Good morning. Have you ever stuck your nose somewhere it didn’t belong? Hopefully, your experience wasn’t as traumatizing as a Chinese toddler who stuck his head inside a tea kettle he was playing with and was unable to remove it – firefighters said it took 20 minutes to cut the kettle away from the 2-year-old, who is not seriously injured.
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”
– Peter Pan
The Carlos Ghosn Story
Former Nissan chairman and fugitive Carlos Ghosn (rhymes with phone) addressed the media at a news conference in Beirut, Lebanon on Wednesday morning. Ghosn served as Nissan’s CEO for 16 years before he was ousted in November 2018 amid allegations of financial impropriety, leading to his arrest by Japanese authorities a month later. Ghosn was released on bail in March 2019, and despite close surveillance and an order to surrender his passports, he managed to escape to Lebanon earlier this month.
What’s the big deal? Japanese prosecutors have accused Ghosn of collecting an unreported $80 million in deferred compensation from Nissan during his time as an executive at the company, and on Tuesday an additional warrant was issued for the arrest of Ghosn’s wife, Carole, who was also present at yesterday’s news conference. In his remarks on Wednesday, Ghosn pointed to Japan’s remarkably high conviction rate – which stands at more than 99 percent – as evidence that he would not have received a fair and speedy trial had he stayed in the country.
What’s next? After Interpol delivered a wanted notice requesting the provisional arrest of Ghosn last Thursday, Lebanese officials suggested that they plan to interrogate Ghosn but made no further commitments. Lebanon does not have an extradition treaty with Japan.
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Update from Iran
Two rockets struck the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq yesterday afternoon – a statement from the Iraqi military said there were no casualties. The incident came hours after President Trump addressed the media Wednesday regarding an Iranian missile strike on two Iraqi military bases earlier that morning (photos).
On Wednesday, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle announced their intentions to step back from their roles as senior members of the British royal family. They also revealed plans to split their time between the U.S. and the U.K., as well as work towards becoming financially independent from the crown.
On Tuesday, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA 50th) announced plans to resign effective next week after pleading guilty to charges of campaign finance violations last month. The next day, a spokeswoman for California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) said a special election would not be held to replace Hunter due to the timing of his resignation.
Macy’s announced plans to close 28 Macy’s stores and one Bloomingdale’s store, largely in the eastern half of the United States. Macy’s stock closed up 2.4 percent on the day, as the retailer also disclosed holiday sales that were not as bad as some investors feared – a 0.6 percent year-to-year decrease for November and December.
Walmart has officially unveiled its all-new grocery delivery technology – called the Alphabot (developed by Alert Innovation) – which had been stealthily tested at a Salem, NH location since the middle of last year. Housed in a 20,000 square foot addition to the store, Alphabot uses autonomous carts to bring refrigerated items, frozen goods, and other shelf-stable foods to a Walmart employee who then double-checks and bags the order.
China-based autonomous passenger drone startup EHang completed its first successful test on U.S. soil in Raleigh, NC Tuesday night. The demonstration of the self-flying EHang 216 included a trip with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper on board the two-seat aircraft, which has already been successfully tested in different parts of Europe and Asia.
14-year-old Tabay Atkins has shown that you’re never too young to change the world with your wisdom and teaching. His mother, Sahel, was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma when he was only six years old, necessitating aggressive treatment that limited her time with Tabay as she fought for her life. After completing her chemotherapy, Sahel looked for an active way to heal and regain her physical strength, and although she was initially skeptical of yoga, she decided to try it.
Tabay became fascinated by how much of a positive effect yoga had on his mother’s mood and healing process, and made it his mission to help other people receive those same benefits. At the ripe old age of seven, Tabay became the youngest yoga teacher in the United States – now 14 years old, Tabay has seven yoga teacher certifications under his belt, and has taught around the world to grateful students who are touched and inspired by his giving spirit.
In 2018, Omar Thaher was ready for a life change and began a journey that completely changed his mental and physical health. 19-year-old Omar suffered from depression and was addicted to food, using it as a coping mechanism. Determined to lose weight and feel better, Omar began by simply showing up at the gym every day and doing what he could, starting with light weights and short amounts of cardio.
Over the course of a year, Omar lost over 200 lbs, inspiring others to believe in themselves and stay determined through regular updates on his Instagram page. Omar’s journey to improved health, happiness, and confidence reminds us that completing resolutions is about committing to small steps and showing up for ourselves, every single day of the year.