Welcome to Tuesday. As the legend herself once said, “If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving a new one.”
🚨 On that note, we have a correction to report (thanks to Emma from MI for bringing this to our attention): We messed up yesterday and slighted a woman we adore dearly – Dolly Parton. We reported her birthday was Monday when it is, in fact, today. (Dolly, if you’re reading this, happy 75th birthday and please, please don’t be mad. 🥳😬)
Per the WSJ, the developers of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline will announce a series of revisions to the project this week in an attempt to appeal to President-elect Biden, who has previously said he will revoke the project’s permit.
Canada’s CBC News reported late Sunday that Biden plans to do so with one of his first executive actions after taking office.
📜 A brief history…
First proposed in 2005 and commissioned in 2010, the Keystone Pipeline System runs oil from Alberta, Canada, to refineries and storage facilities across the U.S., and is owned by Canadian company TC Energy (formerly TransCanada).
Their concerns included the pipeline’s potential for air pollution, leaks, and spills that could contaminate critical water supplies and wildlife habitats along the pipeline’s proposed route.
Proponents point to the XL’s ability to increase the pipeline’s capacity by 800,000 barrels per day (from 600k), equivalent to ~7% of U.S. daily consumption, as well as its ability to help reduce reliance on foreign oil and create jobs.
In 2015, the Keystone XL pipeline was temporarily delayed by then-President Obama. His successor, President Trump, published a memo directing federal agencies to resume the project four days after taking office in 2017.
Construction of the $8B expansion pipeline started last year after a series of delays due to legal and permitting challenges in the U.S.
📝 Change of Plans
TC Energy has reportedly committed to spending $1.7B on solar, wind, and battery power to operate the entire 2,000-mile Keystone pipeline system in a bid to save the project.
Additionally, company officials are reportedly pledging to hire a union workforce and eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from operations by 2030, with a formal announcement expected later this week.
Clarification: Yesterday, we used “FDA-approved” to indicate the FDA had approved the distribution of the vaccine – to clarify, the shots have not gone through the full FDA approval process, but instead were issued an Emergency Use Authorization to facilitate availability during a declared state of emergency (such as a pandemic) and provide companies immunity from any potential liability. Shout-out to Gail, Kirsten, and others for bringing this to our attention.
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🇬🇹 Guatemala Halts Migrant Caravan
Guatemalan security forces in riot gear stopped a caravan of thousands of Honduran migrants from advancing further into the country on Sunday.
Nearly eight thousand migrants are thought to have crossed into southeastern Guatemala two days before as part of an attempt to reach the U.S. via Mexico.
On Monday, authorities broke up a group of hundreds of migrants in an attempt to reopen the highway where they gathered.
More: The migrants told reporters they are fleeing poverty and lawlessness in Honduras, which two November hurricanes and the pandemic have exacerbated.
Even More: Mexican President Andrés López Obrador warned migrants not to try to enter countries by force, and said he was in touch with both the outgoing and incoming U.S. administrations over the migrant caravan.
U.S. Census director Steven Dillingham announced his resignation yesterday, one year before his term expired. A government watchdog agency published a memo last week questioning Dillingham’s actions regarding undocumented immigrants. (Left-Center| Right-Center)
President-elect Biden selected FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra to be the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s next director, and chose Obama-era regulator Gary Gensler to lead the SEC. (Left-Center | Right-Center)
Vice President-elect Kamala Harrisofficially resigned from her Senate seat ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration.
🍩 DONUT Holes:
🏛️ The U.S. Capitol was locked down for about an hour Monday morning after a small fire broke out nearby. No injuries were reported.
🇷🇺 A Russian judgeordered opposition leader Alexei Navalny to remain in jail for 30 days as he awaits a hearing related to a 2014 conviction for embezzlement (which the European Court of Human Rights later said violated Navalny’s right to a fair trial).
🇪🇬 ⚰️ Egyptannounced a new archaeological discovery featuring 54 wooden sarcophagi, many of which can be traced back over 3,000 years.
📉 Loss Leader
Samsung’s de-facto leader Lee Jae-yong (known as Jay Y. Lee in the West) was sentenced to 30 months in a South Korean prison yesterday after a retrial of his 2017 conviction for bribing the country’s former president. The announcement triggered a selloff across Samsung’s affiliates – Samsung Electronics (-3.4%) | Samsung SDI (-4.2%) | Samsung C&T (-2.5%) – wiping away billions of dollars in market value.
“They’ve lost their captain. All the power is centered around one person.” –Mike Cho, South Korean business expert at Korea University in Seoul.
More: Lee was accused of offering horses and other bribes to a friend of former President Park Geun-hye – whose prison sentence appeal we covered on Friday.
📈 China on the Increase
China’s national statistics bureau yesterday said the country’s economy grew at a 6.5% pace in Q4 2020, capping off a year in which it grew three out of four quarters (2.3% in total). No other major world economy achieved positive economic growth last year.
More: Per financial data research company FactSet, China’s economy is projected to grow at an 8.3% pace in 2021, compared to 4.1% growth in the U.S.
🏭 The How & the Y
Tesla began delivering the first China-produced Model Y crossover vehicles yesterday, per state-run Xinhua News Agency. The exact number of vehicles delivered and their recipients were not immediately made available. The company started production at its Gigafactory in Shanghai – Tesla’s first plant outside the U.S. – in late 2019 with the Model 3 sedan.
More: Tesla’s second international Gigafactory, known as Giga Berlin in Germany, is expected to begin operations in July 2021.
🍩 Donut Holes:
🚘 The fourth-largest automaker in the world – formed from the combination of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group – will begin trading today on the NYSE under the name Stellantis after debuting on stock exchanges in Milan and Paris yesterday.
Looking for a way to bond with his daughter, Ava, Michael Gardner of Philadelphia taught himself to sew by watching tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest.
The adventurous dad took up the craft in 2014 – when Ava was three years old – posting pictures of his daughter modeling the garments on his Instagram page, “Daddy Dressed Me.”
Michael’s creative pastime has since inspired a social media campaign of the same name to encourage fathers to find ways to make their daughters feel more confident.
“It is a blessing to be able to combine my journey of fatherhood with my love of creativity while creating memories with my child,” wrote Michael on his website.
And to top it all off…
Broadway actor Wesley Ryan was repeatedly photobombed by Odie, his attention-loving cat, while recording an audition tape in his New York City apartment. (Video… there’s quite a few smiles in there.)
Over the past 15 years, 80-year-old Brent “Papa” Rushton of Salt Lake City has made more than 200 quilts by hand, donating his loving creations to homeless shelters, veterans, and refugees in need.
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🃏 Counting Cards… a 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card became the highest-selling sports card of all time after it was auctioned off for $5.2M last week.
🚁 The Drone Zone… an Israeli startup is launching Tando– a fully-autonomous indoor drone security system complete with quadcopter drones, ceiling-mounted charging stations, and an app for users to manage the machines. (A dramatic use-case video.)
🚚 I Like to Move It… a new report from moving company UHaul found which states Americans moved to the most in 2020. The full list.
🏙️ Reach New Heights… over the weekend, former rock climbing champion Lai Chi-wai attempted to scale a Hong Kong skyscraper while seated in his wheelchair, raising over $700K for charity in the process.
🔠 To the Letter
In Albert Einstein’s famous relativity equation, which letter represents the speed of light?
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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