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Bae-jing? Chinese spy slept with American politicians to gain intel!

December

8

,

3:21 pm

Source:

Axios

A Chinese spy named Fang Fang allegedly slept with politicians across the US to gain intel

At least 2 mayors had romantic relationships with Ms. Fang, one of whom FBI agents caught her having sex in a car with

Ms. Fang knew Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, raised money for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and volunteered for Rep. Ro Khanna, Axios has reported

Fang arrived in the US to "attend college" in 2011, and returned to China in 2015

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↓ More politics news ↓

February

24

,

11:41 pm

Source:

Democrats, who control the House, are looking to pass the next Covid stimulus as soon as Friday. It will then head to the Senate

The bill includes $1.9T in funds for $1400 individual checks, $400 weekly unemployment payments, vaccinations, testing, and state and local government relief

The bill also includes a section that would raise the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2025, although that is unlikely to pass the Senate

The last stimulus bill's unemployment benefits expire on March 14, adding urgency to the current debate

February

24

,

2:03 am

Source:

Jacob Chansley, the so-called Capitol Riot shaman pictured with a viking helmet on January 6, no longer supports Trump after the President pardoned Lil' Wayne but not him

Chansley has been in jail for the last 2 months on riot-related charges

Now, he says he's committing his "energies and efforts on strengthening his commitment to his faith" while "living a life which does no harm to any living being"

Chansley is currently trying to get bail. He said he and the rioters "are good people who care deeply about our country"

February

24

,

1:18 am

Source:

Illinois' governor signed a law that will make it the first state to eliminate cash bail, among other sweeping criminal justice changes

Under the law, judges will no longer be able to set bail, and those considered to not pose a threat to society will be allowed to leave jail without putting up cash

Cash bail critics say it keeps poor people in jail while those with money get out; its supporters say it keeps potential criminals off the streets and lowers crime

The full policy won't take effect until 2023, but may pave the way for criminal justice reform bills in other states

↓ More business news ↓

February

25

,

4:40 pm

Source:

ByteDance has settled for $92M over allegations that TikTok illegally collected teenage users' data

The accusers alleged that TikTok wrongly took personal information from minors, including face scans

There were 21 class action law suits filed against TikTok representing teens across the United States

The attorneys had alleged that TikTok collected children's data to target advertising and content in a way that was illegal

February

24

,

11:22 pm

Source:

The GameStop saga isn't quite over, with the stock jumping over 100% yesterday

Driving the jump was a shake-up at the company. On Tuesday, GameStop announced that the company's CFO was resigning

Trading of the stock was stopped yesterday after it jumped 103.9%. After the market closed, it jumped another 83%

GameStop is reportedly replacing its CFO with someone with a tech background in an attempt to boost the struggling company's online sales

February

24

,

1:08 am

Source:

At the company's annual shareholder meeting, Apple CEO Tim Cook said they have acquired about 100 companies over the last 6 years

At that rate, Apple has been acquiring companies every 3 to 4 weeks on average since 2014

Cook said the acquisitions are generally to acquire talent and tech, which it often then incorporates into Apple products

Apple's notable acquisitions include companies like Beats Headphones and Shazam, the music identification app

February

24

,

12:30 am

Source:

Tesla stock fell 8.6% on Monday in its worst day since September, wiping over $15B off Elon Musk's net worth. The stock fell from $781 to $652 between Friday and Tuesday morning

Tesla stock surged over 700% last year and an additional 25% to start 2021, but lost nearly all of this year's gains on Monday

Musk's net worth peaked at $210B in January, at which point he surpassed Jeff Bezos as the world's richest person

Since then, Musk and Bezos have been trading spots at the top of the rich list

February

23

,

1:05 am

Source:

Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr, head of the Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation, has said that Jeep "does not honor us by having our name plastered on a car"

“I think we’re in a day and age in this country where it’s time for both corporations and team sports to retire the use of Native American names, images, and mascots," Hoskin said

This is the first time the tribe has asked for Jeep to change the name since the vehicle launched in the 1970s

A Jeep spokesperson said that the car celebrates "Native American people for their nobility, prowess and pride”, and didn't comment on if they company would change the name

February

22

,

12:21 am

Source:

On Saturday, a Honolulu-bound United Airlines Boeing 777 experienced engine failure after taking off from Denver, forcing the plane to make an emergency return to the airport

Both Japan and the FAA have ordered inspections of all Boeing 777's equipped with a specific kind of engine

Engine failures are rare, but can send debris ripping through an airplane's exterior. This is the third time the 777 with this specific engine has had this happen in the last few years

