Your Daily Brief

March 11th, 2023

Good morning, and happy Saturday! Tomorrow is the day that our clocks will spring forward by one hour in the middle of the night–a process that typically results in one less hour of sleep. Hawaii and Arizona are the only U.S. states that don’t observe Daylight Savings Time…but did you know that several states have voted to abolish this practice? It’ll be interesting to see if this ever changes in the future.

In Today’s Brief

  • China: Xi secures another term
  • House: Unanimous vote on Covid origins
  • Oscars: Airing tomorrow night
  • Elon Musk: Building his own town

...and more

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Top Tips

Shooting in Hamburg

Seven people including an unborn child lost their lives in a shooting early yesterday at a Jehovah’s Witnesses center in Hamburg, Germany.

The suspect reportedly carried out the attack alone during an event attended by over 50 people before turning the gun on himself, per German authorities. According to a statement from Hamburg’s state prosecutor, the attacker was a German national and former member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses community. Germany’s Interior Minister Andy Grote said during a press conference that “Hamburg has never seen a mass shooting like this,” and German police stated they are still searching for a possible motive.

Recent data from the World Population Review shows that there are around an estimated 19.6 firearms owned per every 100 citizens in Germany. According to a study from last year, Germany recorded five mass shootings over the last two decades.

Iran & Saudi Arabia deal

During China’s National People’s Congress, Iran and Saudi Arabia yesterday agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations and reopen embassies after seven years of tensions between the two countries.

China reportedly helped negotiate the deal, which aims to lower the chance of armed conflict between the two Middle Eastern countries. After talks concluded, the three countries issued a joint statement, saying they each “expressed firm resolve to make every effort to strengthen regional and international peace and security.” The statement calls for reestablishing ties and reopening embassies to happen “within a maximum period of two months,” along with a planned meeting by Iran and Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministers.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have been engaged in a proxy war in Yemen over the past eight years. Yesterday’s talks in Beijing concluded an ongoing series of discussions that took place in Iraq and Oman over the past two years.

Silicon Valley Bank saga

Regulators yesterday shut down Santa Clara-based Silicon Valley Bank and have taken control of its deposits, according to an announcement from the FDIC.

In a press release, the FDIC said that the state of California appointed the FDIC as receiver of the bank’s assets and created the Deposit Insurance National Bank of Santa Clara (DINB) in place of the original bank. The FDIC added that when SVB closed, it “immediately transferred” all FDIC-backed deposits of the bank to DINB in order to protect its depositors.

The shutdown comes days after SVB failed to raise capital to cover an outflow of deposits and marks the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history, behind the 2008 collapse of Washington Mutual. Per the FDIC, Silicon Valley Bank is the first FDIC-backed institution to fail this year and had roughly $175.4B in total deposits as of December 31st, 2022.

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Dinner with a side of chemicals?

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Quick Tips

Around the Globe

  • Chinese leader Xi Jinping secured a third term as the nation’s president yesterday; members of China’s National People’s Congress voted unanimously for Xi in an election in which there was no other candidate (More)
  • Canada banned the import of all Russian aluminum and steel products yesterday, according to a statement from Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly (More)
  • Amazon rainforest deforestation in Brazil hit a new monthly record in February, according to satellite monitoring data from the country’s national space agency (More)

On the Homefront

  • The House of Representatives voted unanimously to declassify U.S. intelligence information about the origins of Covid-19; the bill now goes to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law (More)
  • More rain and snow are expected this weekend in California due to back-to-back atmospheric rivers, the first of which hit the state on Thursday (More)
  • U.S. employers added 311K jobs in February, according to the Labor Bureau’s most recent jobs report (More)

Glitz & Games

  • This year’s Oscars ceremony is set to take place tomorrow evening, broadcasting live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, CA (More)
  • American skier Mikaela Shiffrin tied the overall career World Cup victory record set by Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark (More)
  • Jenna Ortega is in talks to star in Tim Burton’s ‘Beetlejuice’ sequel after working with the director on the Netflix original series ‘Wednesday,’ according to reports from multiple sources (More)

Business & Markets

  • Stocks closed lower yesterday in response to Silicon Valley Bank’s shutdown (Dow -1.07%, Nasdaq -1.76%, S&P 500 -1.45%)
  • Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter CEO Elon Musk is reportedly working on building a town called “Snailbrook” in Texas near his companies’ facilities (More)
  • Biotechnology company Moderna plans to expand hiring by the end of the year and will establish a corporate presence on the West Coast with new offices in South San Francisco, CA, and Seattle, WA (More)

Tips & Tricks

  • Feel Good: Meet Adam Bodzin, a surgeon in Philadelphia who ran through the city’s streets in the middle of a half marathon to retrieve a liver for his patient after a courier’s route was blocked…and went on to successfully conduct the transplant
  • Sneak Peek: Watch the final trailer for Illumination Entertainment’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, in which the famed Rainbow Road makes an epic appearance (any Millennials who played Mario Kart know what we’re talking about)
  • Bump This: Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding reunite in the rave-ready single “Miracle” - listen on Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube
  • Go Deep: Read about these six groups of superfoods including glucosinolates, polyphenols, and proteins…and why it’s okay to load up on them
  • Nerd Out: Check out this image captured by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft of what the agency is calling “unusual” sand dunes on the surface of Mars with almost perfectly circular shapes
  • Hot Goss: Prince Edward was named the new Duke of Edinburgh by King Charles III, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace; the title was last held by their father Prince Philip
  • Life Hack: If you want to become an excellent conversationalist, consider that the most effective conversations tend to be ones where you speak less and listen more


Clippers owner Steve Ballmer fires up the crowd…over toilets.

An explanation of why the U.S. wants to ban TikTok.

The university you’ve never heard of that changed the world.

Why SodaStream’s home soda maker never quite caught on.

A photo taken inside a cave of the aurora behind a waterfall.

…and the strange shape of Yemen’s Socotra dragon trees.

Looking at the different record-holders for the most Oscars.

…and 10 of the ceremony’s all-time biggest snubs.

Looking Back…

On March 11th: Mikhail Gorbachev succeeds Konstantin Chernenko as leader of the Soviet Union (1985); Michelle Bachelet becomes the first woman to serve as Chile’s president (2006); an earthquake strikes off the coast of Japan, triggering a tsunami that instigates the Fukushima nuclear disaster (2011); singer Bobby McFerrin is born (1950).

In partnership with Caraway®

Peace of mind at dinner

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Question of the Day

Do you think we should get rid of Daylight Savings Time?

Yes - switching the clocks does more harm than good

No - it’s better to have those long summer evenings

Yesterday's Results

Would you accept a buyout from your employer to stop working?

No - that’s just a fancy word for severance (51%)

Yes - a buyout and a break sound nice (49%)

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