Your Daily Brief

September 27th, 2022

Good morning, and welcome to your Tuesday! Did you know that there are over 3M estimated shipwrecks lying at the bottom of the ocean, with an estimated $60B in treasure waiting to be found? Apparently, nearly all of those wrecks have yet to be explored! Anyway, while you ask yourself why you’re not strapping on your scuba gear at this very moment (it’s okay…we are, too), here’s what we have for you:

In Today’s Brief

  • Cuba: Legalizes same-sex marriage and other reforms
  • New Jersey: Deli earning $40k per year linked to $100M stock market scheme
  • British Pound: Sterling drops to a record low against the U.S. dollar
  • Southwest Airlines: 3,000 flight attendants hired so far this year
  • Grand Theft Auto 6: UK police find the hacker responsible for recent leak
  • Top Tips: NASA successfully crashes a spacecraft into the asteroid Dimorphos; former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is granted Russian citizenship; Hurricane Ian strengthens into a Category 2 as it approaches Cuba

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NASA’s DART spacecraft successfully crashes into an asteroid

In the world’s first planetary defense test of its kind, NASA successfully crashed its DART spacecraft into an asteroid yesterday.

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, carried out the maneuver on a 520-foot long asteroid called Dimorphos, which is located about 6.8M miles from Earth and poses no threat to our planet. The mission’s purpose was to see whether crashing into an asteroid can alter its trajectory. According to NASA, the DART spacecraft was traveling 14,000 mph when it collided with Dimorphos at 7:14 PM ET. While the probe successfully hit Dimorphos, NASA said that it won't know for weeks or months if the rock’s trajectory was altered.

Yesterday’s collision culminates a 10-month-long mission for DART, which cost $325M and marks the first attempt to shift the position of an asteroid or any other natural object in space.

Edward Snowden is granted Russian citizenship

In a signed decree, Russian President Vladimir Putin granted Russian citizenship to former United States intelligence contractor Edward Snowden yesterday.

Snowden’s grant of Russian citizenship comes about nine years after he arrived in the country while fleeing the United States. Snowden fled the U.S. and was granted asylum in Russia after leaking files in 2013 that revealed domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the National Security Agency, where he worked. Snowden was charged in the U.S. for violating the Espionage Act and has remained in Russia since, where he applied for citizenship in 2020. That year, Russia granted Snowden permanent residency rights.

According to Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti, Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said that his client is ineligible for the “partial mobilization” draft that President Putin declared last week due to Snowden’s lack of experience in the Russian Army.

Category 2 Hurricane Ian approaches Cuba on its path to Florida

After growing into a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale as it nears Cuba, Hurricane Ian is on track to hit Florida as a Category 3.

In addition to “rapid strengthening” as it moves from its current location of about 130 miles west of Cuba, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center said they expect Ian to reach Tampa and St. Petersburg as early as tomorrow. During a news conference, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis called Ian “a significant storm that may end up being a Category 4 hurricane,” and told residents to “remain calm” while taking the necessary precautions.

Tampa and St. Petersburg haven’t seen a direct hit by a Category 3 hurricane since 1921. President Biden declared an emergency over the weekend and ordered federal assistance to supplement response efforts, while DeSantis also declared a state of emergency for all of Florida, and has activated 5,000 National Guard troops to assist with relief.

Around the Globe

  • A school shooting in the Russian city of Izhevsk wounded 21 people and left at least 17 others including seven children dead yesterday, according to Russia's Investigative Committee
  • About two-thirds of Cuba’s population voted to approve reforms in a new Family Code, including making same-sex marriage legal, allowing for surrogate pregnancies, and granting same-sex couples the right to adopt children
  • Canada’s government said the country will remove all Covid-19 restrictions for travelers beginning on October 1st, including vaccination and masking requirements for flights and trains

On the Homefront

  • The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company, accusing the drugmaker of illegally refusing to hire older workers for sales representative jobs because of their age
  • Three men were charged with fraud and other crimes in a scheme involving a company that was worth $100M in the stock market despite its only asset being a New Jersey deli that earned $40,000 in yearly revenue, according to federal authorities
  • The Biden administration has drafted a preliminary agreement with social media platform TikTok “to resolve national security concerns” that will allow it to remain operational in the United States, per four individuals with “knowledge” of the discussions

Glitz & Games

  • James Earl Jones said that he has retired from voicing Darth Vader for the Star Wars franchise and that he has given Lucasfilm permission to use archival sound or recreate his voice using artificial intelligence for future appearances of the character
  • Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving said during Nets Media Day yesterday that he turned down a four-year contract extension with the team and “100-and-something million” because of his decision to not get the Covid-19 vaccine
  • Actor and former wrestler John Cena has set a record for the most wishes granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation with 650 visits, according to the Guinness Book of World Records

Business & Markets

  • Stocks continued their decline following the Fed’s rate hike last week, bringing the Dow Jones Industrial Average into bear market territory (Dow -1.11%, Nasdaq -0.60%, S&P 500 -1.03%)
  • Southwest Airlines has hired and trained a record 3,000 flight attendants so far this year and has another 7,000 in its hiring pipeline to address a rebound in travel demand, according to a memo sent to staff
  • The British pound dropped to an all-time low against the U.S. dollar, with the value of 1 Pound sterling equaling about $1.07 as recently as yesterday evening

Tip & Tricks

  • Bump This: Khalid is here to help you kick back with some chill acoustic guitar vibes in his new song “Satellite” - listen on Apple Music and Spotify
  • Chow Down: This recipe for vegan air-fried taquitos with cauliflower and black beans will make you believe that air fryers and vegan ingredients are more perfect for each other than umbrellas and rain (reply to this email if you can think of any better analogies off the top of your head)
  • Nerd Out: Check out this new self-driving concept car from Volkswagen featuring seats that turn into beds so you can, quite literally, fall asleep at the wheel
  • Go Deep: Read about how the results of a new employee-focused survey show how “useless” meetings end up costing big companies about $100M per year (we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: if you can send an email, send an email)
  • Say What: “This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years. But none of it came easy...people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out,” President Biden said when hosting 2021 World Series champions the Atlanta Braves at the White House yesterday
  • Hot Goss: London police found and arrested the suspect responsible for the recent Grand Theft Auto 6 hack that’s being called one of the biggest in video game history: a 17-year-old teenager who has been charged with multiple counts of computer misuse and breaches of bail
  • Life Hack: If you live in a small space, making the most out of what you have is crucial - check out these five creative ways to save space by using your suitcase for things like storing seasonal clothing and more

Looking Back…

On September 27th: Pope Paul III approves the Jesuit order, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola (1540); W. C. Handy publishes "Memphis Blues,” considered the first blues song (1912); the Taliban seizes the capital city of Kabul, declaring all of Afghanistan an Islamic state (1996); American rapper Lil Wayne is born (1982).

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