6.21.2024

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Good morning. It's Friday, June 21, and we're covering TikTok's legal battle with the US, Queen taking the music catalog crown, and much more. First time reading? Join over 3.5 million intellectually curious readers. Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

TikTok's Court Case

TikTok filed its first legal briefs yesterday kicking off the court case over the law forcing a sale or ban of the company from China-based parent company, ByteDance.

 

The briefs—filed with the support of eight US-based TikTok creators—argue the law violates Americans' right to freedom of expression. TikTok dismissed a sale as impractical and said it would lead to a two-tier system of content whereby Americans would be cut off from content produced outside of the US. TikTok also revealed private negotiations, including an offer to provide US officials with a kill switch if the government believes the app remains a national security threat. Read an explanation of the sale-or-ban law here and US national security concerns here.

 

The Justice Department is set to respond next month with oral arguments scheduled for September. TikTok boasts more than 170 million monthly active users in the US and over 5 million US-based businesses.

 

Queen Are the Champions

Sony Music is reportedly finalizing a deal to purchase the music catalog of the rock band Queen for $1.2B, according to reports yesterday. The 10-figure deal would be the most expensive yet in the accelerating race to scoop up the rights to popular music acts.

 

The four-man British band, founded in the late 1960s, produced an iconic body of work, from the six-minute symphonic hit "Bohemian Rhapsody" to stadium favorites "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions." The deal includes recording and publishing rights as well as ownership of the band's name, image, and likeness, opening up potential for Broadway shows, films, advertisements, and more. 

 

In recent years, many artists have opted to sell catalog rights to cash in on their current perceived value. For investors, music royalties are a stable, economically resilient income stream, and a catalog's current revenue, expected future earnings, and more are weighed when determining a valuation

 

Earliest Deep-Sea Shipwreck

The oldest shipwreck ever found in the deep sea has been discovered on the Mediterranean Sea floor, shedding light on trade during the late Bronze Age. The 39- to 46-foot-long ship was found roughly 56 miles off the northern coast of Israel at a depth of nearly 6,000 feet during a seafloor survey by a natural gas exploration company.

 

The wreck contained hundreds of intact Canaanite amphorae—clay jars used to store goods—suggesting it sank between 1400 BCE and 1300 BCE. The deep-sea discovery challenges assumptions that Bronze Age trade occurred only close to shorelines and suggests mariners may have used celestial navigation. While the exact cause of the sinking remains unknown, the ship settled without capsizing, and experts speculate a storm or pirate attack could have been responsible.

 

The world’s oldest found shipwreck is over 4,200 years old and is located in waters 50 feet deep off the coast of the Greek island Dokos.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> The Florida Panthers look to win their first Stanley Cup tonight (8 pm ET, ABC) with a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series against the Edmonton Oilers (More)  | Los Angeles Lakers reportedly hire NBA veteran JJ Redick as next head coach (More)

> Donald Sutherland, Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor known for roles in "M*A*S*H" and "Hunger Games," dies at 88 (More) | Rapper Travis Scott arrested in Miami for trespassing and public intoxication (More)

> 2024 Copa América kicks off; see previews for all 16 teams in the soccer tournament (More) | Team USA track and field Olympic trials begin today from Eugene, Oregon (More)

 

Science & Technology

> AI startup Anthropic releases Claude 3.5 Sonnet, three months after releasing its previous version; model is meant to compete with OpenAI's GPT-4o and Google's Gemini (More

> Paleontologists discover potential new triceratops-like dinosaur species, dubbed Lokiceratops; 78-million-year-old fossil suggests the dinosaur family saw region-specific evolution in horn and skull shape (More

> James Webb Space Telescope captures aligned streams emanating from newborn star clusters; first direct observation of the phenomenon confirms current theory of star formation (More

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Business & Markets

> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 -0.3%, Dow +0.8%, Nasdaq -0.8%); S&P 500 closes lower after briefly surpassing the 5,500 level for the first time (More

> Bank of England keeps interest rates at 16-year high of 5.25% despite inflation slowing to 2% annual rate in May (More) | Construction of new US homes in May drops to slowest pace in four years, falling 5.5% month-over-month to seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.28 million per year (More)

> US Supreme Court rejects challenge to one-time tax on certain offshore business income; the 2017 tax law provision is expected to generate $340B (More)

 Ever wonder why ... the Federal Reserve targets 2% inflation? Or why college costs have risen so dramatically? Or where bitcoin's staying power comes from? 

 

In the coming weeks, 1440 will launch our new Business & Finance newsletter, exploring all these topics and much more.

 

Click here to join and receive our preview edition on inflation!

 

Politics & World Affairs

> At least four people killed after Tropical Storm Alberto makes landfall in eastern Mexico, bringing flooding and heavy rainfall to Mexico and Texas (More) | See photos (More) | US heat wave breaks records across Midwest and East Coast due to a high-pressure system known as a heat dome (More

> The US reallocates air defense missiles originally intended for other countries to Ukraine; initial deliveries to arrive in Ukraine by end of summer, with deliveries for other allies delayed by at least 16 months (More) | See war updates (More

> Robert F. Kennedy Jr. fails to qualify for CNN's June 27 presidential debate with President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump; Kennedy, an independent presidential candidate, is on five state ballots (More) | View latest polls (More

 

In-Depth

> Home of the Brave

Long Lead | Staff. The seven-part, century-long story of the breakdown in land agreements between disabled veterans seeking shelter and the US government in West Los Angeles. (Read)

 

> RIP, New York Congestion Pricing

Apricitas Economics | Joseph Politano. Analyzing why a tax on driving into Manhattan—which was expected to provide $15B in transit investment revenue—was indefinitely paused, drawing lessons for America's transit policy. (Read)

> Revenge of the Whales

Cautionary Tales | Tim Harford. (Podcast) History is punctuated by terrifying accounts of whales attacking whaling ships or orcas thrashing trainers. Are the whales angry, or is humanity feeling guilty? (Listen)

 

> Draining the Oceans

XKCD | Henry Reich. A fun look at what might happen if, absurdly, a portal opened at the bottom of the deepest spot in the ocean—Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench—and slowly emptied out the world's oceans. (Watch)

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Etcetera
 

We just experienced the earliest summer solstice in centuries.

 

... and an explanation of the dog days of summer.

 

... and a guide to beach etiquette.

 

The Holocaust survivor gracing Vogue Germany's cover.

 

Jupiter may have had more than one red spot.

 

The recipe for 3,000-year-old beer

 

The Iberian lynx is no longer endangered.

 

... and the rare grolar: a grizzly-polar bear hybrid.

 

Clickbait: The stinky corpse flower has bloomed.

 

Historybook: US Constitution is ratified (1788); Benazir Bhutto, first female prime minister of Pakistan, born (1953); Prince William born (1982); Frida Kahlo is first Hispanic woman honored on US postage stamp (2001).

"I paint flowers so they will not die."

- Frida Kahlo

Why 1440? The printing press was invented around the year 1440, spreading knowledge to the masses and changing the course of history. More facts: In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. We’re here to make each one count.

 

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