In total, over 100 Boeing jets will be suspended just months after the Boeing 737-Max 8 returned after a nearly 2-year suspension

February

19

,

12:32 am

Source:

Walmart announced that it is raising its wages to bring its national average pay to over $15/hour

This comes amid a push by Joe Biden and other Democrats to raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hour

As online shopping has boomed during the pandemic, Walmart has found itself competing for workers with Amazon, which has a starting wage of $15/hr

Walmart is the country's largest employer outside of the government. Its average wage nationally was $14/hour as of last January

February

19

,

12:00 am

Source:

Vlad Tenev, the CEO of trading app Robinhood, testified in Congress about why his company blocked its users from trading GameStop stock

Last month, Reddit day-traders united to buy droves of GameStop stock in an attempt to bankrupt Hedge Funds. As they appeared to be winning, Robinhood blocked them from buying the stock

Politicians grilled Tenev and Hedge Fund CEOs for 5+ hours. Tenev said what happened was "unacceptable," but that Robinhood users' assets have grown by over $35B in total

Democrats largely accused Robinhood of screwing its users, while Republicans were less confrontational, saying the CEOs have helped to bring investing to the masses

February

18

,

12:15 am

Source:

In response to a proposed Australian law that would force Big Tech to split revenue with media companies, Facebook is blocking the sharing of news content on its Australian site

“The actions we’re taking are focused on restricting publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content,” Facebook said

Google, meanwhile, has agreed to split revenue with News Corp., the largest Australian media conglomerate, which owns the Wall Street Journal and New York Post

February

17

,

11:58 pm

Source:

The heads of Reddit, Robinhood, Citadel and Melvin Capital will testify at Congress today in a hearing on last month's GameStop madness

Congress members will make a show of grilling them to figure out what happened and who - if anyone - is to blame

GameStop stock jumped from about $20 to $483, before shedding 90% of its value in a matter of days

The event has become a viral sensation with numerous companies picking up the movie rights to it

February

17

,

1:59 am

Source:

Arne Sorenson, the CEO of hotel chain Marriott, died of cancer at the age of 62

He continued to serve as CEO after being diagnosed with stage-2 pancreatic cancer in 2019. He became CEO in 2012

Sorenson was seen as a bold deal-maker who helped Marriott fend off rivals and grow the company into a massive hotel chain, beyond its focus on corporate travelers

Marriott International owns Ritz-Carlton, Starwood, Sheraton, Courtyard, W Hotels, and Westin

February

17

,

12:58 am

Source:

Bitcoin's rise continues, with its price breaking through $50k for the first time ever

On the year, the world's most popular cryptocurrency is up 74% as it gains increasingly widespread acceptance

The Wall Street Journal has reported that about 159k bitcoin entered circulation from August to December, while 359k were bought, leading to the surge in price

Last week, BNY Mellon, MasterCard, and Tesla all announced that they would integrate bitcoin into their corporate strategies, while Uber said it was open to accepting it as payment

↓ More sports news ↓

February

25

,

7:33 pm

Source:

Bronny, the eldest son of LeBron James, tore his meniscus and just had surgery that could force him to miss his sophomore season

He injured his knee at a practice earlier this month. Due to Covid, his team (Sierra Canyon) hasn't played any games yet but plans to play a full season in the spring

Bronny is the 25th-ranked prospect in the Class of 2023, according to ESPN

The colleges that are reportedly in the hunt for recruiting him are UCLA, Kentucky, Duke, UNC, and Kansas

February

25

,

7:16 pm

Source:

Russell Wilson has not demanded a trade from Seattle, but he just released a list of four teams he would be willing to go to

This list comprises the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders and Chicago Bears

Russell Wilson was not happy with his team's play this year -- particularly the offensive line's poor protection. The Seahawks ended the year with a 30-20 playoff loss to the Rams

The move remains unlikely: Seattle says they aren't looking to trade him and hope he stays with the team for the long haul

February

25

,

4:45 pm

Source:

John Geddert, who coached the US women's gymnastics team to a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, shot himself hours after being charged with human trafficking

Geddert had often worked with Larry Nassar, the disgraced team doctor who assaulted dozens of girls

Geddert was charged with 24 counts related to human trafficking, forced labor, and mental, physical, and sexual abuse

He was found dead yesterday afternoon when he was supposed to turn himself after being charged in the morning,

↓ More world news ↓

February

25

,

4:42 pm

Source:

China has denied accusations by US diplomats that they were forced to receive anal swab Covid tests

Chinese authorities say the tests are more accurate than the mouth or nose swabs. They were required for visitors entering certain parts of China, but diplomats were supposed to be exempt

“The State Department never agreed to this kind of testing and protested... to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when we learned that some staff were subject to it,” a State Department spokesperson told Vice News

A Chinese spokesperson said, “To my knowledge...China has never required US diplomatic staff stationed in China to conduct anal swab tests"‍

February

24

,

11:12 pm

Source:

Authorities in Europe seized over 23 tons of cocaine in Europe's largest-ever drug bust

16 tons had arrived in Germany from Paraguay and 7 arrived in Belgium from Panama. All of it was destined for the Netherlands

The drugs in Germany arrived in tins meant to transfer an adhesive; the drugs in Belgium were hidden inside wooden blocks

In total, the haul was estimated to be worth well over $4B

February

24

,

1:44 am

Source:

A man in China has been ordered to pay his wife $7.7k for the labor she provided their household

The couple had gotten married in 2015 before the man requested a divorce last year. The woman demanded compensation, saying that the husband had done nothing to take care of the family or home

The court ruled that "housework constitutes intangible property," and therefore must be compensated for in a divorce

The case took off on Chinese social media, with a related hashtag garnering over 570M hits

↓ More science news ↓

February

24

,

11:48 pm

Source:

The FDA ruled that the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine is safe and effective, paving the way for a 3rd vaccine to be distributed in the US

The vaccine appeared 66.1% effective at preventing moderate-to-severe Covid, and appears to slow the virus' spread

The rate of vaccinations is set to dramatically increase. The J&J shot requires just 1 dose, unlike the Pfizer and Moderna ones, which require 2

As many as 40M doses may be distributed across the US as soon as next week

February

24

,

12:42 am

Source:

Vaccine manufacturers, including Pfizer and Moderna, said that they anticipate producing enough vaccines for 3M Americans to get vaccinated daily beginning in April

Currently, about 1.5M Americans are being vaccinated daily

The number of daily vaccinations may end up well over 3M, too, as Johnson & Johnson's vaccine is expected to be approved in the coming days

In total, about 64M shots have been given in the US, with 13% of the population having received at least 1 shot

February

24

,

12:36 am

Source:

England's public health department announced that they have not recorded a single case of the flu this year

Of 685,243 flu tests conducted in 2021, every single one has come back negative. There was 1 confirmed flu case in December 2020

They attribute the lack of flu to a combination of social distancing, pandemic-related health precautions, and increased vaccination rates

The UK has recorded one of the world's highest Covid death rates, but the pandemic is letting up there; cases are at their lowest level since October 5

↓ More happy hour news ↓

February

26

,

1:43 am

Source:

Twitter announced in an investor call on Thursday that accounts will soon have the ability to make followers pay for a "Super Follow"

A Super Follow would cost $4.99 per month and give users access to subscriber-only newsletters, a supporter badge, community access, and more!

Twitter is modeling the system after Patreon which allows content creators make money through exclusive communities with their followers

It is not clear when Twitter will launch the "Super Follow" system or which accounts will have access to it

February

26

,

12:39 am

Source:

Scott Disick and Kourtney Kardashian broke up in 2015 -- but that might not be the final chapter in their romance

In a new episode of "Keeping up with the Kardashians," Scott Disick told Kim Kardashian that he would marry Kourtney "right here, right now"

Kourtney Kardashian hasn't given up hope on a long-term relationship with Scott, especially as they had three kids together

Although we would love to see a fairytale ending, both are Instagram official with new significant others -- Kourtney with Travis Barker and Scott with 19-year-old Amelia Hamlin

February

25

,

6:07 pm

Source:

Thousands of volunteers across Israel are working to save sea turtles that have been covered in tar from an offshore oil spill

The animals have ingested the tar and have it in their nostrils and mouths, blocking them from breathing

The volunteers have been giving the turtles vegetable oil to thin the tar, then mayonnaise, which dilutes and removes the tar from the stomach and intestines

"We continue to feed them substances like mayonnaise, which practically clean the system and break down the tar," one told the Associated Press

↓ Latest Stories ↓

February

26

,

1:43 am

Source:

Twitter announced in an investor call on Thursday that accounts will soon have the ability to make followers pay for a "Super Follow"

A Super Follow would cost $4.99 per month and give users access to subscriber-only newsletters, a supporter badge, community access, and more!

