Good morning. Have you ever met someone who shares just a bit too much information? Perhaps you’d like to introduce them to a swallowable electronic capsule developed by Australian researchers, which allows users to track and record their fart developments in real-time from their phone.
“Great men (& women) are not born great, they grow great.”
–Mario Puzo (The Godfather)
Apple & the U.S. Government
The fatal shooting of three Americans by a Saudi officer at a Pensacola, FL military base last month was officially declared an act of terrorism by Attorney General William Barr yesterday. He later added that 21 Saudi military trainees will be pulled out of the U.S. following an investigation into the incident. AG Barr also made a public request to Apple to provide access to the two iPhones used by the gunman.
In Feb. 2016, Apple was ordered by a California federal judge to help the FBI break into an iPhone belonging to the perpetrator of the attack.
In response, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an open letter to customers explaining the company’s decision not to comply with the court order, citing the future implications of such an act.
The FBI withdrew the case a month later, saying it had successfully hacked the phone with the help of an undisclosed third party.
Where do we go from here? Last Monday, the FBI sent a letter to Apple requesting their assistance in unlocking the two phones, but yesterday Attorney General Barr indicated that Apple has not provided any “substantive assistance” to the investigation so far.
So… what were people saying (in 2016)?
Apple isn’t protecting a shooter’s iPhone data. They’re defending digital privacy
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U.S. & China
The U.S. Treasury Department formally removed China’s designation as a currency manipulator in a report released Monday afternoon. The news comes as the U.S. is expected to sign a phase one trade deal with China at the White House on Wednesday.
Six presidential hopefuls will take the stage in Iowa at 9 PM ET tonight for the seventh Democratic debate of the election season, broadcast live on CNN. In other 2020 election news – New Jersey Senator Cory Booker dropped out of the race yesterday.
A small volcano near Manila erupted on Sunday, sending a massive cloud of ash and smoke some forty miles north towards the Philippine capital. Schools and business in Manila remained closed on Monday as the volcano continues to spew ash, while seismologists warned a more severe eruption could occur at any time.
Away co-founder Steph Korey has reportedly reversed her decision to step down as CEO after a report from The Verge last month alleged that she helped to foster a toxic work culture at the company. Korey will now become co-chief executive with her would-be replacement, former Lululemon COO Stuart Halsden.
Earn your Stripes
On Monday, Visa announced a deal to acquire fin-tech startup Plaid for $5.3 billion. Plaid currently provides its services to high-profile apps such as Venmo and Robinhood, and the company has previously said that one in four Americans with bank accounts use their technology through an app.
Good Moon Rising
Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended the day at new record highs ahead of the U.S. and China ‘phase one’ trade deal signing on Wednesday. Another notable performer on Monday was Tesla, whose stock climbed nearly 10 percent on the day as the company’s share price broke $500 for the first time.
Patsy, a 6-year-old terrier/shepherd mix, is being hailed internationally as “The Corryong Wonder Dog” for her heroism amidst the widespread brush fires that have devastated Australia. As the flames approached Corryong early New Year’s Eve morning, Patsy’s owner Stephen Hill saw the fire approaching his sister’s nearby farm, and the two quickly ran over to help.
Patsy immediately started herding the farm’s sheep, who were scattered all over a nearby field. Working quickly, she was able to usher the whole herd safely into a barn, while Stephen and his sister fought off the flames with a water pump. Due to Patsy’s timely intervention, 220 sheep were saved from the fires, and one family was especially proud of their good dog.
In 2005, Adam Gorlitsky became paralyzed from the waist down in a car crash and feared that he would never walk again. But this past Saturday, Adam did the unthinkable – he finished the Charleston Marathon (all 26.2 miles) in record-breaking time. With the help of a robotic ReWalk Exoskeleton, Adam completed the race in 33 hours, 50 minutes, and 24 seconds, beating the previously held Guinness World Record by three hours.
Adam has been walking with the help of an exoskeleton since 2015, and has participated in over 30 races across the nation since then. He created his nonprofit organization – I Got Legs – in 2016 to help those with limited mobility gain access to robotic skeletons. Adam is walking proof that with strength, hope, support, and persistence, anything is possible.
Pumpkin eaters… the Houston Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow and Manager A.J. Hinch were suspended and subsequently fired for their participation in a sign-stealing operation during the Astros 2017 World Series run.
Wine decline… according to wine industry tracker IWSR, the volume of wine consumed in the U.S. experienced its first year-to-year decline in 25 years.
I’d like to thank the Academy… the full list of Oscar nominations was announced yesterday – you can check it out here.
The area covered by a single one-dollar bill is 16.0254 sq. inches, thus the area covered by one billion one-dollar bills measures just under 4 square miles, or 2,555 acres. If you were to stack one billion one-dollar bills on top of one another, it would stretch a whopping 67.9 miles into the sky.