8.2.2023

 

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Good morning. It's Wednesday, Aug. 2, and we're covering federal charges against Trump over the 2020 election, a settlement in a case involving the first immortalized human cells, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Trump Election Charges

A federal grand jury yesterday criminally indicted former President Donald Trump over his efforts to challenge the 2020 presidential election results. 

 

The 45-page indictment (read here) charges Trump with four counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States (p. 3 to p. 42); conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding (p. 43); obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding (p. 44); and conspiracy against rights (p. 45). The indictment also lists and describes six unnamed individuals—four attorneys, one Justice Department official, and one political consultant—as co-conspirators, though they aren't charged (p. 3 to p. 4). 

 

Among other details, the indictment recounts Trump's alleged attempts to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election results, as well as how Trump and his co-conspirators allegedly organized fraudulent electors in seven states—Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Trump is due in court tomorrow.

 

The case is the second against Trump from Special Counsel Jack Smith; the first being the Mar-a-Lago case, in which Trump faces 40 felony counts for mishandling classified documents. Trump denies any wrongdoing in both cases. 

 

The federal election case is also different from a separate grand jury investigation into alleged 2020 election interference in Fulton County, Georgia. A decision is expected this month.

 

Henrietta Lacks Settlement

Lawyers representing the family of Henrietta Lacks announced a confidential settlement with biotechnology giant Thermo Fisher Scientific yesterday. Lacks, who was a 31-year-old Black woman, was undergoing surgery for cervical cancer at the then-segregated Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1951 when a sample of cells from a tumor was biopsied without her consent—a legal process at the time.

 

Known as HeLa cells, Lacks' cells became the first so-called immortalized human cell line, meaning they could be grown and used endlessly in a lab for medical research. They have since been used in over 75,000 studies leading to groundbreaking discoveries in medicine, including vaccine development, cancer treatments, in vitro fertilization, AIDS research, and more. Despite her significant impact on science, Lacks and her family remained largely unknown until the 1970s.

 

In 2013, the family reached an agreement with the National Institutes of Health that would give them some control over how Lacks' genome is used but did not grant the right to potential earnings from future research.

 

Take a look at the scientific legacy of the HeLa cell line here.

 

Incandescent Bulb Ban

A Department of Energy rule requiring new lightbulbs to have a minimum brightness of 45 lumens went into effect in the United States yesterday, effectively banning incandescent lightbulbs. The ban does not affect currently owned lightbulbs and excludes several specialty bulbs used in refrigerators, plant lights, and others (see full list).

 

The ban is part of a decadelong federal push to increase energy efficiency across major consumer sectors like cars and appliances. Incandescent bulbs, though cheaper upfront than light-emitting diodes, are likely to burn out 30 times faster and are more costly than LEDs in the long term (see comparison). Recent consumer surveys suggest over half of US households already partly or entirely use LEDs as general-use lightbulbs, whose longer life span has likely contributed to the 40% decline in lightbulb shipments over the last decade.

 

Some studies have suggested the flickering and coloration of LED lights can trigger migraines and other conditions in people with light sensitivity issues. 

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Nickelodeon to broadcast Super Bowl 2024, teaming up with CBS for first-ever Super Bowl alternate telecast (More) | Tiger Woods joins PGA Tour policy board for first time in 27-year career (More)

> Thirteen novels tapped for prestigious 2023 Booker Prize for fiction longlist, including four from debut novelists (More)

> Team USA draws 0-0 with Portugal, advances to knockout stage of Women's World Cup (More) | See latest group stage standings and schedule (More)

 

Science & Technology

> Meta (Facebook) to introduce AI-powered chatbots with individual "personas" across its platforms as early as September; bots would engage with users, offer recommendations, and more (More)

> Engineers demonstrate cement mix capable of storing and conducting electric charge; future applications may include wirelessly charging electric vehicles and powering homes (More)

> NASA detects signal from Voyager 2 after mistakenly severing contact two weeks ago; launched in 1977, the craft was the second to exit the solar system and reach interstellar space (More) | See overview (More)

 

Business & Markets

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> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 -0.3%, Dow +0.2%, Nasdaq -0.4%); Dow reaches highest level since February 2022 during the session (More

> US job openings of 9.58 million in June drop to lowest level since April 2021, per Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report (More) | NATO launches first fund to invest approximately $1B in startups strategic to its defense and security goals (More)

> Uber reports first-ever quarterly operating profit, but shares fall 6% as the company misses revenue expectations (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> Drone attack hits Moscow skyscraper for second straight day; Ukraine does not claim responsibility but hints it may push fighting into Russian territory (More) | See updates on the war (More)

> California's largest wildfire of the year to date reaches over 80,400 acres; York Fire is spreading across the Mojave National Preserve, has reached across the Nevada border (More) | New Jersey Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver (D) dies at 71, had been acting governor while Gov. Phil Murphy (D) was overseas on vacation (More)

> European countries issue evacuation orders for citizens in Niger following last week's reported coup; neighboring military-run nations warn against foreign intervention in the country (More)

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Etcetera
 

Ranking America's best hospitals by specialty

 

Tickling rats reveals brain regions tied to laughter and play.

 

Invasive fruit flies force partial quarantine in Los Angeles County.

 

Test your emotional intelligence.  

 

The latest dangerous TikTok trend: drinking borax.

 

Peek inside an upscale public restroom in China.

 

Swell shark baby glows under ultraviolet light.

 

Watch a 3-year-old pug ride a kneeboard like a pro.

 

Clickbait: Zoo swears its sun bears aren't humans in disguise.

 

Historybook: Declaration of Independence is signed (1776); American actress Myrna Loy born (1905); Alexander Graham Bell dies (1922); Author and activist James Baldwin born (1924); Iraq invades Kuwait, leading to Gulf War (1990).

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."

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1. "Journal of Retirement Study Winter" (2020). The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of your future results. Please follow the link to see the methodologies employed in the Journal of Retirement study.

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