6.28.2024

 

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Good morning. It's Friday, June 28, and we're covering the first Biden-Trump debate of 2024, the choices for Iranian voters, and much more. First time reading? Join over 3.5 million intellectually curious readers. Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

US Presidential Debate

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump held their first debate of the 2024 election cycle last night at a CNN studio in Atlanta, Georgia. The debate was moderated by CNN hosts Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.

 

Front and center for the candidates—on track to be the oldest in US history—was mental fitness, with Biden at times appearing to lose his train of thought and often speaking at a low volume, furthering Democratic leaders' concerns over his viability as a candidate. Meanwhile, Trump was criticized for appearing to sidestep questions, including about his role in the events surrounding Jan. 6. Both candidates defended their records on a range of issues, including the economy, abortion, immigration, and foreign wars, while engaging in personal attacks. See takeaways here.

 

The second and final debate planned between the presumptive Republican and Democratic nominees this election season will be held Sept. 10 and hosted by ABC.

 

Iran's Presidential Election

Iranians head to the polls today for early presidential elections to replace former President Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash last month in the mountainous region of northern Iran. 

 

Six candidates have been permitted to run in today’s election out of a pool of 80 people vetted by Iran’s 12-person Guardian Council. Among those approved are five hardline candidates and one reformist, Masoud Pezeshkian from Iran’s large Azeri minority. Pezeshkian is currently leading in polls with roughly a quarter of the vote. Another leading candidate is Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, a former mayor of Tehran known for violent crackdowns on university students. Learn more about the six candidates here.

 

The election comes as annual inflation in Iran has surpassed 35% and follows mass protests over women’s rights—prompting government concerns about low voter turnout. If no candidate wins a majority in today’s election, the top two candidates will enter a runoff election next week.

 

Space Station Destroyer

NASA has awarded SpaceX $843M to develop and build a space vehicle to safely remove the International Space Station from orbit around 2030. Launch costs for the vehicle, which NASA will own and operate, will be procured separately. 

 

Early plans indicate the US Deorbit Vehicle will transfer the aging station, which weighs roughly 1 million pounds, in three stages and later disassemble itself. Once released, each stage will plow through the atmosphere at 17,000 miles per hour to land in the South Pacific's so-called spacecraft cemetery. The $3B annual budget of the ISS will likely go toward deeper space exploration while opening up low-Earth orbit to private developers of space stations. 

 

A joint effort of the US, Russia, Japan, Canada, and the European Union, the ISS is the largest structure ever built in space and has been continuously inhabited since 2000. Over 3,300 ISS studies conducted by 270 individuals have produced discoveries in medicine, agriculture, and more. Read about the ISS legacy here.

In partnership with Miso Robotics

Remember When Humans Did That?

 

Working the local burger joint’s fryer is a tough job. Between the grease burns and low wages, it’s getting harder and harder for fast-food restaurants to staff their kitchens. In fact, around 3M jobs will go unfilled in the US alone.

 

Miso Robotics has the solution: their AI-powered robot, Flippy, has mastered the deep fryer. That’s exactly why White Castle and Jack in the Box turned to Miso Robotics to automate their kitchens and boost profits 4X higher

 

And Miso’s just getting started. They’ve even locked in a collaboration with NVIDIA, who calls Miso a “powerful solution.” To fuel their growth, Miso’s opened a funding round for investors to get in on the automation of the $1T fast food market. See why 34,000 investors have already joined them by checking out the Miso investment offering today.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> The 111th Tour de France begins tomorrow with Stage 1 from Florence, Italy (More) | Team USA gymnastics trials for Paris Olympics began last night; see full results (More) | Jury orders NFL to pay $4.7B in damages in class-action antitrust lawsuit (More)

> Kinky Friedman, musician, satirist, and novelist, dies at 79 (More) | Bill Cobbs, Emmy-winning character actor, dies at 90 (More)

> Southern Cal's Bronny James will join his father LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers after being selected 55th overall in the NBA Draft (More) | NHL Draft begins tonight (7:30 pm ET, ESPN); see full first-round mock draft (More)

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Science & Technology

> Google adds 110 languages to Google Translate—nearly doubling the number supported—after training the platform on its PaLM 2 AI language model (More) | Company to test facial recognition and tracking at its Seattle campus; visitors not allowed to opt out (More)

> Woolly mammoth extinction happened suddenly instead of a gradual die-off due to inbreeding, new study suggests; last remaining population lived on Siberia's Wrangel Island, disappearing about 4,000 years ago (More)

