Good morning. Some people use the expression “I wasn’t born yesterday” to indicate they’re not an easy person to fool. A 101-year-old U.K. man found a more literal application for the phrase after the Home Office mistakenly identified his birth year as 2019, and told the man his parents were needed to confirm his ID.
“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
– Abraham Lincoln
Classified, comprehensive CIA documents, obtained by the Washington Post and German broadcaster ZDF, reveal that the CIA secretly owned and operated a Swiss encryption technology company named Crypto AG, which sold doctored surveillance equipment to more than 120 countries.
A deeper dive… Crypto AG was created in 1970 through a top-secret partnership between the CIA, NSA, and West German intelligence, who rigged the devices so they could easily break other countries’ encryptions. The U.S. and Germany used their advantage to (among other things):
Send classified Argentinian intelligence to the U.K. in the Falklands War.
Catch the Libyan officials responsible for the 1986 bombing of a German disco.
Not to be outdone… According to the WSJ, U.S. officials provided evidence late last year to allies, including the U.K. and Germany, that Chinese tech giant Huawei can covertly access mobile-phone networks around the world.
Huawei rejected the U.S.’ allegations, which claim the company has had such capabilities for over a decade.
Last month, the U.K. agreed to let Huawei play a role in supplying the infrastructure for the country’s 5G networks despite strong pushback from the U.S.
So… what are people saying?
Forget Buying Nokia. The US Has A $60 Billion Huawei Solution
Questions about the rating system we use? Learn more
Share Today’s Dose of Discussion
U.S. Budget Deficit Increase
On Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury Department released data showing the federal budget deficit for the first four months of fiscal 2020 stands at $389 billion. That number represents a 25% increase over the same period last year, and ~40% of the total deficit for fiscal 2019.
Yesterday the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP), Troy Price, resigned in the face of backlash over the handling of data from last week’s Iowa caucus. The results were unexpectedly delayed for several days due to technical issues with the mobile app the IDP used to aggregate the vote counts.
The CDC announced a second confirmed case of the coronavirus among U.S. evacuees from China on Wednesday. The number of confirmed cases worldwide climbed above 60,000, with more than 1,350 confirmed deaths according to Johns Hopkins’ real-time online tracker.
The world’s largest mobile phone trade show – Mobile World Congress – has been cancelled amid health concerns pertaining to the coronavirus outbreak. The move comes after several top tech companies (Facebook, LG, Sony, etc.) pulled out of the conference in recent weeks.
On Wednesday, WhatsApp announced it has over 2 billion users, the first time in two years that the Facebook-owned messaging service disclosed its user count. In an interview with the WSJ (no $ needed), WhatsApp head Will Cathcart reiterated the company’s dedication to message encryption.
Kohl’s announced plans to lay off 250 employees after experiencing a 0.2% year-to-year decline in holiday sales. Last week, fellow department store Macy’s said they will be closing 125 locations and cutting about 2,000 corporate jobs.
Per Business Insider, retailers have confirmed at least 2,200 store closures so far in 2020, on pace to shatter last year’s record of 9,300.
Beauty school and salon owner Chet Bennett experienced serious kidney failure in 2018, and had to be put on dialysis for over a year while waiting to find a matching donor.
One employee and longtime friend, Acia Williams, stepped up to offer Chet one of her kidneys – thankfully, the two were a match and the surgery went off without a hitch. Chet has returned to perfect health, and even gave Acia her very own beauty salon as a thank you for saving his life.
A new study released this week by the International Energy Agency has given the world a piece of much-needed good news in regards to climate change.
The IEA research found that global CO2 emissions had flatlined in 2019 thanks to a reduction of coal dependence and increased usage of renewable energy sources, even as the world’s economy expanded by 2.9%.
Arisen from Prison
After he was incarcerated at 16 years old for committing murder, Sean Pica saw an opportunity to better himself through education – nearly two decades later, he now sits as the executive director of Hudson Link, an organization that helps improve the lives of people just like him.
Hudson Link is revolutionizing rehabilitation by enabling inmates to earn a college degree by the time their sentence is up, dropping their chance of re-incarceration from 43% to just 2%.
Pants on Fire… a retired FBI agent who spent 21 years on the force summarizes his biggest ‘warning signs’ that reveal a dishonest person – check out the list here.
The Current War Pt. 2… meet Elon Musk’s newest rival – Rivian founder R.J. Scaringe – and his $3 billion war chest as Rivian attempts to capture a share of Tesla’s EV market.
There’s always a bigger fish… researchers in southeastern India have discovered the world’s largest cave fish, measuring nearly a foot-and-a-half in length and weighing ten times more than any other known species.
Phone Numbers… an FDA review of 200 studies conducted on humans and animals between 2008 and 2019 has found no evidence that cell phones are linked to cancer.
What famous landmark is on the back of the U.S. $10 bill?
A) The Capitol building B) The Washington Monument C) The U.S. Treasury building D) The White House