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Good morning. It's Thursday, April 6, and we're covering a sizable settlement from the federal government in a deadly mass shooting, an attack in San Francisco, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.


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Need To Know

Feds Agree to Shooting Settlement

The US Justice Department announced yesterday it will pay a $144M settlement to the survivors and victims' relatives of a 2017 mass shooting in Texas, pending court approval. Twenty-six people died and 22 more were injured after former Air Force member Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire Nov. 5, 2017, during a worship service at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, the state's deadliest mass shooting.


The lawsuit contended the Air Force failed to report the shooter's previous domestic assault conviction—against his former wife and baby stepson—to a national database, arguing such an intervention might have prevented him from buying guns from licensed dealers. A federal judge ruled in 2021 the Air Force was 60% liable for the attack. The settlement amount is less than the $230M a federal judge ordered the DOJ to pay in 2022.


A 2018 Defense Department investigation into the case found the Air Force failed six times to follow reporting procedures during the shooter's five-year service. 


Tech Founder Killed

Bob Lee, the founder of the mobile payment platform Cash App, was fatally stabbed in San Francisco early Tuesday morning. As of this writing, the police have not officially identified a suspect or motive, but say the attack happened in the city's relatively affluent Rincon Hill neighborhood around 2:30 in the morning. 


The 46-year-old Lee, who was reportedly visiting from his Miami home for work, was currently serving as an executive at the cryptocurrency startup MobileCoin. He was previously chief technology officer for Square (now known as Block), a payments platform launched in 2010 by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. 


Lee's death comes as San Francisco residents have expressed concern over safety and crime, having recalled former District Attorney Chesa Boudin last summer. Data reported by the city suggest homicides and assaults have remained relatively steady through the pandemic, while larceny and thefts have have roughly doubled (see data). 


Police say an investigation into the killing is ongoing.


State-Level Shake-Ups 

North Carolina Rep. Tricia Cotham (D, NC-112) officially announced yesterday she is switching her party affiliation to Republican. The move gives the GOP a veto-proof supermajority in the state House, in addition to already securing a supermajority in the state Senate in the 2022 elections. The supermajorities (see 101) mean Republicans can potentially override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes on bills, with all lawmakers voting.


Cotham, who represents a Democratic-leaning district and won her seat last fall by nearly 20 points, said her decision to switch parties grew out of frustration and disagreements with the state’s Democratic Party. See more on Cotham here.


Separately, Republican leaders of the GOP-led Tennessee Legislature vote today to potentially expel three House Democrats for actively participating in a protest last week for new gun safety laws following the Nashville school shooting. Demonstrators gathered at the Capitol and entered the building, where some confronted lawmakers. The Democratic trio temporarily halted a House session, chanting from a podium with a megaphone. 


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In The Know

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

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> The 2023 Masters—one of four major championships in men's golf—begins today (3 pm ET, ESPN) from Augusta, Georgia; 2022 winner Scottie Scheffler enters as favorite to win (More)

> Amazon signs deal with Indian government in effort to grow the country’s creative economy (More) | Johnny Depp-starring film "Jeanne du Barry" to open 2023 Cannes Film Festival (May 16) (More)

> CNN host Don Lemon accused of misogyny, sending threatening texts to female colleague in Variety exposé (More)

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Science & Technology

> Google reveals details on its Tensor Processing Unit, custom chips used in parallel to train AI algorithms; company claims chip is 1.7 times faster and 1.9 times more energy efficient than competitor Nvidia's unit (More)

> Ram unveils 2025 electric pickup truck with a reported range of 500 miles, charging times of 110 miles per 10 minutes of charge (More) | US electric vehicles accounted for 7.1% of all new car sales in January, up from 4.3% during the same period last year (More)

> Scientists find small-particle air pollution can trigger cancer without damaging DNA, but instead causing inflammation that promotes the proliferation of existing cells with cancer-driving mutations (More)


Business & Markets

> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 -0.3%, Dow +0.2%, Nasdaq -1.2%); March private payroll counts come in lower than expected (More)

> FedEx to combine air and ground operations in effort to reduce costs; shares up 2% (More)

> Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Denver top 2022 list of world’s busiest airports (More)


Politics & World Affairs

> At least five people were killed and an unknown number injured after a tornado with wind speeds of 130 mph struck southeastern Missouri, about 50 miles south of St. Louis, remaining on the ground for an estimated 15-20 miles (More

> Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen meets with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-20) and more than a dozen Democratic and Republican members of Congress in California on her return to Taiwan from an overseas trip (More)

> Four children killed and at least five others wounded in hatchet attack at day care center in Brazil; authorities say victims were between the ages of 5 and 7, and the assailant turned himself in (More)



> An Elite Defection

The Associated Press | Erika Kinetz. The story of Gleb Karakulov, once part of the elite inner circle ensuring the security of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who defected over objections to the war in Ukraine. (Read)


> Tim Cook on the Future of Apple

GQ | Zach Baron. Apple CEO Tim Cook offers insights into his leadership style, including why he sees himself as an outsider, his commitment to the company's values, and how he avoids excessive screen time on his iPhone. (Read)

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Historybook: Renaissance artist Raphael born and died (1483, 1520); First modern Olympics opens in Athens (1896); Robert Peary claims to have become the first person to reach the North Pole (1909); The US declares war on Germany in World War I (1917); Country singer Tammy Wynette dies (1998).

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