Good morning. In light of all the recent changes due to COVID, we’d like to announce a ‘ch-ch-change’ of our own. We’re beginning to transition our email domain today, so some of you received this newsletter from the address firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com.
If you see a change over the next couple weeks, don’t be alarmed – it’s still us.
“When you have failed at being nice, you’ve actually succeeded in being mean. Success is everywhere if you know where to look for it.”
– Katina Ferguson
U.S. authorities arrested former Green Beret Michael Taylor and his son, Peter, in Massachusetts yesterday. Japan accused the two earlier this year of helping auto titan Carlos Ghosn (rhymes with ‘phone’) escape from a court-monitored house in Tokyo to Lebanon, where he currently resides.
Ghosn With The Wind Ghosn, the former chairman and CEO of Nissan and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, was arrested in 2018 on allegations that he collected an unreported $82 million in deferred compensation from Nissan.
Last December, Ghosn managed to escape Japanese custody and flee to Lebanon via Istanbul.
U.S. federal prosecutors are alleging the father, son, and an accomplice helped smuggle Ghosn from a Tokyo hotel to a private jet using two large equipment boxes (one decoy). Here’s a picture of one, which they told security contained music equipment.
Turkish prosecutors indicted seven people earlier this month in connection with Ghosn’s journey through Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport onto a plane headed for Lebanon.
All’s Fair In public remarks from Lebanon following his escape, Ghosn pointed to Japan’s remarkably high conviction rate – which stands at more than 99% – as evidence he would not have received a fair and speedy trial had he remained in the country.
What’s Next? An Interpol Red Notice was issued earlier this year, seeking Ghosn’s provisional arrest. However, Lebanon does not share an extradition treaty with Japan. In the U.S., Michael and Peter Taylor are currently detained in federal custody pending extradition hearings.
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Global cases rose above 5.08 million yesterday, with more than 329,200 deaths. The number of confirmed U.S. cases rose to nearly 1.6 million, with 94,919 confirmed deaths.
Wuhanbanned residents from eating wild animals on Wednesday. Separately, China introduced a program to buy out the country’s wild animal breeders.
Cambridge Universitycanceled face-to-face lectures for the entire 2020-2021 academic year – the first U.K. university to do so. The school left the door open for students to attend small seminars depending on social distancing requirements.
The CDCreleased a 60-page document instructing how to safely reopen establishments, outlining a three-phase approach for reducing social distancing.
All 50 states have partially reopened, with most outlining a 3 or 4 phase plan to resume economic activity. See where your state stands here.
The WHO director-generalreported the world’s highest one-day COVID-19 case increase, with roughly 106,000 positive tests over a 24-hour period.
Palestine Cuts Ties With U.S. & Israel
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas declared an end to all security cooperations and peace agreements with the U.S. and Israel. The announcement is in direct response to the formation of Israel’s new government, which is officially contemplating annexation of some areas of the disputed West Bank territory.
More: Last September, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to annex a portion of the West Bank, which, if enacted, means Israel would surround any future Palestinian state.
The Supreme Court temporarily blocked an appeals court ruling ordering the release of the full Mueller Report to the House Judiciary Committee. The order gives the Department of Justice until June 1 to file a petition seeking review of the appeals court ruling, meaning the full report may not be made available until after November’s election.
More: The court’s ruling is temporary, while the justices consider whether to hear the case. Four types of information are redacted in the Mueller Report: grand jury information, classified information, information related to ongoing investigations, and information that would infringe on the privacy of third parties.
Apple and Googlereleased the protocol for apps that can use Bluetooth signals from mobile devices to aid in contact tracing. Three U.S. states (AL, ND, & SC) and 23 countries have reportedly received access to the technology.
Fordhalted assembly lines at two factories in Chicago and Michigan for the second straight day – both factories reported confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Victoria Secret parent company L Brandsreported its third straight quarterly loss on Wednesday. It also announced plans to permanently close about 250 Victoria’s Secret stores along with 50 Bed Bath & Beyond locations.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 50% of U.S. households lost employment income since mid-March. Check out this map to see how your state compares to the national average.
