12.20.2022

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Good morning. It's Tuesday, Dec. 20, and we're covering the latest public poll from Twitter CEO Elon Musk, a hefty fine for a popular video game maker, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Jan. 6 Hearings Conclude

The House Jan. 6 Committee yesterday unanimously voted to refer former President Donald Trump to the Justice Department for four criminal charges as it wrapped its final hearing on the 2021 storming of the US Capitol. The charges consist of defrauding the government, obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to make a false statement, and aiding an insurrection. The referrals are not binding and carry no legal weight, but act as a recommendation for the Justice Department. 

 

The Democratic-led panel, which is expected to dissolve Jan. 3 when the new Congress begins, also voted to approve its final report on its investigation, which is expected to be released tomorrow. See an executive summary of its findings here.

 

The panel also voted to refer former Trump legal adviser John Eastman to the Justice Department and voted to refer House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-23), along with Reps. Jim Jordan (R, OH-4), Scott Perry (R, PA-10), and Andy Biggs (R, AZ-5), to the House Ethics Committee for refusing to comply with subpoenas. 

 

Musk Polls His Future

A majority of the 17.5 million Twitter users who responded to an informal poll voted in favor of CEO Elon Musk stepping down, according to results posted yesterday. The billionaire initially stated he would abide by the results, but it is unclear if he will do so as of this writing. See potential candidates here

 

The poll comes after widespread backlash following a recent move banning users from posting links to other social media sites and a change to the company’s “doxxing” policy. Several prominent journalists were suspended from the platform, some of which have been restored, due to the policy changes. Musk has since announced that users will have the opportunity to vote on all major policy changes going forward. A poll over the policy to block social media competitors shows more than 87% of users oppose the plan.

 

Musk said in November his leadership of Twitter was likely temporary, as several investors at Tesla have questioned his commitment to the electric vehicle company.

 

An Epic Fine

Epic Games Inc., the maker of the popular video game "Fortnite," agreed to pay over half a billion dollars yesterday to resolve allegations from the Federal Trade Commission. The amount is one of the largest FTC settlements ever (see list). 

 

"Fortnite" debuted in 2017 to immense popularity among children, particularly its so-called Battle Royale mode, where 100 players fight to be the last player alive (see game trailer). The FTC alleged Epic violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act by collecting personal information from children under 13 without parental consent, for which Epic agreed to pay $275M. In a separate case, Epic will pay $245M in customer returns after the FTC found it had tricked consumers into making unintended purchases. The company has also agreed to adopt several privacy measures and allow regular independent audits.

 

Epic was last valued at $32B in April, with recent reports claiming "Fortnite" had over 400 million registered users

In partnership with Revela

AI That Does More Than Write

 

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Harvey Weinstein found guilty in Los Angeles on three charges of sexual assault; Weinstein is currently serving 23 years in New York on a similar conviction (More)

> Amber Heard to pay ex-husband Johnny Depp $1M after settling defamation suit; Depp was originally awarded $10M after winning suit against Heard in May (More)

> Allegations of workplace misconduct within Phoenix Suns organization extend beyond largest shareholder Robert Sarver, including CEO Jason Rowley (More)

 

Science & Technology

In partnership with Apollo Neuro™

> Google announces AI project to help decipher difficult-to-read handwriting; program would be an app usable with its Google Lens products (More)

> NASA concludes four-decade-long study into temperature changes of Jupiter's upper atmosphere, finding variations patterns that don't correspond to any currently known cycle (More)

> Paleontologists conclude well known fossil site in Nevada was likely a breeding ground for ichthyosaurs roughly 230 million years ago (More)

From our partners: A wearable that trains your body to get more sleep and stress less. Apollo Neuro’s touch therapy technology was developed by neuroscientists and physicians to help calm your nerves and clear your mind, melting away stress using soothing vibrations for better sleep, relaxation, and focus. Tested across thousands of users in the clinic and in the real world, Apollo wearable users experience 40% less stress and anxiety, up to 25% increase in focus, and can gain up to 30 more minutes of sleep a night. Get $40 off an Apollo wearable today.

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.9%, Dow -0.5%, Nasdaq -1.5%) for fourth consecutive session (More)

> Electric vehicle maker Lucid raises $1.5B in equity offering from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and other investors (More)

> Rocket maker Aerojet Rocketdyne to be acquired by L3Harris for $4.7B (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Supreme Court temporarily blocks lower court ruling ending Title 42 immigration policy after a coalition of Republican states ask the high court to intervene; Title 42 was due to end tomorrow (More) | What is Title 42? (More)

> Thirty-six people injured, including 11 in serious condition, after a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Phoenix to Honolulu encounters severe turbulence before landing (More) | At least six people dead, including the 73-year-old gunman, after mass shooting in a Toronto, Canada, apartment complex (More

> China reports first two COVID-related deaths since easing coronavirus restrictions earlier this month (More) | See data on COVID-19 cases and deaths in China (More)

 

In-Depth

> Architects of the Air Raid

Saturday Down South | Jon Gold. A look into the friendship forged between former Kentucky football coach Hal Mumme and the late Mississippi State coach Mike Leach, and the innovative way they changed football forever. (Read)

 

> The Mom Who Stole Her Daughter’s Identity

Elle | Sarah Treleaven. The story of Laura Oglesby, who in 2016 moved to Missouri and pretended to be her 22-year-old daughter for two years while raking up $20K in college debt. (Read)

In partnership with Revela

Thicker Hair, Less Stress

 

“For hair loss—there are two drugs and one of them is from the 1950s and the other is from 1982. There hadn’t been anything new and targeted developed in a long time." - Evan Zhao, Ph.D.

 

Until now, that is. Zhao is a founder of Revela, a biotech company whose hair loss formula has seen a 97% success rate in clinical trials. Revela's breakthrough is an ingredient called ProCelinyl™, which targets the root cause of hair loss and can improve hair growth in just six weeks. Ready for healthier hair and bolder brows? Create a complete routine by shopping money-saving bundles (like the Hair Revival Regimen) that are available for a limited time, so you can feel your best after this holiday season. Now’s the last chance before ringing in the new year for 1440 readers to use code STARTGROWING15 for an additional 15% off your order.

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Etcetera
 

An interactive exploration of holiday music through the years.

 

Visualizing the population of India's states compared to countries.

 

"ET" model from 1982 film sells for $2.5M

 

How Disney World discards its gingerbread houses

 

A grandpa designs an enchanting bedroom for his grandson.

 

Brain teaser: spot the difference between two festive offices

 

Move over butter boards—butter candles are here.

 

Could this be the world's oldest chicken

 

Clickbait: When Robert De Niro finds a stranger stealing his presents

 

Historybook: Louisiana Purchase finalized (1803); Sacagawea dies (1812); "It’s a Wonderful Life" released (1946); Astronomer Carl Sagan dies (1996); Space Force becomes sixth US armed forces branch (2019).

"We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever."

- Carl Sagan

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