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China Tries For Lunar Breakthrough

Your unbiased daily news brief

Good morning and happy Monday. We hope you had a great weekend! So how old is the world's oldest restaurant? Likely much older than you would have thought. St. Peter Stiftskulinarium in Salzburg, Austria, claims it has been serving food for well over a millennium. Have a great day!

In Today’s Brief

  • Ohio: Mass shooting at party

  • Iran: Ex-president resurfaces

  • Manchin: Leaves Democratic Party

  • Nippon Steel: Wants merger approval

  • PBS: Legendary producer dies

... and more

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Top Tips

1) Far out

China is trying to make history on the moon.

  • The news: The Chang'e-6 lunar lander touched down on the dark side of the moon yesterday. It is China's most complex lunar mission to date. China previously put the Chang'e-4 lander on the dark side in 2019. The uncrewed rover will attempt to collect lunar samples from the far side and return them to Earth -- something that has never been done.

  • Next steps: The lander will only be on the moon for a few days before returning to Earth, with just 14 hours to collect soil and rock with a drill and mechnical arm. If successful, those samples could provide insights into the origin of the moonand how it has evolved.

  • Big picture: China is bidding to become a force in space, and a successful mission would boost those aspirations. It wants to put humans on the moon by 2030 -- the U.S. plans to return in 2026 with a Japanese astronaut becoming the first non-American on the lunar surface -- and it wants to build a research base on the moon's south pole, where scientists believe water exists.

2) A deal?

An Israeli official said the country has begrudgingly agreed to a Gaza ceasefire proposal.

  • The news: Ophir Falk, who is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's top foreign policy advisor, told the UK's Sunday Times that Israel had accepted a plan laid out by President Joe Biden on Friday, but "it’s not a good deal." He also reiterated Israel's conditions to end the war remain the release of all hostages and the destruction of Hamas.

  • Mixed signals: Biden said Israel had pitched a three-step proposal that included freeing all hostages and an eventual complete ceasefire in Gaza. But Israel has yet to take an official position, Netanyahu reiterated ceasefire remains "a non-starter" without certain conditions and now Falk has suggested the plan was not Israel's idea from the start.

  • Big picture: National Security Spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. expects Israel to accept the deal if Hamas agrees as well. Netanyahu faces an immense domestic political challenge  -- over 100K protesters in Tel Aviv demanded a ceasefire while members of his far-right governing coalition have threatened to collapse the government if he accepts the ceasefire.

3) Next up

The presidential election is headed back to the courtroom.

  • The news: Hunder Biden's trial on felony federal gun charges begins today in Wilmington, Delaware. The trial is expected to take 1-2 weeks. He is the first child of a sitting president to face a criminal trial.

  • The case: Biden, now 54, allegedly illegally purchased and possessed a gun while addicted to drugs. The Department of Justice says he lied on an ATF form. While he has been public about struggles with alcohol and crack cocaine addictions, Biden has pleaded not guilty to all three charges. He says he has been sober since 2019.

  • Big picture: The federal government is expected to call three of Biden's former partners as witnesses, including Hallie Biden -- the widow of President Biden's late son Beau who then had a relationship with his brother. Testimony could be embarrassing for the Biden family and the re-election campaign; the trial will also be contrasted with former President Donald Trump's criminal conviction by Republicans. Hunter Biden also faces a tax evasion trial this fall.

Quick Tips

U.S. News

  • Twenty-five people were shot and one killed after a mass shooting at a party in Akron, Ohio, early yesterday. Two victims are in critical condition; there had been no arrests as of last night (More)

  • Water pressure began to return to Atlanta and nearby neighborhoods yesterday. A pair of water main breaks on Friday caused a two-day outage; most of the city remained under an order to boil water before drinking it (More)

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci will testify on Capitol Hill today. It will be the former NIAID director's first congressional appearance since retiring; he will be grilled by House Republicans about alleged misconduct at the agency during his tenure (More)

World News

  • Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants his old job back. The hardliner has registered to run in the election to replace late former President Ebrahim Raisi; Ahmadinejad needs to be approved as a candidate by the country's Guardian Council, which has barred him in the past (More)

  • North Korea pledged to stop launching trash-filled balloons into South Korea. The South's government pledged "unbearable" retaliation before to the North's announcement; it is not clear if that will change plans (More)

  • Exit polls indicated Claudia Sheinbaum was elected as Mexico’s new president. The scientist and former Mexico City Mayor will be the nation’s first female head of state (More)

Campaign News

  • West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has left the Democratic Party and become a registered independent. The retiring lawmaker will continue to caucus with the Democrats; Manchin previously flirted with a third-party presidential bid (More)

  • RNC Co-Chairwoman Lara Trump refused to confirm party support for Larry Hogan's Senate run in Maryland. The state's popular former GOP governor said Americans should respect the outcome of former President Trump's hush money trial (More)

  • Trump's campaign has joined TikTok. The former president is using the @realdonaldtrump handle on the social media app; Trump once called for the platform to be banned (More)

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes closed mixed on Friday. The Dow had its best day of the year, jumping over 570 points (Dow +1.51%, Nasdaq -0.01%, S&P 500 +0.80%).

  • Nippon Steel is willing to sell assets to gain approval for its $15B U.S. Steel takeover plan. The Japanese steelmaker continues to face fierce resistance in Washington; it has secured all other clearances to finalize the deal (More)

  • Skydance Media has revised its bid to buy Paramount Global. The company is now offering $15 per non-voting share, which would be about a 25% premium on Friday's closing price of just under $12 (More)

Entertainment & Sports

  • Former PBS executive Jac Venza died at 97. The producer introduced performings arts content to public television and pioneered programs like Live from Lincoln Center; he once held the record for most individual Emmy Award nominations (More)

  • Mike Tyson's Netflix boxing match against Jake Paul on July 20 has been postponed. The former world heavyweight champion must address an ulcer issue; a new date is expected this week (More)

  • Real Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund, 2-0, in the Champions League final at London's Wembley Stadium. It was the 15th time the Spanish club has won the annual tournament, which features Europe's best professional soccer clubs (More)

Quick Hitters

  • Feel Good: A New Zealand man now living in the U.S. was unable to travel home for his beloved grandmother's funeral. His co-workers learned the haka dance in secret to honor her for him.

  • True Crime: A carpenter in Virginia twice had tools stolen out of his truck, so he put an AirTag with them. When they were stolen a third time, he was able to track them down -- and break up a multi-million dollar tool theft ring.

  • Deal Diehards: David and Susan Schwartz have visited over 250 Costco locations in 14 countries, and their experiences and research have been compiled into a book.

  • Go Deep: When did calorie counting become a popular diet technique? The practice is over a century old, dating back to 1918 when Dr. Lulu Hunt Peters, one of America's first celebrity doctors, introduced it.

  • Life Hack: New research has found destruction can go a long way toward curbing anger. Just keep it within reason, like "tearing" up your feelings.

  • OPTIMIZE ME: Researchers “found convincing evidence that higher intake of ultra-processed foods was associated with 50% increased risk of cardiovascular disease-related death, a 48% to 53% higher risk of anxiety and common mental disorders, and a 12% greater risk of type 2 diabetes.”

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Looking Ahead …

The first crewed mission of the Boeing Starliner spacecraft was scratched again on Saturday, this time with minutes to go before takeoff. A computer glitch was to blame; the earliest the next attempt will be is Wednesday.

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