> Researchers grow 3D brain models using cells from different people in a single organoid for the first time; approach may lead to methods to test new drugs without needing human patients (More

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher (S&P 500 +0.1%, Dow +0.1%, Nasdaq +0.3%) as investors await today's release of the monthly personal consumption expenditures price index (More)

> OpenAI strikes multiyear licensing deal with Time magazine; deal gives OpenAI access to 101 years of Time content to train its models, allows Time to use OpenAI's technology to develop new products (More) | The Center for Investigative Reporting sues OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement (More

> Walgreens shares close down 22% after company discloses it will shutter an estimated 650 to 700 underperforming US stores over a multiyear period (More) | Amazon plans to launch discount store with shipping directly from China in bid to counter Temu and Shein (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> US Supreme Court rejects Purdue Pharma's $6B OxyContin settlement that shielded the Sackler family from future lawsuits (More) | Court allows emergency abortions in Idaho for now (More) | ... and blocks the Environmental Protection Agency's interstate air pollution regulation (More) | ... and limits the Securities and Exchange Commission's use of in-house tribunals to enforce regulations (More

> Former Uvalde, Texas, schools police chief criminally charged for response to 2022 school shooting that killed 21 people (More) | Judge sets June 2025 trial date for man accused of murdering four University of Idaho students in 2022 (More

> Oklahoma superintendent orders public schools to teach the Bible for grades 5 through 12; move comes a week after Louisiana became the first state to require the Ten Commandments to be posted in every public school classroom (More)

 

In-Depth

> Waves of Space

ScienceClicAlessandro Roussel. Using a grid overlaying the invisible fabric of spacetime, a physicist helps illuminate the gravitational dynamics of the cosmos, from black holes to the Milky Way. (Watch)

 

> Castaneda's Missing Chacmools

Alta | Geoffrey Gray. Shortly after New Age artist and cult leader Carlos Castaneda died in 1998, six followers—identifying as witch-like "chacmools"—vanished. Where did they go? (Read)

> The Camberley Poisoning

Was Justice Served? | Jen Baldwin, David Wilson. (Podcast) Two experts return to the 1887 mysterious death by poison of Hannah Bowles and her son Edward, trying to determine whether husband and father Henry was at fault. (Listen)

 

> Origins of 'Lonely Planet'

Lit Hub | Paige McClanahan. The thrilling story of a pair of two young travelers, Tony and Maureen Wheeler, whose unfiltered, off-the-beaten-path travel guides transformed Western tourism. (Read)

In partnership with Miso Robotics

Fast Food’s Flipping Out

 

Miso’s the leader in fast-food kitchen automation. Their flagship robot, Flippy, has

already fried 2.5M baskets for brands like White Castle. NVIDIA even hand-picked

Miso as a collaborative partner.  

 

Miso’s just getting started, too. They’re rolling out a next-gen Flippy and starting to scale. Over 100k fast food stores are ripe for Miso’s automation, creating a $3.5B revenue opportunity. Don’t miss your chance to tap into their growth potential by investing in Miso Robotics today.

Please support our sponsors!

Etcetera—Best of June 2024
 

Editor's note: More than 10 million monthly clicks can't be wrong. Here are the most popular stories we ran in June. Enjoy!

 

(6/24/24) "Wild Thang" named world's ugliest dog.

 

(6/26/24) Meet Sonny, the 2024 Gerber Baby.

 

(6/15/24) Princess Catherine provides update on cancer diagnosis.

 

(6/13/24) The oldest written account of Jesus' childhood.

 

(6/26/24) Why do we say "PU" when something stinks?

 

(6/12/24) Hot dog-eating champ barred from competing.

 

(6/13/24) Rare white buffalo calf fulfills a Lakota prophecy.

 

(6/20/24) Bathroom emergency leads to PGA Tour rule change.

 

(6/18/24) Upgrade your vocabulary with 10 vintage slang words.

 

(6/13/24) What you need to earn to live comfortably in every state

 

(6/10/24) Massive sunfish washes up on the Oregon coast.

 

Clickbait: Don't order coffee or tea on a plane.

 

Historybook: Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated, sparking World War I (1914); Treaty of Versailles is signed, formally ending World War I (1919); Stonewall uprising begins (1969); Elon Musk born (1971); Basketball coach Pat Summitt dies (2016).

"If you don't want responsibility, don't sit in the big chair. To be successful, you must accept full responsibility."

- Pat Summitt

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*Disclosure: This is a paid advertisement for Miso Robotics’ Regulation A offering. Please read the offering circular at invest.misorobotics.com.

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