Good Look For The ‘Book
Facebook’s stock price reached an all-time high of $230.75 on Wednesday (closing at ~$223). The social media giant released a new e-commerce product called Facebook Shops on Tuesday, which allows businesses to easily list products for sale on their Facebook and Instagram pages.
Amazon released its first big-budget video game on Wednesday, a first-person shooter called Crucible. The free-to-play game marks new territory for Amazon Game Studios, which has released mainly tablet-based games since launching in 2012.
More: Amazon is the first tech giant (excluding Microsoft) to launch a big-budget game. Google opened its first original game studio to make games for its Stadia service late last year, while Facebook has purchased two notable VR game studios since November.
Laughter: The Best Medicine
Despite their present situation, a group of elderly New Yorkers has managed to stay upbeat – thanks to Jo Firestone, a 33-year-old professional comedian (and former “Tonight Show” writer).
Each Monday morning dating back to early March, ~20 seniors from lower Manhattan take part in a rousing hour-long video call moderated by Jo, featuring a succession of jokes, impressions, and asides.
Sir Tom Terrific
Earlier this month, we updated you on Captain Tom Moore – the UK WWII veteran who raised over $39 million for his country’s health service.
After completing 100 laps in his backyard garden before turning 100 years old on April 30, Tom was officially notified yesterday that he is being awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth.
Don’t You Forget About Me
Elephants working in Asia’s tourist industry are facing a challenge as their organizations begin to feel the effect of COVID-19. As you can imagine, feeding an elephant isn’t exactly cheap – they spend 12 to 18 hours a day consuming 200 to 600 pounds of food.
Fortunately, Carol Buckley and her organization, Elephant Aid International, found an elegant win-win-win situation. Carol facilitated the process of paying idled workers to harvest excess produce from local farmers, and deliver it to the delighted elephants and their owners.
Are Your Construction Friends & Family Ok?
We are fighting daily to get everyone in construction paid what they earn in a timely fashion and give them peace of mind. You’d be surprised how difficult it is, even without a global pandemic!
In fact, we recently found that 50% of contractors and suppliers don’t get paid within a month of doing work – or even close to it. With a pandemic making it difficult to do new work, accessing every penny currently owed NOW is extra important.
Imagine asking your boss when your paycheck is coming just before rent’s due, and getting shrugged off or asked if you were really owed it at all. This is a reality for the construction industry and you can help us change it.
How can you help? It’s super easy. All you need to do is share this email with absolutely anyone and everyone you know who works for a business in the construction industry in any way. That’s it! Through the end of May, we’ll give them $199 off a mechanics lien, which is the fastest and most powerful tool to get cash into their hands. Simply tell them to use code DONUT at check out.
Get free DONUT swag with your referral link below and change your friends & family’s lives! It’s a win-win. 😉
🍕 Lunch Money: Taken… when Aj’s NY Pizzeria was suddenly listed for delivery on Doordash in March 2019 against the owner’s wishes, he noticed they had made a mistake in pricing his menu. Thus began the Great Pizza Arbitrage.
💰 One Person’s Trash… while out for a drive on Saturday, a Virginia family accidentally ran over what they thought was a bag of trash, then pulled over and picked it up to throw out later. When they got home, they opened the bag to find $1 million in cold, hard cash.
🌊 Dam, Son… Michigan Gov. Whitmer declared a state of emergency in Midland County Tuesday after two dams burst, flooding downtown Midland with about nine feet of standing water (photos).
🚀 Rocket Man… Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit is scheduled to test its modified high-altitude rocket launching aircraft as early as Saturday. The aircraft is used to carry rockets to a near-orbit altitude before releasing them for launch.
Make It Rain
Which country’s late monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, was awarded a European patent for his purported rain-making technology?
A) Thailand B) Albania C) Liechtenstein D) Bahrain
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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