Twitter is modeling the system after Patreon which allows content creators make money through exclusive communities with their followers

It is not clear when Twitter will launch the "Super Follow" system or which accounts will have access to it

Want to know more?
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February

26

,

12:39 am

Source:

Scott Disick and Kourtney Kardashian broke up in 2015 -- but that might not be the final chapter in their romance

In a new episode of "Keeping up with the Kardashians," Scott Disick told Kim Kardashian that he would marry Kourtney "right here, right now"

Kourtney Kardashian hasn't given up hope on a long-term relationship with Scott, especially as they had three kids together

Although we would love to see a fairytale ending, both are Instagram official with new significant others -- Kourtney with Travis Barker and Scott with 19-year-old Amelia Hamlin

Want to know more?
No items found.

February

25

,

7:33 pm

Source:

Bronny, the eldest son of LeBron James, tore his meniscus and just had surgery that could force him to miss his sophomore season

He injured his knee at a practice earlier this month. Due to Covid, his team (Sierra Canyon) hasn't played any games yet but plans to play a full season in the spring

Bronny is the 25th-ranked prospect in the Class of 2023, according to ESPN

The colleges that are reportedly in the hunt for recruiting him are UCLA, Kentucky, Duke, UNC, and Kansas

Want to know more?
No items found.

February

25

,

7:16 pm

Source:

Russell Wilson has not demanded a trade from Seattle, but he just released a list of four teams he would be willing to go to

This list comprises the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders and Chicago Bears

Russell Wilson was not happy with his team's play this year -- particularly the offensive line's poor protection. The Seahawks ended the year with a 30-20 playoff loss to the Rams

The move remains unlikely: Seattle says they aren't looking to trade him and hope he stays with the team for the long haul

Want to know more?
No items found.

February

25

,

6:07 pm

Source:

Thousands of volunteers across Israel are working to save sea turtles that have been covered in tar from an offshore oil spill

The animals have ingested the tar and have it in their nostrils and mouths, blocking them from breathing

The volunteers have been giving the turtles vegetable oil to thin the tar, then mayonnaise, which dilutes and removes the tar from the stomach and intestines

"We continue to feed them substances like mayonnaise, which practically clean the system and break down the tar," one told the Associated Press

Want to know more?
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February

25

,

5:52 pm

Source:

Emma Watson, now 30-years-old, is taking a break from acting, with her agent saying she is laying "dormant" for a while

Watson's last movie was Little Women, released in December 2019

Watson allegedly had personal issues with her co-stars on that movie, avoiding all promotional events besides the premier

There is speculation that this is a step to a full acting retirement, but that is unconfirmed

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February

25

,

4:45 pm

Source:

John Geddert, who coached the US women's gymnastics team to a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, shot himself hours after being charged with human trafficking

Geddert had often worked with Larry Nassar, the disgraced team doctor who assaulted dozens of girls

Geddert was charged with 24 counts related to human trafficking, forced labor, and mental, physical, and sexual abuse

He was found dead yesterday afternoon when he was supposed to turn himself after being charged in the morning,

Want to know more?
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February

25

,

4:44 pm

Source:

Hasbro has renamed Mr. Potato Head to just Potato Head in order to create a gender-neutral potato toy

Mr. Potato Head was first launched in 1952, and Mrs. Potato Head a year later. Her fate is not year clear

“Kids want to be able to represent their own experiences. The way the brand currently exists — with the ‘Mr.’ and ‘Mrs.’ — is limiting when it comes to both gender identity and family structure,” a Hasbro exec said

"Culture has evolved," the exec added. The new Potato Head toy hits shelves next year

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February

25

,

4:42 pm

Source:

China has denied accusations by US diplomats that they were forced to receive anal swab Covid tests

Chinese authorities say the tests are more accurate than the mouth or nose swabs. They were required for visitors entering certain parts of China, but diplomats were supposed to be exempt

“The State Department never agreed to this kind of testing and protested... to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when we learned that some staff were subject to it,” a State Department spokesperson told Vice News

A Chinese spokesperson said, “To my knowledge...China has never required US diplomatic staff stationed in China to conduct anal swab tests"‍

Want to know more?
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February

25

,

4:40 pm

Source:

ByteDance has settled for $92M over allegations that TikTok illegally collected teenage users' data

The accusers alleged that TikTok wrongly took personal information from minors, including face scans

There were 21 class action law suits filed against TikTok representing teens across the United States

The attorneys had alleged that TikTok collected children's data to target advertising and content in a way that was illegal

Want to know more?
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February

25

,

4:37 pm

Source:

