2.14.2024

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Good morning. It's Wednesday, Feb. 14, and we're covering the removal of a US cabinet official, heavy snowfall in the Northeast, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Homeland Security Impeachment

Editor's note: This writeup has been edited to correct an error. The originally published article stated "Mayorkas is the second cabinet member in US history to be removed from office." The secretary was not removed from office but impeached; removal requires conviction by the Senate. 

The House of Representatives yesterday impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas by a 214 to 213 vote for allegedly violating immigration laws over his handling of the southern US border. Mayorkas is the second cabinet member in US history to face removal from office, following the 1876 impeachment of then-Secretary of War William Belknap. 

 

The Republican-led House passed two articles of impeachment (view here) yesterday, following last week's first attempt when four Republicans joined Democrats in voting 216 to 214 against the impeachment. One GOP lawmaker switched his vote at the last minute in a procedural move to avoid a tie, allowing the conference to bring the vote up again. 

 

Mayorkas had been under scrutiny as the number of migrants crossing into the US through Mexico hit record levels last year. Border agents recorded a monthly high of over 300,000 migrant encounters in December, up 25% from November and 20% year-over-year. However, in January, migrant encounters were down 42% month-over-month to around 176,000, but up 12% from January 2023. See data here

 

The Democrat-led Senate is likely to either dismiss Mayorkas' charges or set the matter aside indefinitely; Democratic lawmakers claim the impeachment is politically motivated. 

 

Nor'easter Hits the Northeast

A powerful nor'easter storm completed its pass through parts of the northern Mid-Atlantic and Northeast yesterday, unleashing up to 2 inches of snow per hour in certain areas. The storm disrupted travel, left more than 130,000 customers without power, and forced the closure of schools for millions of students across the region.

 

The storm, stretching from Pennsylvania and New Jersey to southern New England, dropped at least a foot of snow in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, and at least 15 inches in parts of Connecticut and New Jersey. New York City saw 3.2 inches of snow—deploying snow plows for the first time in two years in a city that saw just 2.3 inches total last winter.

 

A nor'easter is a storm that occurs when cold and dry Arctic air coming down from Canada meets warm and moist air near the coast, creating a powerful mix capable of heavy rain or snow from the Mid-Atlantic to the Northeast. See how a nor’easter forms here.

 

Mixed Inflation Report

The consumer price index in January fell to 3.1% year-over-year growth, down from the 3.4% rise in December but higher than analyst's predictions of 2.9%. The annual figure, which tracks the change in prices of a basket of goods and services, is the lowest increase since June (see historical data). 

 

Prices increased by 0.3% on a month-to-month basis, an increase over last month's 0.2%, which complicates the Federal Reserve's plans to cut interest rates this year. Housing was the biggest contributor to overall inflation, rising 0.6% for the month and 6% for the year, and accounting for two-thirds of January's gain. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, increased by 0.4% on the month and 3.9% on the year. See all data here.

 

The reading likely pushes the Fed's first cut to the benchmark federal funds rate—which has been at a range between 5.25% and 5.5% for six months—to June or July. Learn how the federal funds rate is set here

In partnership with EnergyX

The Next Gold Rush

 

The demand for lithium is fueling a modern-day gold rush. Lithium is essential for batteries in electric cars, storing renewable energy, and even smartphones. Demand for lithium is projected to soar 20x by 2040, creating a massive opportunity for investors. Elon Musk didn’t hold back when talking about the potential here: “Do you like minting money? Well, the lithium business is for you.”

 

Enter EnergyX. Their patented LiTAS™ technology can extract up to 300% more lithium than traditional methods. They’ve already inked deals with top lithium producers, secured a partnership and strategic investment from General Motors, and earned a $5M Department of Energy grant.

 

Now you can invest in EnergyX. This is a unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor just as EnergyX is set to unlock the US’s lithium supply. Become an EnergyX shareholder here.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Super Bowl LVIII hauls in 123.7 million viewers, a 7% increase from last year and the most-watched telecast in history (More)

> Paramount Global lays off 800 employees across all company divisions including CBS, Paramount Pictures, and Showtime (More)

> UEFA Champions League Round of 16 kicks off; see full schedule of matchups (More) | Arrest made in connection with theft of Jackie Robinson statue from Kansas park (More)

 

Science & Technology

In partnership with Athena

> OpenAI to roll out memory function for ChatGPT to remember past conversations; move prompts concerns from privacy advocates, company says system won't remember sensitive information like health data (More)

> Archaeologists discover 11,000-year-old stone wall believed to have been a corral trap for reindeer; find sheds light on group hunting practices during the end of the Stone Age (More)

> Researchers pinpoint key gene involved in building and sustaining muscle mass, with mice born without the BCL6 gene showing 30% less muscle mass; results may have applications in treating age- or disease-related muscle loss (More)

From our partners: For people who never have enough time. Athena is the world’s leading delegation company offering elite assistants that have helped over 1,000 founders, investors, prominent leaders, and ambitious parents achieve more and do less. Get the ultimate leverage on life with Athena—1440 readers who sign up before March 31 get a $1,500 credit.

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close down (S&P 500 -1.4%, Dow -1.4%, Nasdaq -1.8%); Dow posts worst day since March 2023 following hotter-than-expected inflation report (More

> JetBlue Airways shares up 22% after activist investor Carl Icahn takes nearly 10% stake in airline, believes company is undervalued (More) | Vizio shares rise 25% on report of Walmart considering buying the TV maker for $2B to boost advertising revenue by selling ads through Vizio products (More

> Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash drivers strike today over fair pay and safety; roughly 130,000 drivers expected to decline rides to and from airports in 10 US cities between 11 am and 1 pm local time (More) | Instacart to lay off 250 employees, or 7% of workforce (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Senate passes $95B military aid bill, including funding for Ukraine ($60B), Israel ($14), and the Indo-Pacific ($8B); effort was split from failed border security bill last week (More) | House leaders say aid package won't be voted on without border security provisions (More)

> Former Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi defeats Republican Nassau County legislator Mazi Pilip in special election in New York's 3rd Congressional District to fill House seat vacated by former Rep. George Santos (R) (More

> Gaza cease-fire talks restart in Cairo, with officials from the US, Israel, Qatar, and Egypt; meeting comes as Israeli forces prepare to advance into the Gaza city of Rafah near the Egyptian border (More) | Officials estimate 74 people killed in Israeli airstrikes during Monday operation to rescue two hostages (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 electric vehicles. General Motors is turning to one startup to unlock

US-based lithium supply: EnergyX. EnergyX’s patented LiTAS™ technology can

extract up to 300% more lithium than traditional methods.

 

GM led a $50 million funding round in EnergyX last year, and EnergyX is now

opening up the opportunity to join them to all investors. Don’t miss out: Become an

EnergyX shareholder today.*

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Etcetera
 

The gory origins of Valentine's Day.

 

... including the ancient Roman festival of the Lupercalia. (w/video) 

 

Uncovering the earliest account of smooching.

 

Scroll through a history of valentine cards

 

Visualizing America's favorite rom-coms.

 

The top 50 love songs of all time.

 

Ranking the best state capitals to live in.

 

Dictionary.com adds 327 new entries, including "girl dinner." 

 

Clickbait: Cupid's Undie Run hits the streets (for charity). 

 

Historybook: Saint Valentine dies (269); Abolitionist Frederick Douglass born (1818); Pale Blue Dot photo taken by Voyager 1 (1990); Dolly the sheep dies; was first cloned mammal (2003); Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting; 17 killed and 17 injured (2018).

"The soul that is within me no man can degrade."

- Frederick Douglass

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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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