Happy Wednesday. With Valentine’s Day approaching, it can be hard to be single – fortunately, the El Paso Zoo is here to help:
1: Shoot them a FB message with your former beau’s name.
2: They’ll bestow the name on a cockroach.
3: On Valentine’s Day, the zoo will live-stream a meerkat eating the bug.
“You cannot tailor-make the situations in life but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations.”
– Zig Ziglar
On Tuesday, federal health officials confirmed the first case of a newly identified coronavirus in the U.S. in Seattle, WA. Earlier the same day, Chinese health officials reported the number of cases of the “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019 nCoV” inside the country had grown to 291 (up from 62 on Sunday), with six known deaths.
What do I need to know?
From the World Health Organization: “Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe [respiratory] diseases.”
Symptoms: Signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, breathing difficulties, and in severe cases pneumonia, kidney failure, or even death.
Protection: There are currently no vaccines available to protect against human coronavirus infection. To reduce the risk of infection, the CDC has advised that people wash their hands frequently, avoid touching their face, and avoid contact with sick people.
What are the next steps? Later today, the WHO will convene a panel of experts to potentially declare the virus an international emergency. The international health agency has only used the emergency designation five times since the rule was implemented in 2005.
So… what are people saying?
Coronavirus: How We Should Prepare For the Next Pandemic
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Iranian Gov’t Official Threatens Trump
An Iranian state-run news agency has reported an Iranian MP told the 290-seat parliament he was offering a $3 million bounty to anyone who killed President Donald Trump. The lawmaker in question, Ahmad Hamzeh, represents Iran’s Kerman province – the hometown of deceased Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell amended his proposed impeachment schedule on Tuesday, giving each side 24 hours to speak across three days instead of two. McConnell also withdrew a provision in the plan that would not have automatically included the evidence gathered byy the House in the Senate trial.
Additional Note: The first and second votes of the impeachment trial rejected an attempt by Democrats to subpoena the White House and the State Department for Ukraine documents. The White House OMB previously defied a House subpoena for the documents.
On Tuesday, Brazilian state prosecutors charged former Vale CEO Fabio Schvartsman and 15 others with homicide for a 2019 dam disaster that killed more than 250 people. In addition to the homicide charges, Vale and TUV SUD – the German company responsible for inspecting the dam – were charged with environmental crimes.
On Tuesday, Apple announced several new shows for Apple TV+, as well as renewals and premiere dates for existing shows. In other streaming news, Netflix posted underwhelming domestic subscriber growth, but surprisingly robust international numbers in their Q4 earnings report.
Digital sports media company The Athletic told Axios on Tuesday that it has closed $50 million in investment at a valuation of $500 million. The Series D round is being led by Bedrock Capital, with additional funds from Emerson Collective, Powerhouse Capital, and existing investors.
Clash of the Titans
According to The Guardian, digital forensic analysis has determined that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone was hacked by a malicious file sent from the personal WhatsApp account of Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The hack took place five months before the murder of Jamaal Kashoggi – a journalist for the Bezos-owned Washington Post – took place in Saudi Arabia.
A new method of treatment for cancer patients may be on the way – researchers at Cardiff University have discovered a form of T-cell therapy that offers hope of being able to treat all forms of cancer. This “universal” therapy is still in the early stages of development, but shows promise to treat forms of cancer that were previously difficult to target.
Essentially, this therapy uses a specialized T-cell receptor which scans the surface of other cells to find anomalies in a certain cell-surface molecule, MR1. Cardiff researchers’ unique receptor can identify and eliminate nearly a dozen different cancer cells through MR1, while ignoring healthy cells. Although not yet available for use, this development gives hope to patients and survivors, and could make a difference in the lives of the many people affected by cancer.
Three Scottish brothers have paddled themselves into the record books by becoming the youngest and fastest trio to row across the Atlantic Ocean. Remarkably, they did it in 35 days, 9 hours, and 9 minutes, beating the previous record by six days. Brothers Ewan (27), Jamie (26), and Lachlan (21) MacLean braved the harsh conditions of storms, dehydration, and exhaustion, but never gave up hope, relying on each other for encouragement.
While the goal was to set a new world record, the three brothers also had a more charitable incentive – the trio has raised (so far) £112,000 for two causes they are passionate about, Children First and Feedback Madagascar. These men show the world what can happen when determination is combined with brotherly love, changing the world one adventure at a time.
At just 21 square kilometers, the island of Nauru of the coast of eastern Australia holds the title of world’s smallest island nation. Nauru is also known as the country with the most obese people in the world, representing an estimated 61 percent of the population.