Your Daily Brief

December 8th, 2022

Good morning, and happy Thursday! Google took a page out of Spotify’s playbook and released its 2022 Year in Search, showing the ten most-searched words on the platform over the past year, plus a whole lot of other cool data points for you to check out if you’re feeling curious. Want to guess what the most-searched word was? Hint: it rhymes with turtle.

In Today’s Brief

  • Peru: First female president
  • Aaron Judge: Staying with Yankees
  • Carvana: Shares crash

...and more

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German coup arrests

German authorities yesterday arrested 25 members of an extremist group who were allegedly plotting to overthrow the country’s government.

Arrests were made after more than 3,000 police officers carried out 130 searches across 11 of Germany’s 16 states. In terms of scope, the actions mark one of the largest counterterrorism operations in Germany’s history. According to a press release from Germany’s federal prosecutor, the suspects belong to a terrorist organization that aims to overthrow the government in Berlin and install its own leaders through the “forcible elimination of the democratic constitutional state.”

Among those arrested was a man whom the group was planning to install as head of state in the event that the Berlin government was overthrown. Under German law, the arrested individuals have until the end of today to be brought before a judge to determine whether they can be held in pre-trial detention.

China eases Covid measures

China’s National Health Commission announced yesterday that it had loosened rules the country has implemented since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision comes after nationwide protests against Covid policies that marked the most widespread discontent toward the government since the 1989 Tiananmen movement. Under the new policies, people with Covid-19 can isolate at home rather than in-state facilities if they are experiencing mild or no symptoms (until now, anyone who tested positive or came into close contact was forced to go to quarantine camps). Individuals also no longer need to show negative tests to enter facilities other than retirement homes, elementary and middle schools, and health clinics.

While many nations have pivoted to living with Covid-19, China is the last major country still attempting to curb its transmission. Enacted at the start of the pandemic, China’s zero-Covid policy has, at times, prompted city-wide lockdowns and disrupted global trade as a result.

Bulwani of Theranos sentenced

Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, the former president and COO of failed blood-testing company Theranos, was sentenced to 12 years and nine months in prison, plus three years of probation.

Balwani’s sentencing comes more than four years after the collapse of the company, which claimed it had developed a device that could scan for hundreds of diseases and other potential problems with just a few drops of blood taken with a finger prick. However, Theranos was found to have peddled faulty technology to patients and investors, along the way delivering inaccurate health results. 

Last month, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes–Balwani’s former business partner and ex-girlfriend–received her own sentence of 11 years and three months in prison around similar criminal activity tied to the company.

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Around the Globe

  • At least 155 people suffered minor injuries after two commuter trains collided north of Barcelona yesterday, per Spanish officials; Catalonia's civil protection authorities said three individuals were taken to the hospital and no deaths were reported (More)
  • Members of Peru’s Congress voted to impeach President Pedro Castillo hours after he said he was dissolving the legislative body, and Vice President Dina Boluarte was sworn in as the country’s new president in the interim; Boluarte becomes the country’s first female president (More)
  • Spanish police are searching for 14 individuals who fleed a commercial plane en route from Morocco to Turkey after an emergency landing in Barcelona, which was forced by a woman who allegedly faked that she was about to give birth (More)

On the Homefront

  • The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday on a theory that holds that state courts cannot review their legislatures’ rules for federal elections (More)
  • Philadelphia police have scheduled a press conference today to identify the so-called “Boy in the Box” murder victim, a boy believed to have been between 3 and 7 whose remains were found in a cardboard box in Philadelphia on February 25th, 1957 (More)
  • Indiana filed a lawsuit against TikTok yesterday, accusing the app of deceiving users over China’s access to their data (More)

Glitz & Games

  • American League MVP Aaron Judge agreed to remain with the New York Yankees, signing a 9-year deal with the team, according to sources familiar with the matter (More)
  • Catalina Sandino Moreno has joined the cast of Ballerina, Lionsgate’s John Wick spinoff; Moreno will appear opposite Ana de Armas (More)
  • San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo reportedly doesn’t need foot surgery after breaking his foot in Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins, which led to the 49ers ruling him out for the rest of the season (More)

Business & Markets

  • Stocks ended yesterday’s trading session mixed, with the S&P closing lower for its fifth consecutive day (Dow +0.00%, Nasdaq -0.51%, S&P 500 -0.19%)
  • Shares of online used car retailer Carvana (NYSE: CVNA) dropped by 40% amid restructuring fears and reports of the company’s largest creditors signing cooperation agreements with each other (More)
  • Coinbase is expected to see a more than 50% decrease in annual revenue compared to last year, according to CEO Brian Armstrong (More)

Tip & Tricks

  • Sneak Peek: Take a look at these first-look photos of season four of Netflix’s You to see what Penn Badgley’s Joe Goldberg may have in store as an English teacher working–and killing–across the pond (due out February 9th, 2023)
  • Bump This: In case you didn’t know, pop-punk stalwarts Jimmy Eat World recorded their own take of “Last Christmas” in their heyday, and, dare we say, it might be better than the original - listen on Apple Music and Spotify
  • Chow Down: Who says beets can’t be paired with meat? For a protein-rich meal that will make great leftovers for days after you cook it, check out this recipe for cardamom beet and beef stew that you’re going to want to keep on hand when the family comes into town
  • Team Up: Read about how Lockheed Martin and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems have entered into a deal to develop, test, and produce High Energy Laser Weapon Systems (HELWS) like the IRON BEAM in both the U.S. and Israel (More)
  • Jaw Drop: From a snow leopard catching a sunset in the Indian mountains to flamingos strutting their stuff in Mexico, check out these 25 images selected as some of the best wildlife photographs of the year
  • Hot Goss: Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly lobbied for a partnership between the now-defunct FTX and Taylor Swift, and talks fell apart months before the company imploded (some might say she dodged a bullet on that one)
  • Life Hack: Your day-to-day can be stressful, no matter what your life looks like or what you do for a living - here are three ways to train your brain to perform better under pressure and promote mental stability at the same time

Looking Back…

On December 8th: Pope Pius IX proclaims the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (1854); John Lennon is fatally shot by Mark David Chapman in New York City (1980); The Deer Hunter starring Robert De Niro and Christoper Walken has its world premiere (1978); American singer and songwriter Jim Morrison is born (1943).

Question of the day

How do you prefer your avocado on toast?

Sliced, of course's the only way

Yesterday's results

Which type of getaway suits your style?

Summer beach hangout in Bali (57.4%)

Winter ski getaway in Aspen (42.6%)

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