Good morning. Just like that, another week ends. Cheers to the weekend, let’s make it a great one. 😎💪
“The meaning of life is to give life meaning.”
TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer resigned on Thursday after three months on the job. Separately, Walmart joined Microsoft’s bid to acquire TikTok’s U.S. operations ahead of an impending White House ban. Let’s get you up to speed:
CEO Says ‘Ciao’ In a letter to staff, Mayer (who previously held a senior role at Disney) said his departure was due to the role of TikTok CEO being altered significantly with President Trump’s Aug. 6 executive order requiring the sale of its U.S. business.
The order gave parent company ByteDance a deadline of Sept. 22 to find a buyer for TikTok’s U.S. operations or face an effective ban.
U.S. officials say they are concerned the data TikTok collects on Americans could end up in the Chinese government’s hands. They point to China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law, which would theoretically require the company to hand over foreign users’ data if asked to do so.
TikTok has said that, if approached by the Chinese government, they would “definitely say no to any request for data.”
Microsoft Welcomes Walmart
Walmart on Thursday confirmed it is teaming up with Microsoft in a bid for TikTok.
Microsoft has been in talks for weeks to purchase TikTok’s operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The main competing bid appears to be from California-based tech giant Oracle.
What’s Next? Per CNBC, TikTok will announce the sale of its U.S., Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand operations as soon as next week, likely in the $20B to $30B range (though the price hasn’t been finalized).
So… what are people saying?
Trump’s fight with TikTok isn’t just short-sighted, it’s also a blown opportunity for the US
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False Claims Lead To Unrest In Minneapolis
Civil unrest erupted in Minneapolis Wednesday night following the death by suicide of a Black man suspected of homicide. A number of social media posts wrongly claimed the man was fatally shot by police officers, sparking demonstrations that led to the arrests of more than 130 people accused of riot, burglary, and damage to property.
Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana around 1 a.m. CT, carving a path of damage across the state and into Texas and Arkansas. Louisiana authorities attributed six deaths to the storm as of Thursday evening, with four of them from falling trees. More than 900k people were without power due to Laura, which was downgraded to a tropical storm Thursday afternoon.
COVID Roundup: The U.S. announced a $750M deal with Abbott Laboratories to buy 150M rapid response tests. The deal comes a day after the FDA granted the company’s test emergency use authorization. |Check your state’s ICU capacity
🔒Lost & Found… on Wednesday, authorities apprehended one of the FBI’s ten most wanted fugitives accused of ‘honor killing’ his two daughters in 2008.
🔴🔵Republican National Convention: The final day featured speeches from Rudy Giuliani, Sen. Mitch McConnell, and President Trump. (Recap: Left-Center | Right-Center)
The Law Of Averages
In a speech at the Federal Reserve’s virtual Jackson Hole symposium on Thursday, Chairman Jerome Powell announced a major policy shift, formally agreeing to “average inflation targeting.” That means the Fed will allow inflation to run “moderately” above the central bank’s goal of 2% “for some time” before raising interest rates in order to average out periods when inflation runs below 2% (as it has from 2001 to present).
State Of The Union
A federal attorney said that Ford, Fiat Chrysler, and their UAW counterparts remain under investigation as part of a multi-year probe into union corruption. The announcement came hours after prosecutors charged ex-UAW President Dennis Williams with embezzlement as part of the probe. The attorney additionally confirmed that General Motors was not a part of the investigation.
Keeping It Fresh
Amazon held a limited opening of its first Fresh grocery store in Los Angeles yesterday, with a wider opening planned for next week. The store is designed to offer consumers products at a lower price point than Amazon’s higher-end grocery chain, Whole Foods. The company plans to open several Fresh stores in the LA and Chicago areas.
Product Launch: Amazon yesterday unveiled Halo, a wristband for health and fitness tracking the company hopes will compete with the Apple Watch and Fitbit devices.
🏦 Making Bank… the merger of LA-based Broadway Federal Bank and Washington’s City First Bank will create the largest Black-owned bank in the U.S. (& the first with assets of over $1B).
🏀Game On… the NBA postponed all games for the second straight night, but players reportedly agreed to resume the playoffs either today or Saturday.
❌ NZ Stocks Blocked… New Zealand’s stock exchange halted trading for several hours on Thursday for the third day in a row following a cyber attack.
Not Your Run-Of-The-Mill Teen
Cross-country runner Axel Aldman is generally in the running (heh) for a top finish in his Indiana high school meets. This past weekend, the senior turned in potentially the best performance of his running career – with a 58th place result. But what made Saturday’s race so special wasn’t Axel’s placement, but his sportsmanship.
Late in the race, Axel saw a fellow competitor roll his ankle on the uneven ground, and stopped to offer assistance. As other runners zipped by, the downed teen told Axel to leave him and finish, but he refused. Instead, Axel supported the injured sophomore, and the two limped to the finish line, where Axel let him finish ahead in 57th.
Off The Beaten Path
For many young kids, the first day of school is filled with excitement – but also anxiety. With that in mind, first-grade teachers Patricia Dovi and Kim Martin wanted to make the extra COVID-19 precautions present in each classroom this year less nerve-wracking, and more creative.
Patricia and Kim spent hours working together over the course of a week to transform the plastic coronavirus dividers on each student’s desk into the windows and windshields of miniature Jeeps. The two told CNN that many students have said they can’t wait to take their desk for a test drive.
When South Carolina resident Roy Austin went on his first wildlife safari in 2018, his only goal was to see African animals in their natural habitats. While Roy enjoyed the sightseeing part of his East African journey, he was more impressed with the people he met while visiting rural Kenya.
When Roy eventually returned home to South Carolina, he felt inspired to launch an initiative called Libraries for Kids International to collect and send books overseas to African schoolchildren. Since starting the charity, Roy has sent more than 1,000 books to 11 schools across Kenya and Tanzania.
What is art?
Per Wikipedia, art is “the expression of imaginative, conceptual ideas, or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.”
And that describes Steve Tate’s work perfectly Twenty years of experience with paints and applications gives his work a sophistication and elegance that is unparalleled. The end result? A relationship of thoughts, feelings, and emotion on canvas.
💲 He’s Just Not That Into You… the whereabouts of Ruja “The Cryptoqueen” Ignatova – who federal prosecutors accuse of presiding over a $4B crypto-Ponzi scheme – are still unknown after she reportedly discovered her boyfriend was an FBI informant while spying on him for suspected infidelity.
🌎 Globe Trotters… an interactive online globe created by paleographer Christopher Scotese lets you see how your hometown has moved over the past 750 million years of continental drift.