

 

The sentencing occurred in Saipan of the Northern Mariana Islands—a US territory about 135 miles northeast of Guam—chosen for its distance from the US mainland and its proximity to Australia.

 

Israeli Military Shake-Up

Israel's military must begin drafting ultra-Orthodox Jewish men, the country's Supreme Court unanimously ruled yesterday in a decision that has potential ramifications for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition.

 

Since Israel's founding in 1948, ultra-Orthodox Jewish citizens have been exempt from compulsory military service, required for the country's secular Jewish majority (both men and women). Ultra-Orthodox Jewish citizens account for roughly 13% of Israel's population, or 1 million people. The Supreme Court said the military exemption for religious scholars had no legal basis after related laws either expired or were struck down. The nine-judge panel also ordered the government to suspend millions of dollars of funding from religious schools—known as yeshivas—whose students don't comply with military draft notices. 

 

Netanyahu's coalition includes both secular parties and two ultra-Orthodox parties. The court decision could further fracture the coalition, collapsing the government and triggering new elections, all amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. See updates on the war here.

 

From the Moon's Far Side

A Chinese spacecraft successfully returned roughly 5 pounds of rocks mined from the far side of the moon to Earth yesterday, according to the China National Space Administration. The sample is the first far-side lunar regolith—the loose layer of dirt above bedrock—to be retrieved for scientific study. It is the latest success for China's Chang'e (pronounced "chong-uh") space program, which included the first controlled far-side lunar landing in 2019.

 

After launching May 3, the spacecraft spent several weeks in lunar orbit before descending to the South Pole-Aitken Basin, the solar system's oldest-known impact crater, where it harvested rocks and dust. Mission operators used two previously deployed orbiting satellites to communicate with the lander. A mechanical rover snapped a photo of the vehicle on the surface before the sample was launched back into orbit.

 

Chinese and international scholars expect the sample to shed light on the distinct geochemical makeup of the moon's cratered far side, which lacks the vast volcanic deposits covering the near side.

In partnership with EnergyX

The Lithium Boom

 

Is a modern-day gold rush happening right in front of our eyes? Lithium is the essential raw material for batteries in smartphones, computers, and now EVs. It takes 10,000 smartphone batteries to make 1 set of EV batteries, which means demand for lithium is projected to soar 20x by 2040.

 

Creating a massive opportunity for investors, Elon Musk didn’t hold back, saying, “Do you like minting money? Well, the lithium business is for you.” EnergyX’s patented technology extracts up to 300% more lithium than traditional methods. That’s resulted in $90M+ of investments from General Motors and others. Last week EnergyX announced Project Lonestar, a US lithium plant supported by a $5M DOE grant, causing an upcoming share price increase.

 

EnergyX has opened a retail offering for all investors. This is a unique opportunity to join some of the biggest Fortune 500 companies like GM, and invest on the ground floor as EnergyX is set to unlock a massive lithium supply. Don’t miss your chance to invest in EnergyX, before June 27, at their current $9 share price.*

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> The 2024 NBA Draft kicks off tonight (8 pm ET, ABC/ESPN) with Round 1 from Brooklyn, New York; see full preview and mock draft (More

> Shifty Shellshock, frontman for rock band Crazy Town, dies at 49 (More) | Gena Rowlands, "The Notebook" star and two-time Oscar nominee, has Alzheimer's disease (More)

> Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, organizers of the Oscars, invites nearly 500 new members, including Jessica Alba, Catherine O'Hara, and Lily Gladstone (More

 

Science & Technology

> Waymo fully opens its self-driving robotaxis in San Francisco to the general public; service has been offered in Phoenix—a flatter and more grid-like environment—since October 2020 (More

> Researchers pinpoint cellular mutation responsible for a rare condition known as Ondine's curse, where patients lack the ability to regulate breathing while unconscious (More

> Scientists discover bacteria that produce antifreeze-like proteins; species of marine worms use the bacteria to survive in polar waters (More

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 +0.4%, Dow -0.8%, Nasdaq +1.3%) as Nvidia shares rebound following Monday sell-off (More)

> European Union regulators charge Microsoft with violating antitrust regulations by bundling Teams with Office 365 and Microsoft 365 subscriptions; Microsoft could face a fine of up to 10% of its annual global revenue (More)

> Rivian shares rise over 50% in after-hours trading after Volkswagen announces up to $5B investment in the electric vehicle maker by 2026 as part of new joint venture (More) | Tesla recalls most of its Cybertrucks over issues with the windshield wipers and loose trim, impacting an estimated 11,000 vehicles (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> Oklahoma Supreme Court blocks what would have been the first religious charter school in the US; Catholic school likely to appeal (More) | US surgeon general issues advisory declaring gun violence a public health crisis; US gun-linked deaths surpassed 48,000 people in 2022, over half by suicide (More) | See advisory (More)

> Kenyan police open fire on protesters storming and setting fire to the country's parliament, killing at least five people while lawmakers flee in underground tunnels; group had been protesting a proposed bill to raise taxes (More) | Kenyan police officers arrive in Haiti as part of international mission to quell violence (More)

> Ukraine and Moldova begin membership talks with the European Union in process expected to take years (More) | International Criminal Court issues arrest warrants for Russia's former defense minister and another senior leader over alleged war crimes in Ukraine (More)

In partnership with EnergyX

How GM Is Securing Its Lithium Supply

 

The world will need to produce 3.8 million tons of lithium per year by 2035 to meet the demand for EVs. GM is turning to one startup to unlock US-based lithium supply: EnergyX. EnergyX’s technology can extract up to 300% more lithium than traditional methods.

 

Now, EnergyX has opened the opportunity for all investors to join them for a limited time. Don’t miss out—you can invest at $9/share until June 27 at midnight PST.*

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Etcetera
 

Meet Sonny, the 2024 Gerber Baby.

 

Japanese researchers make a robot with human tissue.

Visit these top US lake town destinations.

 

Wax figure head of Abraham Lincoln melts in DC heat.

 

The butterflies believed to have crossed the ocean.

 

The Philadelphia Phillies' once-in-a-century triple play.

 

Why do we say "PU" when something stinks?

 

The $4 thrift store vase made by ancient Mayans.

 

Clickbait: Snoop Dogg races at Olympic trials

 

Historybook: Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro is assassinated (1541); Sports great Babe Didrikson Zaharias born (1911); Berlin Airlift begins (1948); JFK delivers famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech (1963); Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage in the US (2015).

"If you win through bad sportsmanship, that's no real victory."

- Babe Didrikson Zaharias

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*Disclosure: This is a paid advertisement for EnergyX's Regulation A+ Offering. Please read the offering circular at https://invest.energyx.com/

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