Your Daily Brief

July 19th, 2022

Good morning, and happy Tuesday! Today is National Football Day (not the kind that Tom Brady keeps retiring from–in America, you may know it by the name of soccer), and here’s what we have for you:

In Today’s Brief

  • China: U.S. debt holdings fall below $1 trillion
  • Vimeo: Lays off 6% of its workforce
  • Delta: Spending billions on 100 Boeing 737 Max 10’s
  • Dune: Part Two: Filming starts on location
  • Emily Ratajkowski: Divorcing husband Sebastian Bear-McClard
  • Top Tips: Fauci announces retirement, Parkland shooter penalty trial begins, confidence in media hits all-time lows

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Dr. Anthony Fauci plans to retire before the end of President Biden’s term

After working as a government scientist for more than five decades, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that he will retire before President Biden completes his term in office.

Fauci, 81, works as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which he has helmed since 1984. With a career that has seen him serve under seven presidents, he also acted as chief medical adviser to both President Trump and President Biden throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Two-and-a-half years into the pandemic, Fauci told Politico for a featured story published yesterday that he thinks “we’re going to be living with this.”

When asked about his retirement plans for the same story, he said he would “almost certainly” step down before the end of President Biden’s term to “pursue other directions” in his professional career, though didn’t specify a date when it would happen.

Penalty trial of the Parkland school shooter begins

The penalty trial of the Parkland school shooter began yesterday in Florida, with the jury deciding whether gunman Nikolas Cruz receives life in prison or the death penalty.

Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty last year to 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in connection to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 students and staffers dead and 17 others injured. During the trial’s opening remarks yesterday, prosecutor Michael Satz stated that three days before the shooting, Cruz took a video of himself in which he said, “Hello, my name is Nik. I'm going to be the next school shooter of 2018.”

While the prosecution seeks for Cruz to receive the death penalty, the defense is pushing for life in prison without parole. The trial is expected to last 4-6 months and will be broadcast on live television.

Media confidence ratings in the United States hits record lows

The confidence levels that Americans have in two facets of news media–newspapers and television news–have reached all-time lows, according to recent polling data.

Per a poll that Gallup conducted, 16% of adults in the United States now say they have “quite a lot” or “a great deal” of confidence in newspapers, while 11% responded that they feel similarly about television news. Gallup–which uses annual polling about major U.S. institutions to track Americans’ confidence levels in newspapers and television news–shows that both figures are down 5% from where they were one year ago.

Gallup’s readings were taken from a poll conducted between June 1-20 that included interviews with 1,105 adults nationwide. Since Gallup began tracking confidence in newspapers in 1973 and television news in 1993, June’s poll is the first time that newspaper confidence has fallen below 20%.

Around the Globe

  • China’s portfolio holdings of United States government debt fell in May to less than $1 trillion for the first time since May 2010
  • President Volodymyr Zelensky fired the head of Ukraine’s domestic security agency and its prosecutor general after it was revealed that dozens of employees in both offices "remained in the occupied territory and are working against our state,” he said in a press release
  • Acting President of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the country has almost completed negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for financial assistance to import essentials like food, fuel, and medicine into the island nation

On the Homefront

  • President Biden’s approval rating on the state of the economy has dropped to a record low for his presidency, according to new polling
  • Apple is reportedly planning to slow down hiring into 2023, and video sharing platform Vimeo announces it will reduce its total workforce by 6%
  • Former White House strategist Steve Bannon’s contempt of Congress trial started yesterday, with both sides agreeing on 22 jurors before ending proceedings

Glitz and Games

  • Dune: Part Two has begun production with Denis Villeneuve reprising his role as director; the film is slated for a November 2023 worldwide release and is being shot on location in Budapest, Abu Dhabi, Jordan, and Italy (see the synopsis and full cast here)
  • Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals won the MLB Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium with 19 home runs in the final round
  • Showtime talk show Desus & Mero will end after four seasons as the two eponymous hosts plan to pursue separate creative endeavors

Money Moves

  • Major indexes in the stock market started off the day in the green but fell to cement losses for the day (Dow -0.69%, Nasdaq -0.81%, S&P 500 -0.84%)
  • Delta Air Lines will buy 100 Boeing 737 Max 10 airplanes worth about $13.5 billion at list prices and has options to purchase another 30, according to an announcement from the carrier
  • Investment bank Goldman Sachs announces that it plans to slow hiring and reinstate annual performance reviews in order to reduce expenses

Tip & Tricks

  • Binge Watch: We’re learning about the underbelly of the world of supermodels and high fashion in the first three episodes of Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons on Hulu
  • Bump This: FINNEAS–Billie Eilish’s older brother and the mind behind her songs–is back with indie rock track “Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa” - listen on Apple Music and Spotify
  • Nerd Out: Read about microbots that researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems claim can destroy cancer cells in a painless and effective manner
  • Go Deep: Check out what billionaire investor Ken Langone says are the “three most powerful things in business” 
  • Say What: “Those of us not fortunate enough to know Mandela well have come to understand the man through his legacy–the letters he wrote alone in his prison cell, the speeches he delivered to his people, and those incredible shirts that he sported,” Prince Harry said while delivering remarks during the United Nations’ celebration of Nelson Mandela International Day
  • Hot Goss: Emily Ratajkowski and husband Sebastian Bear-McClard are divorcing after four years of marriage
  • Life Hack: If you’re coughing uncontrollably, try raising your hands over your head to make it stop

Looking Back…

On July 19th: U.S. women’s suffrage movement begins (1848); composer Franz Liszt gives final concert piano performance (1886); Summer Olympics opens in Moscow (1980); first episode of Mad Men airs (2007); actor James Garner dies (2014).

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