On Wednesday night, at least 1 attacker shot Lady Gaga's dogwalker seized 2 of her pet french bulldogs. A third dog escaped and was found by police

The attack took place in Los Angeles, and the dogwalker is said to be recovering well from his injuries. He had tried to fight off the assailant and was shot in the chest

Gaga offered $500k "to anyone who has her two dogs, no questions asked.” She is currently shooting a movie, Gucci, in Rome

The business of stealing, breeding, and reselling high-end dogs has grown in recent years, and french bulldogs are among the more coveted pets

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February

25

,

1:12 am

Source:

Sacha Baron Cohen has made a living off publicity stunts and characters, like Borat, who straddle the line between fiction and reality

But, according to a new episode of the NPR podcast "Fresh Air," his disguise days are over. Baron Cohen is done with Borat and his other undercover characters

He said, "At some point, your luck runs out. And so I never wanted to do this stuff again. I can't"

He decided to do "Borat 2" to help the US avert a second Trump term. A number of his undercover character scenes made him fear for his life, particularly the time he attended a pro-gun Trump rally

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February

25

,

1:02 am

Source:

"Avatar: The Last Airbender" has been a smash hit for Nickelodeon since it was released in 2005. Its recent revival on Netflix rekindled old fanhoods and ignited new ones

ViacomCBS announced a new division at Nickelodeon (a ViacomCBS subsidiary) that is devoted to Avatar content

Beginning later this year, they will begin filming an animated film for it

Previous attempts to grow the Avatar brand have flopped -- most notably, the live-action film from 2010

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February

25

,

12:23 am

Source:

German beach volleyball duo Karla Borger and Julia Sude are refusing to participate in a tournament in Qatar next month due to its restrictive clothing rules

Qatar is restricting players from wearing bikinis on the court -- even though it will be 81 degrees (F)

Sude explained their move, "It is not about wearing little, it’s about not being able to do our job in our work clothes"

Borger and Sude have already qualified for the Olympics in Tokyo this summer

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February

25

,

12:21 am

Source:

A new report by Knight Frank ranked 30 countries by the level of net worth necessary to crack the top 1%

Monaco and Switzerland topped the list, and the US placed third, with Americans needing just over $4M to make the club

Russia came in last place, with about $400k necessary to make the cutoff

In China, you would need $850k to become a 1-percenter

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February

25

,

12:14 am

Source:

Thousands of goldfish now infest West Medical Lake in Washington State causing the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife a major headache

The goldfish, which researchers trace back to a handful of parent goldfish released by local pet owners, can weigh up to four pounds and be larger than a football

The cost to remove the goldfish from the lake will likely cost the state around $150,000

With their large appetites, the goldfish are wreaking havoc on the lake's ecosystem. They have cut the food supply of other fish in the lake

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February

25

,

12:10 am

Source:

Legendary fashion designer Alexander Wang has been accused by at least 11 men of predatory behavior

In an interview with the BBC this week, one accuser said Wang assaulted him at a club in NYC

Others accused him of drugging their drinks and leveraging his power and status to abuse students and young models

"These accusations are untrue and are fueled by solely opportunistic motives," Wang said

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February

24

,

11:48 pm

Source:

The FDA ruled that the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine is safe and effective, paving the way for a 3rd vaccine to be distributed in the US

The vaccine appeared 66.1% effective at preventing moderate-to-severe Covid, and appears to slow the virus' spread

The rate of vaccinations is set to dramatically increase. The J&J shot requires just 1 dose, unlike the Pfizer and Moderna ones, which require 2

As many as 40M doses may be distributed across the US as soon as next week

Want to know more?
No items found.

February

24

,

11:41 pm

Source:

Democrats, who control the House, are looking to pass the next Covid stimulus as soon as Friday. It will then head to the Senate

The bill includes $1.9T in funds for $1400 individual checks, $400 weekly unemployment payments, vaccinations, testing, and state and local government relief

The bill also includes a section that would raise the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2025, although that is unlikely to pass the Senate

The last stimulus bill's unemployment benefits expire on March 14, adding urgency to the current debate

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February

24

,

11:22 pm

Source:

The GameStop saga isn't quite over, with the stock jumping over 100% yesterday

Driving the jump was a shake-up at the company. On Tuesday, GameStop announced that the company's CFO was resigning

Trading of the stock was stopped yesterday after it jumped 103.9%. After the market closed, it jumped another 83%

GameStop is reportedly replacing its CFO with someone with a tech background in an attempt to boost the struggling company's online sales

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