Good morning. It’s Tax Day! If you haven’t already, make sure to file your taxes. Hell hath no fury like the IRS scorned…
On to the news.
“Well done is better than well said.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Federal Death Penalty Returns To U.S.
The federal execution of Daniel Lewis Lee was carried out by lethal injection on Tuesday after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of the death penalty earlier that morning.
A deeper dive… Lee, who was convicted of murdering a family of three in 1996, died in the first federal execution in 17 years.
The Trump administrationannounced plans to resume federal executions last year. The administration also unveiled a new procedure – using only the drug pentobarbital – to be rolled out for these executions.
On Monday, a district judge’s injunction delayed the planned executions due to pentobarbital use, which the defendants argued constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
Other opponents of Lee’s execution – including the victims’ own family – wanted to delay for fears of being exposed to COVID-19.
In the overnight ruling, SCOTUS defended lethal injection’s constitutionality. Attorney General Barr stated that – with measures like temperature checks and masks – the Bureau of Prisons could “carry out these executions without being at risk.”
What’s Next? Sixty-one other inmates currently sit on federal death row. Three more federal prisoners – all child killers – are set to be executed within the next week as part of the DOJ’s efforts to seek justice for “the most heinous crimes.”
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Fourteen states reported ICU bed capacity above 70% on Friday, led by Rhode Island (83%), Georgia (81.5%), and Arizona (81.3%). Check out your state.
Major virus news: ICE rescinded its guidance released earlier this month that would have prohibited foreign students from remaining in the U.S. while taking all-online classes.
More major virus news: Researchers found that the first vaccine tested in the U.S. (co-developed by Moderna & the NIH) provoked the proper immune response in its preliminary trial of 45 volunteers. A 30,000-person study of the vaccine is set to begin on July 27.
UK Bans Huawei From 5G Network
The UK will prohibit telecom companies from purchasing new 5G equipment made by China’s Huawei Technologies. The UK government said the decision – which gives companies until the end of 2027 to strip all existing Huawei gear – was a direct result of U.S. sanctions imposed in May on the Chinese tech giant.
The U.S. embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, officially announced its support for the country’s anti-corruption protests calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Boyko Borrisov. The protesters – who gathered by the thousands on Monday for the fifth straight night – accuse Borrisov’s government of deliberately delaying investigations into links between graft-prone officials and local oligarchs.
Worth Noting: Ghislaine Maxwell was denied bail by a federal judge after she pleaded not guilty to Epstein sex charges.
ALSO Worth Noting: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized Monday night and underwent a stent cleaning procedure on Tuesday. She is reportedly “resting comfortably.”
The Coronavirus Effect
Three large banks – Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, & Citigroup – set aside a cumulative $28 billion to cover potential loan losses as a result of the pandemic.
The FBIprocessed more firearm background checks in June than any month in its history.
Deltareported a $5.7 billion net loss in Q2, its biggest since 2008. The airline said it expects Q3 revenue to be around 20% to 25% of last year’s.
Shake Your Tail Feather
NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service launches nationwide today. Peacock technically first launched April 15, but was only available to Comcast subscribers with Xfinity cable boxes. The app is now available for iPhone, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox, Cox cable boxes, and LG and Vizio smart TVs, with PS4 compatibility coming July 20.
A Munich court on Tuesday ruled that Tesla misled consumers on the capabilities of its automated driving systems. The court also banned Tesla Germany from using the phrases “full potential for autonomous driving” and “autopilot exclusive” in its advertising materials.
Sock It To Me
Throughout his wife’s battle with cancer, Bob Rutherford of Saskatoon, Canada, spent his days as her full-time caregiver. When Bob’s wife passed away in 2010, the wistful widower built a homemade knitting machine out of PVC pipes to pass the time, using it to create socks that his son would deliver to local homeless shelters.
Bob’s machine was so effective – producing an average of 2,000 pairs of socks each year – that the 92-year-old eventually founded the nonprofit Socks by Bob. This group knits socks, hats, and gloves for homeless shelters around Canada. With the help of three other retirees, Bob has made and donated more than 11,000 pairs of socks.
Album Of The Year
When the Sydmar Lodge Care Home in north London closed to visitors in March, the facility’s activities coordinator, Robert Speker, was charged with keeping the elderly residents entertained for the duration of the lockdown. A photographer in his spare time, Robert decided to create a visual arts project that shows residents and outsiders that assisted living facilities are full of life.
In a photoshoot with the elderly residents, Robert recreated the album covers of famous musicians, including David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane, Adele’s 21, and Madonna’s True Blue (photos). The playful project, which has gone viral on Twitter, gave all involved a good giggle and kicked off a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for people with dementia.
Food For Thought
According to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, the number of food-insecure citizens in the city has most likely doubled from 1 million to 2 million since the start of the pandemic, affecting approximately one-fourth of the Big Apple’s population. As unemployment rates rise due to the spread of the virus, many people struggle to put food on the table.
In response to this crisis, the grassroots organization In Our Hearts helped set up 15 refrigerators around the city, offering free organic food to anyone in need. The fridges are stocked around the clock and maintained by a group of 180 community volunteers who gather contributions from the gardens of grateful citizens.
Your Company… It’s Your Turn
Fortunes are made or lost, not by what happens to us, but by how we react.
Bad things happen to good businesses.
Now you have to decide how you will respond.
Some owners will cut expenses to the bone. Others will become paralyzed by fear.
A rare few will use this opportunity to rethink their business from the ground up. Throw out what wasn’t working and re-commit to strategies that impact long term business value.
ProvenGain uses a simple system for boosting the value of the companies called The Value Builder System™. We’ve recently created an eBook called 8 Ways To Re-Invent Yourself In A Crisis, which I thought might be helpful as you contemplate what’s next. Just send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org for your copy or I can help you with some ideas on a quick 30 or 60-minute call. Schedule here: www.calendly.com/paulwildrick
🐦 For The Birds… German automation company Festo has constructed a new type of drone – a sophisticated robotic bird that appears virtually identical to its biological counterpart.
🤖 Compliments To The Chef… White Castle has agreed to work with CA-based startup Miso Robotics on a trial run of its robotic chef at a restaurant in the Chicago area.
🛒 Cutting A Dash… Amazon announced the Dash Cart, a new high-tech shopping cart that automatically detects what you place in it. Just shop & walk out the door.
🍎 A Bite Out Of The Apple… consumers can now file a claim (through this website) in Apple’s $500 million class-action settlement regarding the company’s throttling of iPhones with aging batteries.
The Man Behind The Mask
Michael Myers’s mask in the Halloween slasher film series is a replica of which actor’s face?
A) Mickey Rourke B) Clint Eastwood C) John Wayne D) William Shatner
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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It’s been rumored for decades that the iconic mask worn by the murderous Michael Myers was based on the face of the original ‘Captain Kirk.’ In 2014, a former costume designer for Halloween 2revealed the mask was indeed a Captain Kirk death mask made for the show Star Trek.