6.3.2024

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Good morning. It's Monday, June 3, and we're covering Mexico's election, geopolitical tensions over trash balloons, and much more. First time reading? Join over 3.5 million readers. Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

Historic Mexican Election

Mexican voters are awaiting the results of yesterday's historic national elections, expected to yield the country's first female president. 

 

The two frontrunners are both women: leading candidate Claudia Sheinbaum of the ruling Morena party and opposition candidate Xóchitl Gálvez. An ally of outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Sheinbaum is a former Mexico City mayor and scientist who pledged to continue López Obrador's popular economic policies and expand scholarship opportunities for students. Gálvez is a former senator and Indigenous affairs official committed to expanding welfare programs and investing in renewable energy. Both plan to extend López Obrador's popular pension program for seniors.

 

Overshadowing the election is Mexico's high crime rates and political violence. More than 20 local candidates have been killed since September in the lead-up to yesterday's elections, which will also decide the makeup of Mexico's Congress, eight governors, and Mexico City's mayor. Final election results are expected by tonight.

 

Hunter Biden Gun Trial

Jury selection in a federal gun trial against Hunter Biden begins today, nearly one year after a plea deal to avoid criminal charges fell apart. Prosecutors allege the youngest son of President Joe Biden lied when responding to questions about drug use on federal forms in the course of purchasing a firearm. 

 

Biden bought a Colt Cobra revolver in 2018, at which point he checked a box asserting he was not an unlawful user of, or addicted to, drugs—but later broadly admitted to abusing crack cocaine during the time in a memoir. The first two counts each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, while the third carries a maximum of five. Biden's lawyers are expected to rely on a strict interpretation of the form's language, arguing their client was not legally addicted to drugs at the time of the purchase. 

 

Biden separately faces charges of tax evasion, for which he is currently under indictment. 

 

Korean Trash Wars

South Korea yesterday said it will soon take "unbearable" steps in response to North Korea sending more than 600 trash balloons into its airspace over the weekend. North Korea says the campaign is in response to decades of political leaflets from South Korea.

 

Since the 1950s, activists in South Korea have sent balloons into North Korea carrying food, medicine, anti-Pyongyang pamphlets, and USBs with K-pop music and shows (see more, w/video). South Korea's government banned the practice in 2020 though the law was overturned last year. In response, North Korea has sent more than 800 balloons—carrying trash and excrement—in two batches over the past week. 

 

South Korea has directed the military to collect and inspect the balloons, which they say were recovered in eight out of nine of its provinces. The move is the latest escalatory measure between the two countries amid military exercises, missile tests, and failed spy satellites.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

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> Florida Panthers edge New York Rangers 2-1 to win Eastern Conference Finals 4-2, advance to Stanley Cup Final for second straight year (More) | Edmonton Oilers advance to Stanley Cup Final for first time since 2006 after winning Western Conference Finals series 4-2 over the Dallas Stars (More

> All four members of legendary pop group ABBA knighted in Sweden (More) | Ron Edmonds, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, dies at 77 (More) | Washington Post executive editor Sally Buzbee steps down after three years (More)

> Real Madrid tops Borussia Dortmund 2-0 to win their 15th UEFA Champions League title (More) | Simone Biles wins record ninth US women's gymnastics all-around title (More)

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Science & Technology

> First crewed flight of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft scrubbed again, just four minutes before planned blastoff Saturday (More) | Chinese lunar lander touches down on far side of the moon in mission to collect and return rock samples (More

> Doctors report first patient to receive a genetically modified pig liver is alive and well two weeks post-surgery; marks the fifth person worldwide to undergo a pig organ transplant (More

> Researchers discover cheap, nontoxic method to lure and kill termites using pinene, which mimics the scent of wood; existing fumigation approaches involve toxic sulfuryl fluoride (More

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close mixed Friday (S&P 500 +0.8%, Dow +1.5%, Nasdaq -0.01%) as latest inflation measures remained level in April as expected; personal consumption expenditures price index rises 0.2% (More)

> OPEC+ countries agree to extend oil production cuts of 2.2 million barrels of crude oil per day into 2025 (More) | Saudi Aramco's $12B stock offer sells out within hours (More)

> AI chipmaker Nvidia unveils next generation of chips, dubbed "Rubin," to be released in 2026 (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> South Africa's African National Congress party fails to secure majority in first election since the end of apartheid; will work to form coalition (More) | See previous write-up (More

> Anthony Fauci to testify today before House committee about his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and government-sponsored research on pathogens (More) | Former President Donald Trump joins TikTok after previous position to ban the social media platform, surpasses President Joe Biden's followers in 24 hours (More)

> Water service returns in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, two days after pipe burst leads to widespread water outages and state of emergency (More

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Etcetera
 

World happiness levels, mapped.

 

Viral pregnant stingray has rare reproductive disease.

 

Data analyst breaks down her texts with an ex-boyfriend.

 

The sea claims another house on North Carolina's Outer Banks

 

... and the US' hurricane hot spots.

 

Defining what exactly "biweekly" means.

 

A cheese museum to open in Paris.

 

... and Taco Bell Cheez-Its to roll out nationwide.

 

Clickbait: From sweet to swicy.

 

Historybook: Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto claims Florida for Spain (1539); Singer and actress Josephine Baker born (1906); Ed White becomes first American to walk in space (1965); Rafael Nadal born (1986); Muhammad Ali dies (2016).

"In a competition of love we'll all share in the victory, no matter who comes first."

- Muhammad Ali

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*Disclosure:  "Journal of Retirement Study Winter" (2020). The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of your future results. Please follow the link to see the methodologies employed in the Journal of Retirement study.

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