Welcome to Thursday. Today is officially known as No More Leftovers Left Day. (Okay, maybe we made it up but it should totally be a thing, right?)
🚀⏰ Ready, Set, Go: Today’s newsletter is a ~5 minute read. (1,304 words)
“Once you have commitment, you need the discipline and hard work to get you there.”
U.S. Election Legal Update
As of Wednesday, the deadline to certify election results had passed in 36 states plus D.C., with Rhode Island – which has no official deadline – also certifying results. The legislatures of all six major battleground states that broke for Biden (AZ, GA, MI, NV, PA, & WI) have already certified results.
Ongoing Legal Challenges The Trump campaign and Republican officials have filed more than two dozen lawsuits in the above battleground states in an effort to contest the results of the November election. Thus far, none have been successful, with a number of the suits still pending.
A group of Republican lawmakersfiled an emergency requestto the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking to overturn a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision to dismiss a legal challenge brought by the same group of lawmakers that contends PA’s mail-in voting system violates the state’s constitution.
President Trumpfiled a suit on Tuesday against WI Gov. Tony Evers seeking to nullify and withdraw his certification of the election results (a ~21k vote Biden victory) and disqualify over 221k votes in two of the state’s most Democratic counties.
Elsewhere… In an AP interview published Tuesday, Attorney General William Barr said officials at the DOJ “have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
Key Upcoming Dates:
Dec. 8th: All state recounts and legal challenges over the presidential election must be completed.
Dec. 14th: The electors in all 50 states plus D.C. (selected before the election by each political party) convene separately to cast their votes.
Jan. 6th: Incoming U.S. Congress holds a joint session to count and certify the electoral votes.
Jan. 20th: Inauguration Day; President-elect sworn in as POTUS.
So… what are people saying?
Have Trump Republican leaders no sense of decency?
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🌿 UN Downgrades Cannabis
A UN committee voted on Wednesday to remove cannabis for medical use from its list of ‘Schedule IV’ drugs, which includes heroin and cocaine. While the vote won’t have any immediate explicit impact on international cannabis laws, it could affect policy reforms in countries that look to UN conventions for guidance.
Other UN News: The organization signed a deal yesterday with the Ethiopian government authorizing the use of foreign aid in the country’s Tigray region, where officials believe over 1M residents have been displaced due to Ethiopia’s ongoing civil war.
The Government has Spoken:
🦠 The CDCofficially lowered its recommended quarantine period after exposure to COVID-19 from 14 days to between seven and ten days.
✈️🐶 The Department of Transportation revised air travel regulations for service animals. Notable changes: “Emotional support” animals will no longer be allowed to fly in the cabin, and only dogs can be certified as service animals. (These changes follow a series of high-profile instances in which passengers attempted to bring turtles, pigs, and even a peacock onto flights for emotional support. See all the changes.)
🇸🇬 Singaporebecame the first country in the world to authorize the sale of meat grown in a lab yesterday, approving the distribution of U.S.-based food company Eat Just’s cell-cultured chicken.
⚖️ Thailand’s PM Found Not Guilty
Thailand’s constitutional court unanimously ruled in favor of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Wednesday in a conflict-of-interest case seeking his removal from office. Opposing politicians accused Prayuth of a conflict of interest because he remained in military housing despite retiring from the army in 2014 (which they allege amounts to receiving special benefits from a state agency or enterprise), but Prayuth claims he stayed there for security reasons.
More: Over the past 12 years, court rulings have ousted three Thai prime ministers, all associated with ex-PM and populist billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra (who was deposed in a 2006 military coup following accusations of abuse of power, corruption and disrespect to the monarchy).
📉 UPS and DOWNS
Per the WSJ, UPS imposed a series of temporary restrictions on six major retailers on Monday. The company reportedly sent an internal memo telling drivers to stop picking up packages at Gap, Nike, L.L. Bean, Hot Topic, Newegg, & Macy’s ahead of one of the busiest shipping months of the year.
More: The National Retail Foundation revealed the number of online-only shoppers rose 44% annually over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (including Cyber Monday).
📺 Age of Discovery
Discovery announced plans to launch a streaming service called Discovery+ on Jan. 4, 2021, offered at $4.99 per month (ad-supported) or $6.99 per month (ad-free). The service will feature 55k episodes from 2.5k shows across the Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, A&E, the History Channel, Lifetime, and additional original programming.
More: Discovery also announced a partnership with Verizon to offer up to 12 months of free Discovery+ access to select wireless and home internet customers.
🛒 Minimum Viable Product
Starting Friday, Dec. 4, Walmart will remove the $35 minimum for free shipping on online orders for Walmart+ members. The move brings Walmart+ ($98 a year or $12.95 a month) in line with rival Amazon Prime ($119 a year or $12.99 a month), which offers free shipping on all orders regardless of size.
More: Walmart hasn’t publicly shared how many customers have subscribed to Walmart+ (estimated at ~19M). Amazon Prime was estimated to have 126M U.S. subscribers in October (150M+ globally).
🍩 DONUT Holes:
🥪🚗 DoorDashannounced a partnership with Jimmy John’s to list the sandwich company on DoorDash’s app and website. (Though JJ’s will still deliver orders using its own freaky-fast drivers.)
📝 Forbes published its 10th annual 30 Under 30, highlighting 600 exceptional entrepreneurs, activists, scientists, and entertainers under the age of 30.
🏥 The Gift of Life
Patrick Mertens, a custodian at Kimball Elementary School in Kimball, MN, is a man of few words. In fact, despite making small talk with third-grade teacher Erin Durga for years, the quiet caretaker never let on that he had been undergoing dialysis three times a week to treat his failing kidneys.
Despite barely knowing Patrick, when Erin finally found out the custodian would have to wait up to seven years for a donor’s kidney, she decided to give him one of her own.
🚓🦃 Golden-Brown Ticket
Nobody likes getting pulled over, especially around the holidays. However, select drivers in Chesapeake, VA, may be in for a welcome surprise on Friday, December 11th, if they are caught committing minor traffic violations.
That day, police in the area will be giving away turkeys instead of traffic tickets to some of the motorists they pull over. The police department told WVEC News that turkeys would be distributed based on the drivers’ attitudes and traffic stop conditions.
🦌 Above and Beyond
A portion of Interstate 80 near Park City, UT, was once the site of so many wildlife + traffic collisions it was dubbed “Slaughter Row.” In response, in 2018, Utah’s Department of Transportation constructed the state’s first wildlife overpass over the treacherous region.
Now, the structure – known as the Parleys Canyon Bridge – is being celebrated as a huge success, with local wildlife adapting to the overpass much more quickly than expected, bolstering plans for a similar project in California. (Bonus: Watch the bridge in action)
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🎨 History Rocks… archaeologists in the Amazon rainforest discovered “the Sistine Chapel of the ancients,” one of the world’s largest collections of prehistoric rock art in Colombia (stretching nearly eight miles long).
👅 Here’s A Tip… have you ever struggled to remember a word or name on the tip of your tongue? Research suggests there’s an easy way to prevent that. Read on to find out.
📸 On The Origin of Species… NOAA scientists discovered a new species (a deep-sea blob named Duobrachium sparksae) using only high-definition underwater cameras for the first time.
🏴 Urban Legend
What mythical creature is the national animal of Scotland?
A) Pegasus B) Gryphon C) Unicorn D) Centaur
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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