11.14.2023

 

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Good morning. It's Tuesday, Nov. 14, and we're covering the surprise return of a UK lawmaker, an impending volcanic eruption in Iceland, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

SCOTUS Ethics Code

The US Supreme Court adopted its first-ever formal code of ethics for its nine justices yesterday after facing criticism over reports of some justices' ethical practices, such as undisclosed gifts and trips seen as a possible conflicts of interest. The high court was previously the only court in the federal judiciary without a formal code of conduct.

 

The policy, signed by all nine justices, generally follows existing rules for lower courts and leaves compliance up to each judge. The code (see here) contains rules that limit the kinds of gifts federal judges and their families can accept and formalizes when judges should recuse themselves from a case, among other guidelines. The justices of the high court said they were issuing the code to dispel any misunderstandings, though it is unclear how the rules would be enforced. 

 

The development follows a series of reports about justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel AlitoSonia Sotomayor, and Neil Gorsuch that were published this year. 

 

See a video of the history of judicial ethics here

 

UK Cabinet Shake-Up 

Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron was appointed foreign secretary yesterday as part of a broader shake-up of current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's cabinet. The moves, which saw new faces at several ministries, were prompted by Home Secretary Suella Braverman's dismissal earlier in the day. Braverman was fired after publishing an unapproved opinion piece last week claiming British police forces were politically biased.

 

Cameron served as a moderate Conservative prime minister from 2010 to 2016 (see highlights) and triggered the referendum that led to Brexit. Following his resignation in 2016, Cameron reportedly earned up to $10M annually as a lobbyist for defunct Greensill Capital, a lender under investigation in Germany and Switzerland. Since Cameron is currently not a member of Parliament, Sunak appointed him to the unelected House of Lords (see how it works).

 

The upheaval comes as the Conservative Party—who have held power since 2010—continue to poll behind Labour by double digits, with elections legally required by January 2025.

 

Iceland Eruption Risk

Icelandic officials warned of an imminent volcanic eruption following tens of thousands of earthquakes since late October, including over 2,000 yesterday. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the coastal town of Grindavík on the country’s southwest Reykjanes peninsula, where many of the earthquakes have occurred. 

 

Officials say an underground tunnel of magma 9.3 miles long is currently moving upward below the earth's surface, and the ground in the north and western parts of Grindavík has subsided by about 3 feet. Iceland is home to more than 100 volcanoes, 32 of which are active, and is among the most volcanically active places in the world, with about one eruption every five years. Iceland is located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet. See what happens before a volcano erupts here

 

Fagradalsfjall volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula previously erupted in March 2021, and has since had two smaller eruptions. Prior to 2021, the peninsula had not seen an eruption in over 800 years, when there were several eruptions—known as the Reykjanes Fires

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with Upway

> The Beatles AI-aided song "Now and Then" becomes their record 35th song, and their first since 1996, to reach the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart (More)

> Kevin Turen, producer known for HBO's Emmy-winning "Euphoria" and "The Idol," dies at 44 (More)

> Fashion mogul Peter Nygard found guilty in Canada of four sexual assault charges stemming from incidents dating from the 1980s to the mid-2000s (More)

From our partners: Bike Friday is hereget your next e-Bike at unbeatable prices. At Upway, you can buy e-Bikes from top brands like Aventon, Specialized, and Trek up to 60% off retail price. Just browse, buy, and wait for your brand-name e-Bike to roll up to your door within a week. Plus, every bike comes with technician approval & a 1-yr warranty. Upway's Bike Friday Sale is on: Enjoy up to $1000 off on a selection of e-Bikes.

 

Science & Technology

> CRISPR-based gene-editing treatment shown to lower bad cholesterol in people with the inherited condition hypercholesterolemia in small trial; single dose reduced cholesterol levels by as much as 69% (More) | CRISPR 101 (More, w/video)

> Researchers demonstrate AI-powered robot capable of producing oxygen from water using materials found on the Martian surface (More)

> Scientists discover a strain of yeast that discards as much as half of its genetic material while evolving through multiple generations; findings came during a study of beer fermentation (More)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 -0.1%, Dow +0.2%, Nasdaq -0.2%) ahead of today’s consumer price index inflation reading (More)

> Boeing shares climb 4% after carrier Emirates opens Dubai Air Show with $52B purchase of Boeing aircraft, sister airline Flydubai makes $11B purchase of Boeing aircraft (More) | Amazon lays off over 180 people from gaming unit (More

> Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba reports year-over-year sales growth during China's Singles Day celebration, the world’s largest shopping event and informal celebration of single people—symbolized by the four ones in 11/11 (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Israeli forces reach gates of al-Shifa hospital—Gaza's largest medical facility; Israel claims a Hamas command complex lies below the hospital (More) | See our previous write-up (More) | The UN warns fuel shortage in Gaza Strip will shut down relief efforts soon (More)

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D, VA-7) launches 2025 run for Virginia governor, won't seek reelection to US House next year (More) | Secret Service agent protecting President Joe Biden's granddaughter, Naomi, opens fire after group tries to break into government SUV in Washington, DC (More) | US troops killed in weekend crash identified (More)

> Maryanne Trump Barry, retired federal judge and older sister of former President Donald Trump, dies at age 86 (More) | Donald Trump Jr. returns to witness stand in New York civil fraud trial as defense lays out its case (More

 

In-Depth

> Underground Warfare

New York Times | Marco Hernandez, Josh Holder. A visual showing how the intricate maze of tunnels built by Hamas beneath the Gaza Strip allows the militants to largely move around undetected. (Read)

 

> The Alligator Snapping Turtle Heist

Texas Monthly | Sonia Smith. How federal wildlife authorities caught one family of smugglers from Louisiana, who poached hundreds of alligator snapping turtles in Texas, many over 100 lbs. (Read)

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Etcetera
 

Webb telescope captures second-most distant galaxy ever.

 

Astrophysicist explains the truth behind time travel.

 

Explore a collection of interactive music theory tools.

 

French police thwart $641K Champagne heist

 

Study finds AI-generated white faces appear hyperreal.

 

X-ray reveals cheekbone glow-up for a 16th-century portrait

 

Trailer for "The Garfield Movie" drops, with Chris Pratt as Garfield.

 

Floridian wins $5.5M on a four-part NFL bet

 

Clickbait: A $100K NASA tool bag is floating in space.

 

Historybook: French painter Claude Monet born (1840); "Moby-Dick" is first published (1851); Albert Einstein first presents quantum theory of light (1908); Booker T. Washington dies (1915); Condoleezza Rice born (1954).

"Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way."

- Booker T. Washington

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