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What’s making the news.
Good morning. This day could go down in history. Former President Donald Trump said that he expects to be arrested over an investigation into a hush-money payment today. And yesterday afternoon, the NYPD began installing steel barricades around Manhattan’s Criminal Court.
It’s still not a sure thing, but if Trump is indicted and arrested, he’d be the first former president to face criminal charges. His lawyers have said that if it happens, he’ll follow standard arrest procedures, including getting fingerprinted and having a mugshot taken. Should be an interesting day.
—Sam Klebanov, Jamie Wilde, Neal Freyman, Abby Rubenstein
- Markets: Regulators in Switzerland seem to have given US markets a boost by calming investors’ fears of a banking crisis (at least for now). Stocks closed higher yesterday, and regional US banks started gaining again, with PacWest jumping up the most. But not all regional banks—First Republic’s shares plummeted once more, and Jamie Dimon is reportedly trying to engineer another fix for the struggling lender.
Amazon will lay off another 9,000 staffers. The e-commerce giant recently finished letting go of 18,000 employees, but it’s already announcing another round of job cuts to reduce spending. The layoffs will take place over the next few weeks and will include workers in its cloud computing, Twitch, advertising, and human resources divisions. The reductions come after Amazon’s ranks swelled to help the company meet surging demand when nobody could go to stores during the pandemic.
Xi Jinping is visiting “dear friend” Vladimir Putin. China’s leader began a three-day visit to Russia yesterday, meeting with Putin even as the West tries to keep Russia isolated because of its invasion of Ukraine. China has called the trip a “journey of friendship, cooperation, and peace,” while the US has derided it as “diplomatic cover” for alleged Russian war crimes. The US is concerned China may try to sell weapons to Russia or push a peace deal that leaves Russian troops in Ukraine.
CDC issues warning on fungus. In a possible inspiration for future seasons of The Last of Us, the CDC said yesterday that a fungal threat to human health is growing at “an alarming rate” in health facilities across the US. Candida auris, a drug-resistant and sometimes deadly fungus that grows as a yeast, has now been detected in more than half of all states after first being found in the US in 2016. The fungus can cause infections and is especially dangerous for older people and people with weakened immune systems.
How funny is this? Junk Science.
If humanity wants to avoid a Mad Max-like future, the world needs to act now to rein in climate change, a new UN-backed report stressed. “The climate time-bomb is ticking,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. “Humanity is on thin ice—and that ice is melting fast,” he added for dramatic effect.
Hundreds of scientists from around the world worked together to create the report. One finding the panel has “very high confidence” in? “There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a livable and sustainable future for all.” Cue Lloyd Christmas saying, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?”
It’ll take some elbow grease—err, biofuel—to claw back climate change
Greenhouse gases need to be reduced by 50% by 2030 to keep climate change within 1.5 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels—and so far, the world’s on track to miss this target. By the early 2050s, we’d need to reach net zero CO2 emissions to stick to the goal.
Some key tools in the world’s “survival guide,” per the report, which…are all somewhat “duh”:
- Increase solar and wind power
- Make cities more bikeable and walkable
- Cut back on agricultural pollution and limit food waste
Looking ahead…Guterres is putting the onus on high-income nations (ahem, US) to use their resources to limit their CO2 emissions by 2040—ten years before the rest of the world.—JW
What else is brewing
- France’s government narrowly survived no-confidence votes, paving the way for President Emmanuel Macron’s unpopular plan to raise the retirement age to take effect.
- The new CEO of Starbucks, Laxman Narasimhan, took over from founder Howard Schultz two weeks earlier than planned.
- Eggs have gotten so expensive that Dollar Tree can no longer make a profit selling them.
- Rupert Murdoch, the 92-year-old executive chairman of News Corp, is engaged to be married for the fifth time.