4.17.2024

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Good morning. It's Wednesday, April 17, and we're covering the next steps in a historic impeachment, a fire engulfing a 400-year-old Danish landmark, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

Mayorkas Impeachment 

House Republicans sent two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate yesterday in a ceremonial walk across the Capitol, forcing the upper chamber to kick off a trial. 

 

Mayorkas was impeached in February (see charges) for allegedly violating immigration laws over his handling of the southern US border, which saw a record number of migrant crossings last year. Mayorkas is the second Cabinet member in US history to be impeached. The Democratic-led Senate is expected to either dismiss or table the charges against him. Senators will be sworn in as jurors today, though it is unclear how the process will play out. 

 

In separate Capitol Hill news, Rep. Thomas Massie (R, KY-4) said yesterday he plans to join Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R, GA-14) in her motion to remove House Speaker Mike Johnson (R, LA-4) from the speakership. Greene filed the motion last month but has not called for a vote. Johnson said he wouldn't resign. 

 

Obstruction Law Challenge

The US Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday over the validity of the obstruction law used to prosecute over 300 people involved in the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the US Capitol. Justices appeared divided, with several questioning whether the government's interpretation of the law might unconstitutionally apply to conduct protected under the First Amendment.

 

Former Pennsylvania police officer Joseph Fischer is challenging the government's claim he violated a portion of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act (see here) passed after the Enron financial scandal, arguing the statute applies only to the tampering of evidence. Fischer allegedly fought police to enter the Capitol building during the presidential electoral certification process and faces six other charges, including assault of an officer. Read an overview of the case here.

 

The court's decision could impact roughly 150 people, who have pleaded guilty or received convictions under the statute, by potentially reducing their sentences. Over 1,300 people have been charged in some way over the day's events (see tracker). 

 

Copenhagen Landmark Fire

A fire ripped through Denmark’s historic Borsen, destroying nearly half of the 400-year-old former stock exchange building yesterday. The historic Copenhagen landmark, currently housing the Danish Chamber of Commerce, was undergoing renovations when the fire started around 8:30 am local time. The cause of the fire remains unknown and no deaths or injuries have been reported.

 

The Borsen, which neighbors the parliament building, was known for its dragon-tailed spire, topped by three crowns representing the country’s close ties with Norway and Sweden—legend says the spire guards the building against attacks and fires. Officials said the fire was most intense around the spire, and emergency services faced challenges due to scaffolding from the renovations and the building’s copper roof, which must be removed to spray water from above. Several hundred historic artifacts were rescued from the building. See photos of the fire here

 

Many are comparing the fire to the Notre-Dame Cathedral fire in Paris almost exactly five years ago, as its roughly $900M restoration nears completion.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Music by ABBA, Notorious BIG, and Green Day among 25 recordings added to the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry (More) | See complete Library of Congress registry list (More)

> Whitey Herzog, Baseball Hall of Famer and influential manager, dies at age 92 (More) | Carl Erskine, last surviving member of iconic Brooklyn Dodgers' "Boys of Summer," dies at age 97 (More)

> The 2024 Paris Olympics flame lit in Greece as 3,000-mile torch relay begins (More) | Team USA men's basketball roster headlined by LeBron James and Steph Curry (More)

 

Science & Technology

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> NASA scraps current plans to return rocks collected by the Perseverance Mars rover to Earth, citing cost and complexity; agency to seek new proposals for the mission (More)

> Meta Oversight Board to review policies governing the spread of sexualized deepfake images on Facebook and Instagram following two high-profile incidents involving female celebrities (More)

> Researchers develop new pigment chemistry to produce a range of magentas for use in energy-efficient coatings; discovery was inspired by lunar minerals and similar pigment formulation used by ancient Egyptians (More)

From our partners: THE hearing aid of 2024. What if you never had to say “what?” again? No more straining to hear your friends or conversational FOMO. What if every conversation felt effortless? That’s where hear.com’s new Horizon IX hearing aids come in. They’re one of the world’s first devices with multi-stream processing, so you can follow the conversation—period. Multiple people? No sweat. Lots of noise? No problem. Unlock total clarity and try them 45-days no-risk today.

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 -0.2%, Dow +0.2%, Nasdaq -0.1%) after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says inflation remains stubborn, reducing expectations for any imminent interest rate cuts (More)

> China's economy expands more than expected with 5.3% growth year-over-year in first quarter, driven by increased exports (More) | International Monetary Fund raises US economic forecast to 2.7% growth this year, outpacing Europe; anticipates global growth of 3.2% (More)

> Morgan Stanley beats first quarter earnings and revenue expectations, with profit up 14% year-over-year, sending stock up 3% on the news; all three divisions (wealth management, trading, and investment banking) saw a jump (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Bob Graham, former Democratic US senator and two-term Florida governor, dies at age 87; Graham chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee during and after the 2001 terrorist attacks and opposed the Iraq war (More

> Columbia University President Minouche Shafik to testify about antisemitism today before House committee following December hearing with since-resigned University of Pennsylvania and Harvard presidents (More) | University of Southern California bars pro-Palestinian valedictorian from speaking at commencement, citing safety concerns (More)

> Oman flooding leaves at least 18 people dead with others missing (More) | Dubai International Airport—second busiest in the world—partially underwater as United Arab Emirates receives a year's worth of rainfall in a single day (More

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Etcetera
 

Caitlin Clark to earn $340K over four years in the WNBA

 

Ford Bronco from OJ Simpson police chase to go up for sale.

 

Twenty idioms from around the world.

 

Part of the International Space Station crashed into a Florida home.

 

A nearly 100-year-old train car is discovered in Belgium.

 

New ant species is named after Voldemort.

 

Heinz has released a "Barbie-cue" sauce.

 

... and McDonald's unveils billboards that smell like fries.

 

Clickbait: Introducing Crocs' Pringles shoe.

 

Historybook: Benjamin Franklin dies (1790); Bay of Pigs Invasion begins in Cuba (1961); Apollo 13 returns safely to Earth (1970); Victoria Beckham born (1974); Former first lady Barbara Bush dies (2018).

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