Meanwhile… Last Friday, the U.S. held its first high-level in-person meeting with China since President Biden took office, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken trading barbs with his Chinese counterpart in the public component of the talks.
🇨🇳 China’s Response
Beijing immediately retaliated against the EU’s move, levying sanctions on ten European individuals and four institutions it said had “maliciously spread lies and disinformation.”
Among those sanctioned is U.S.-based German scholar Adrian Zenz, whose work helped bring global attention to the detention of Uighurs in Xinjiang.
Mitt Romney onto something in his call for a targeted boycott of 2022 Beijing Olympics
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💉 AstraZeneca Vaccine Results
AstraZeneca’s vaccine is 79% effective at preventing symptomatic illness and 100% effective against severe disease and hospitalization, according to an analysis of Phase 3 trial data made public yesterday.
The company said the study’s independent safety monitors found no serious side effects, including no increased risk of blood clots.
More: The Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), an independent committee overseeing the trial, has “expressed concern that AstraZeneca may have included outdated information from that trial, which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data,” the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said in a statement released early this morning.
⚖️ SCOTUS & the Boston Bomber
The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case seeking to uphold the death sentence against the man convicted in the deadly 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon.
The man was convicted of all 30 charges brought against him by a jury in 2015. They imposed six death sentences and 11 concurrent life sentences.
An appeals courtthrew out the death penalty sentences last year after finding the trial judge failed to ensure proper questioning of the jurors, including whether they had been influenced by press coverage of the bombing.
🚨At least ten people, including a police officer, were killed in a shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, CO, yesterday afternoon. The suspect is in custody, police said Monday, but no motive has yet been provided.
Thousands of people in Australia’s state of New South Wales were evacuated after heavy rainfall led to the area’s worst flooding in decades.
Residents were also forced to deal with swarms of wolf spiders. The animals typically live in burrows underground but were forced upwards due to the flood waters.
📅 Black Monday
Apollo Global Management disclosed the departure of CEO Leon Black, who is stepping down months earlier than previously announced and also unexpectedly relinquishing his role as chairman.
In January, Apollo said Black would step down effective July 31 – but remain company chairman – after a monthslong independent review revealed details regarding Black’s business ties to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
More: Black, who is regarded as one of the fathers of the modern private equity industry, cited the health issues of himself and his wife in announcing the decision.
🧪 Special Delivery
DoorDash launched an initiative to provide same-day delivery of at-home COVID-19 test kits from Vault Health and Everlywell, the company revealed in a statement Monday.
The service is initially available through the DoorDash app in 12 ‘DashMart’ locations across the U.S., with plans to expand to other cities later in the year.
More: In addition to the DoorDash app, Vault Health at-home test kits will be available for same-day delivery in 20 cities through Vault Health’s website.
📺 David Dobrik Departs Dispo
YouTube star David Dobrik is stepping away from Dispo, the disposable camera app he co-founded in 2019, amid allegations of sexual assault against a former member of his Vlog Squad, according to The Information ($).
The news comes as venture capital firm Spark Capital announced it was cutting ties with the startup in light of the allegations. The firm led Dispo’s recent $20M funding round valuing the app at $200M.
More: Per the NYT, ($) sponsors including HelloFresh and Dollar Shave Club are no longer working with Dobrik or his team, while the YouTuber’s channel has lost more than 100k subscribers in the past week.
⏰ Catch Up Quick…
🐦 Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first tweet was auctioned as an NFT on Monday for 1,630.58 ether, which was equivalent to ~$2.9M at the time of the sale.
🏀 The first round of the women’s NCAA tournament is in the books. The second round begins today.
🎩 400 Hats and Counting
“This is how he got to be 96 years old, because he’s helping everybody else.”
Nursing home residents have gone through a tough year, with many prohibited from leaving senior homes or seeing their families due to COVID-19 concerns.
For one 96-year-old, that meant plenty of time to pick up a new hobby.
When his daughter gifted him a hat-knitting kit early in quarantine, Tom didn’t realize just how much he would enjoy it. Now he averages one to two hats each day, and began teaching other residents to make their own.
After being asked what he enjoys most about knitting, Tom told CNN: “Other people are getting something out of my labor. It’s better than playing cards or looking out the window.“
Snacks, Smiles, and Trees… yes, please!
Not only can you munch on some delicious plant based cookies and crackers with Back to Nature, but you can help the environment while doing it (#multitasking). Back to Nature is partnered with The Nature Conservancy in their quest to plant a BILLION trees. 🤯
One Billion 🌳🌳🌳
The Nature Conservancy has a global mission to restore our world’s forests. Their goal is a billion trees and they are already well underway. These new trees can help curb the effects of climate change, provide clean air and fresh drinking water, and secure homes for thousands of species of plants and animals
💻 Making The Cut… a UK defense review published this week stated Britain’s Army target size will be cut by 9,500 personnel over the next four years to 72,500 – its lowest level since 1714 – as the military branch moves toward drones and cyber warfare tactics.
🔐 Reeling It In… Instagram is the most “invasive” app available on the Apple App Store, collecting 79% of its users’ personal data according to a study conducted by cloud storage firm pCloud (Instagram parent Facebook was the second-worst offender).
🤖 Autonomous Creation… researchers at MIT developed an algorithm that helps engineers determine the optimal placement of sensors within soft-bodied robots – which can deform to fit into tight spaces – marking a step toward the future automation of robot design.
🚀 Ready For Liftoff… UK-based company Urban Air Port announced it will open the world’s first airport for autonomous delivery drones and electric flying cars in Coventry, England later this year.
🪐 A Weighty Decision
On which planet in our solar system would a human weigh the least?
A) Mercury B) Venus C) Mars D) Neptune
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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Mars is the second-smallest planet in the solar system behind Mercury (sorry Pluto), but is not as dense as the smaller planet. Thus, if a person weighed 150 pounds on Earth, they would only weigh 56.5 pounds on Mars compared to 56.7 pounds on Mercury. (Bonus: Your Weight on Other Worlds.)