6.14.2024

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Good morning. It's Friday, June 14, and we're covering a ruling on a widely used abortion drug, an intense downpour in Florida, and much more. First time reading? Join over 3.5 million intellectually curious readers. Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

Abortion Pill Ruling

The Supreme Court unanimously rejected a challenge yesterday that sought to restrict access to the abortion drug mifepristone. The ruling prevents further limitations on access to the oral pill, which, when taken as part of a two-drug regimen, accounted for 63% of US abortions last year.

 

The challenge, which came two years after the court overturned Roe v. Wade, was brought by conservative medical groups who questioned the Food and Drug Administration’s approval and subsequent rule relaxations for how mifepristone can be prescribed and dispensed. The doctors argued they could be asked to treat complications from medical abortions; however, the justices determined the groups lacked standing as they neither prescribe nor use the drug. The ruling did not address the plaintiff’s safety concerns from when the FDA made the drug easier to obtain. See our previous write-up here.

 

Separately, the Supreme Court will rule on the legality of Idaho’s abortion ban in the coming weeks.

 

G7 Funds Ukraine

Countries from the Group of Seven agreed yesterday to supply a $50B loan to Ukraine as leaders from the world's wealthiest democracies met for annual talks in Italy. The loan will be serviced via interest accrued from roughly $300B in seized Russian assets amid its war in Ukraine. 

 

The G7—consisting of the UK, France, Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy, and the US—originated in the 1960s and acts as a consensus-building forum for those nations (see background). As more countries develop economically around the world, the G7 tends to lack the same impact as the larger Group of 20 countries. At the gathering, leaders of the US and Ukraine also signed a 10-year joint-security agreement.

 

In Russia, jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was formally indicted on espionage charges yesterday, over a year after he was first arrested. The US has designated Gershkovich as wrongfully detained and is seeking his release. A trial date has not been announced.

 

South Florida Deluge

A storm system drenched South Florida for a third straight day yesterday, flooding neighborhoods, disrupting flights, and forcing road closures. Seven million people, including those in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Naples, remain under flood watches through tonight. 

 

The National Weather Service issued a rare high risk outlook for excessive rainfall for parts of South Florida, which represents the top level of a four-category scale and occurs on 4% of days each year on average. Such an extreme weather event in the US accounts for more than 80% of flood-related damage and over one-third of flood-related deaths. 

 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declared a state of emergency for five counties as some areas saw up to 25 inches of rainfall since Tuesday. Roughly an entire average month's rainfall for June fell on Fort Lauderdale in 24 hours alone Wednesday. See photos here.

 

Separately, the latest El Niño weather pattern, associated with stronger hurricanes in the Pacific (and weaker hurricanes in the Atlantic) as well as drought in the West, is officially over. 

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. They’ve inked deals with top lithium producers like POSCO, secured a strategic investment from GM, and won a $5M DOE grant. They even acquired a 90,000-acre mining asset that has ~5.5M tons of lithium.

 

Now EnergyX is accepting shareholders for a limited time. This is a unique opportunity to invest on the ground floor as the company is set to unlock a massive lithium supply. Don’t miss your chance to invest in EnergyX at their $9 share price before it increases on June 27.*

Please support our sponsors!

In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> The Florida Panthers take 3-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final after holding on to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in Game 3 (More) | The Dallas Mavericks look to avoid being swept by the Boston Celtics tonight (8:30 pm ET, ABC) in Game 4 of the NBA Finals (More

> The 77th Tony Awards take place Sunday (8 pm ET, CBS); see predictions for each category (More) | Disney drops lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) after the state and Disney reach land development deal for Disney World (More)

> UEFA European Championship kicks off today from Germany; see preview of all 24 teams (More

 

Science & Technology

In partnership with Incogni

> Earth's inner core is slowing down in its rotation relative to the planet's surface, scientists confirm; phenomenon began in 2010 after an estimated four decades of moving slightly faster than the surface (More

> Engineers combine AI learning model with robotic exoskeleton to develop a suit that learns to adapt to a user's movements, helping them save energy while running, climbing stairs, and more (More

> Soaring birds like eagles and falcons use air sacs in the lungs to add extra power to their flight; study sheds light on the evolution of long-distance flight in animals (More

From our partners: Your personal info is all over the internet. Your information can trade hands for just a few bucks and scammers are all over that—but they’re not the only ones. Data brokers sell everything from your address to your Social Security number, to anyone willing to pay. Enter Incogni. They scrub your personal info from the web. Get your data off 180+ data brokers' and people-search sites with Incogni. Get 55% off with code 1440DAILY.

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 +0.2%, Dow -0.2%, Nasdaq +0.3%); S&P 500, Nasdaq close at records for fourth consecutive day (More) | US weekly jobless claims rise to 242,000 for week ending June 8; figure is greater than estimates and the highest level since August 2023 (More)

> Tesla shareholders vote to reinstate CEO Elon Musk's previous $56B pay package and move Tesla's incorporation from Delaware to Texas; shareholder vote does not override a Delaware court's January order to rescind the pay package (More

> Supreme Court sides with Starbucks in labor dispute involving the firing of seven Memphis-based employees amid unionization efforts; ruling restricts National Labor Relations Board's authority to intervene during contested labor practices (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> US Justice Department investigation concludes Phoenix police department routinely violates rights, uses excessive force, and discriminates against Black, Hispanic, and Native American people (More) | Read the report (More

> Roughly 1.5 million people journey to the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia as the annual Hajj pilgrimage begins today (More) | What is Hajj? (More)

> Argentina's Senate passes watered-down legislation aimed at overhauling the country's troubled economy as police clash with protestors; legislation heads to lower house of Congress for final approval (More

 

In-Depth

> Are You a Nonplayer Character?

Kurzgesagt | Staff. A detailed exploration of the perennial debate over free will,  presenting and analyzing two opposing contemporary approaches grounded in science. (Watch)

 

> Ordering Chaos

Aeon | Erik Van Aken. Is the butterfly effect—that is, the impact of tiny variables on complex systems—the product of classical physics or human perception? (Read)

> An Oral History of the 'Gremlins'

Ringer | Alan Siegel. Cut scenes, mess-making monkeys in masks, and more: Read the fascinating details from the cast and crew of the cult classic film, which marks its 40th anniversary this week. (Read)

 

> Swimming with Manatees

NYT Audio | Sam Anderson. (Podcast) An animal lover explores the slow-poke sea cow and achieves pure "manatation"—meditative bliss induced by floating among the species. (Listen)

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.

 

GM led a $50 million funding round in EnergyX last year. Now, they’ve opened the opportunity to join them to all investors. Take advantage of their limited-time $9/share price before it increases on June 27.*

Please support our sponsors!

Etcetera
 

How Americans navigate politics on social media.

 

The wild story of the brain behind Rainforest Cafe

 

US cities where commuters drive the most

 

Researchers want to turn your house into a battery.

 

Guess songs listening to one instrument at a time.

 

Photographer submits real shot, wins AI photo contest

 

Balloon expert sounds off on depictions of runaway hot-air balloons

 

A herd of California elk adopts a donkey. (via X)

 

Clickbait: A dollar can fetch you Chinese military secrets.

 

Historybook: Stars and Stripes officially adopted as flag of the US (1777); Abolitionist and author Harriet Beecher Stowe born (1811); Former President Donald Trump born (1946); High-rise fire in London kills 72 (2017).

"The greater the interest involved in a truth the more careful, self-distrustful, and patient should be the inquiry."

- Harriet Beecher Stowe

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