The trial, which features 355 defendants, 900+ prosecution witnesses, and 400 lawyers, focuses on the ‘Ndrangheta mafia group and its accomplices – among them politicians, civil servants, police, and white-collar businessmen.
During a recent hearing, it reportedly took three hours to read all their names.
📜 A Brief History
The ‘Ndrangheta is an organized crime syndicate headquartered in Southern Italy, with origins dating back to the late 18th century.
A 2014 studyfound the ‘Ndrangheta made ~$73B the previous year, roughly 3.5% of Italy’s GDP.
They hold a close alliance with the Sicilian Mafia, whose legacy includes a brief pact with the U.S. Navyduring WWII (the Mafia was involved in planning and executing the Allied invasion of Sicily).
The mafia trial beginning today is the largest since the infamous six-year-long Maxi Trial, which was held in a specially constructed bunker-style courtroom from 1986 to 1992. (Photo)
The Maxi Trial was the largest in world history, boasting 475 defendants. Three hundred thirty-eight were convicted and sentenced to a total of 2,665 years – not including the life sentences handed to 19 bosses.
Giovanni Falcone & Paolo Borsellino, the two main prosecutors, were later killed in two separate Mafia bombings… which both occurred less than six months after the trial concluded.
⚖️ Making a Difference
Today’s trial differs partly from the Maxi Trial because its scope is more limited, targeting one of the estimated hundreds of ‘Ndrangheta families with members across the world.
Experts sayItaly’s case is significant due to the inclusion of many lawyers, politicians, public administrators, and entrepreneurs who helped the ‘Ndrangheta operate.
The allegations include mafia association, murder and attempted murder, drug trafficking, extortion, loan sharking, disclosure of official secrets, abuse of office, possession of stolen goods, and money laundering.
‘Italian judges are right to remove children from mafia families’
The Trump administration issued new vaccine guidelines yesterday, expanding eligibility to everyone age 65 and older as well as to those with comorbid conditions (like diabetes).
Separately, HHS Secretary Alex Azarsaid the federal government is changing the way it allocates vaccines, basing it on the size of each state’s elderly population and how quickly states can administer the shots.
CDC Director Robert Redfieldsigned an order Tuesday requiring a negative COVID test for all arriving international air passengers (effective January 26).
🇨🇳 Meanwhile, in China…
Local authorities in several regions surrounding Beijing announced one-week lockdowns after a spike in cases.
A Brazilian institute – which last week said the vaccine produced by Chinese company Sinovac had a 78% efficacy rate – yesterday clarified those rates only included volunteers suffering mild to severe COVID-19 cases.
When all cases were considered, the vaccine’s efficacy rate fell to 50.4% (slightly above the WHO’s 50% threshold considered good enough for widespread use).
A 3,000 page reportpublished by Ireland’s government Tuesday found ~9,000 children died in the country’s church-run homes for unwed mothers – equivalent to 15% of all children who lived in the institutions investigated. The report covered a nearly 80-year-span ending in 1998.
More: The last of the homes, which received state funding and also acted as adoption agencies, closed in 1998.
Even More: The report did not include a single explanation for the high rates of mortality, but pointed to “significant failures of the state and society.”
🎲 Sheldon Adelson, the son of an immigrant taxi driver who later became a billionaire casino owner and notable GOP donor, died late Monday at 87.
☠️ A Kansas woman was executed yesterday for killing an expectant mother in Missouri, the firstfederal execution of a female inmate since 1953.
🏛️ The Housevoted 223 – 205 in favor of a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Trump from office. Hours prior, Pence published a letter to House Speaker Pelosisaying he would not do so. An impeachment vote will be held in the House later today.
🚁 Fly Away With Me
Shares of General Motors jumped yesterday to their highest levels since the company started publicly trading again in 2010 (+6.7% on the day | Market cap: $68.5B).
The increase came after GM unveiled an electric van and announced a potential foray into Cadillac-branded electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs) – more commonly known as flying cars.
Somewhat Related: Fiat Chryslerannouncedan agreement with air mobility company Archer to help lower costs and accelerate the launch of an electric flying car.
🇺🇬 Not So Social Media
The Ugandan government ordered internet service providers to block all social media platforms and messaging apps in the country ahead of its upcoming presidential election on Thursday.
The banis reportedly a direct response to Facebook removing a network of pro-government pages. The tech giant said fake and duplicitous accounts were used to impersonate users and re-share posts to make them appear more popular, per Reuters.
More: Uganda’s presidential election pits the 76-year-old incumbent Yoweri Musevini against 38-year-old rapper-turned-lawmaker Bobi Wine. Dig deeper.
Unrelated, but still important: YouTube suspended President Trump’s account from uploading new content for a minimum of seven days.
❌ DOJ Breaks the Pattern
Visa ended its plans to acquire Silicon Valley fintech startup Plaid in a deal worth $5.3B, both companies announced yesterday. The move was in response to the DOJ’s November antitrust lawsuit seeking to block the takeover on grounds it would limit competition in the payments industry.
More: Plaid’s API software allows startup companies to connect to users’ bank accounts, and is integrated with more than 11k banks.
A parrot’s beak is used to eat and climb – without it, the bird’s life is in danger. So when the staff at Renascer ACN, an animal rehabilitation center in Brazil, recently discovered a parrot with a badly damaged beak, they knew it was a biiiiig problem.
Using a plastic resin, veterinarian Maria Ângela Panelli Marchió hand-made a fully functioning prosthetic beak for the wounded parrot, attaching it to the animal through surgery.
“Today [the parrot] has a normal life,” the founder of Renascer ACN told Bored Panda.
And if that wasn’t enough to make you smile…
Aryana Chopra, a five-year-old from Vestal, NY, spent her winter break creating 200 New Year’s cards for the residents of a local nursing home – and emptied her piggy bank to buy a gift for the facility.
While on an ice fishing trip last month, two friends saved a young fawn that was trapped on the frozen surface of Utah’s Panguitch Lake. Watch their heroic rescue.
Primary Care For Your Home
Home care can be overwhelming. It’s often hard to know where to start.
And that’s where we come in…
Like a primary care physician, Homepoint uses the latest technology to diagnose your home’s health, plan to optimize its condition, and get the necessary work done cost-effectively.
Spend your time enjoying your home, not taking care of it.
Let us know the DONUT sent you and we’ll throw in an extra handyman hour for free!
🎬 Best in Show… per Nielsen, the most popular streaming series of 2020 was… *drumroll please*… The Office – followed by Grey’s Anatomy and Criminal Minds.
💰 Heist to Meet You… South Korean police are searching for a female employee after a local casino reported $13M had gone missing. Security footage from around the time of the suspected heist has been mysteriously erased.
🐘 Grand Old Age
What is the longest an elephant has ever lived (that we know of)?
A) 48 years
B) 102 years
C) 64 years
D) 86 years
(keep scrolling for the answer)
Get Your FREE Stuff
Step 1. Use the button below or copy your unique referral link
Lin Wang, an Asian elephant at the Taipei Zoo in Taiwan, died in 2003 at the age of 86, making him the Guinness World Record holder for oldest confirmed elephant. Another Asian elephant named Granny Dakshayani died in 2019 at an estimated age of 88 – though it has not been confirmed.