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Good morning. It's Thursday, Jan. 26, and we're covering a bump up in Western military aid to Ukraine, a former president released from Facebook purgatory, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.


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Need To Know

West OK's Tanks

Both Germany and the US committed to sending battle tanks to Ukraine yesterday, a move Ukraine says will bolster the country's defenses and set the stage to retake captured territory. 


Estimates claim Ukraine has lost half of its nearly 1,000 Russian-designed tanks since February. Ukraine has long made requests for Germany's world-class diesel-run Leopard 2 tank, thousands of which are stationed nearby in Europe. The United States' M1 Abrams, while one of the world's most battle-tested tanks, runs a complex system on inefficient jet fuel, and officials say sourcing parts for maintenance in Ukraine will be more difficult. The simultaneous, separate decisions came as each country looked to avoid single-handedly escalating the conflict with Russia. 


Initial reports suggest Germany will approve a pool of over 100 Leopards while the US will send 31 Abrams, with delivery expected to take months. See a comparison of the two tanks here, and watch an animation on how tanks work here.


Newport News Shooting Suit

A 25-year-old Virginia school teacher who was shot and injured by a 6-year-old student this month is poised to sue the Newport News School District, alleging the Richneck Elementary School administrators ignored repeated warnings about the boy.


An attorney for teacher Abigail Zwerner said yesterday that school employees told administrators three times the day of the Jan. 6 shooting they believed the boy had a gun. In one instance, another student reportedly cried to a teacher, saying the boy had shown the student the gun and had threatened to kill the student. The boy later shot Zwerner in the hand and chest in front of his classmates. 


The boy's family says he has an acute disability and they accompanied him to class every day except for the week of the shooting. It is unclear how the boy accessed the gun, which police say was legally purchased by his mother.


Facebook Lifts Trump Ban

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced yesterday it would allow former President Donald Trump to return to the platforms in the coming weeks. Company officials revealed the decision in a blog post, saying the former chief executive would be subject to updated content policies applicable to public figures suspended for reasons related to civil unrest—namely, suspensions of between one month and two years for further violations (see details).


Trump was suspended indefinitely two years ago for posts deemed to support the Jan. 6 storming of the US Capitol. The decision was eventually referred to the company's oversight board, who upheld it, but criticized it as ad hoc, directing Meta to review the suspension. The ban lift comes as Trump prepares to ramp up his 2024 presidential campaign and will allow access to the platform's advertising and fundraising infrastructure. 


Trump has also been reinstated on Twitter, with reports he'll become active once an exclusivity requirement with his own Truth Social ends in June. 

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In The Know

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Justin Bieber sells rights to all his music released before 2022 for $200M (More) | Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, and Sam Smith among first artists tapped to perform at 2023 Grammy Awards (More)

> Jalen Hurts, Justin Jefferson, Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Joe Burrow named finalists for 2022 NFL MVP (More) | LeBron James becomes first player to score 40 points against all 30 NBA teams; James now within 178 points of becoming NBA's all-time leading scorer (More)

> James Beard Foundation announces 2023 James Beard Awards semifinalists for the nation's best restaurants and chefs (More)


Science & Technology

> Atomic-level computer model of the H1N1 influenza virus reveals new potential for development of a universal flu vaccine (More) | How the seasonal flu shot works (More, w/video)

> Fossils of prenatal teeth suggest human brain development in-utero became more human-like and less chimp-like around 1 million years ago (More)

> Engineers develop wearable ultrasound patch that provides continuous imaging of the heart; device can measure how much blood the heart is pumping, even during rigorous exercise (More)


Business & Markets

In partnership with Confluence

> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 -0.02%, Dow +0.03%, Nasdaq -0.2%) as earnings season kicks off (More)

> Tesla posts record quarterly profit of $3.7B on revenue of $24.3B, revenue up 37% over last year’s Q4; company to invest $3.6B to expand plant in Reno, Nevada (More)

> IBM beats quarterly revenue expectations, but plans to lay off 3,900 jobs or approximately 1.5% of employees (More) | Chevron announces $75B share repurchase program (More

From our partners: A more flexible workspace. Confluence is your remote-friendly team workspace where knowledge and collaboration meet. From actionable meeting notes to inspiring project plans, Confluence encourages all teams—from marketing to engineering—to share announcements, strengthen company culture, and get instant feedback. Propel your team forward for free today, and start accomplishing more together.


Politics & World Affairs

>  Half Moon Bay, California, mass shooting suspect charged with seven counts of murder and one count of attempted murder; suspect also faces a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders and a sentencing enhancement on each charge for the use of a firearm (More) | What is a special circumstance? (More)

> North Korea orders five-day lockdown in its capital city of Pyongyang in attempt to curb the spread of unidentified respiratory illnesses; some experts suggest the country is in the midst of another COVID-19 outbreak (More)

> Pope Francis criticizes laws criminalizing homosexuality and calls on Catholic bishops to welcome LGBTQ people into the church; more than 65 countries or jurisdictions have criminal statutes against same-sex relationships (More)



> The Art and Science of Spending Money

Collab Fund | Morgan Housel. How we spend money can reveal an existential struggle about what we find valuable in life, who we want to spend time with, why we choose our careers, and more. (Read)


> Jungle Realm of the Snake Queens

Archaeology | Bridget Alex. A look into how women rose through the ranks of the high-stakes world of Maya politics, assuming privileges and powers typically restricted to men. (Read)

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Historybook: Actor Paul Newman born (1925); Ellen DeGeneres born (1958); Football coaching great Paul "Bear" Bryant dies (1983); Condoleezza Rice becomes first Black woman appointed US secretary of state (2005); Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna among nine deaths in California helicopter crash (2020).

"It's not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters."

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