Good morning and happy Tuesday. The U.S. Senate will soon take on a controversial bill about ... whole milk. The House has already passed legislation to change existing standards and allow whole milk to be served in schools for the first time in over a decade. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture is pushing back, arguing the bill would be an end-around on its authority and create a concerning precedent. Stay tuned and have a great day!
In Today’s Brief
California: Work stoppage hits universities
Israel: Proposes pause deal to Hamas
New Hampshire: Trump win expected
Dow Jones: Closes above 38K for first time
Oscars: Nominations announced today
1) Biden’s border win
The Supreme Court handed President Joe Biden's administration a temporary victory in its border security feud with the state of Texas.
The ruling: The high court voted 5-4 to allow U.S. Border Patrol agents to remove razor-wire fencing placed by the state at the border with Mexico while pending litigation proceeds. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined the court's three liberal justices to form the majority.
Next steps: The matter will return to the Fifth Circuit of Appeals in New Orleans, which initially ruled federal agents could not remove the fencing. Texas says the fencing is on private land and was placed with permission.
Big picture: Border security is a significant election-year issue for Biden. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's policies and proposed new laws have led to significant confrontations with federal authorities, including the controversial recent drowning of three migrants in the Rio Grande.
2) Lake effect woe
President Biden's standing in Michigan is a major concern for the Democratic Party with just under 10 months until Election Day.
The numbers: Biden trailed former President Donald Trump, the favorite to be the Republican nominee, by eight points in a recent Detroit News head-to-head poll. Biden won the state by about 3% in 2020 after Trump narrowly won it in 2016.
The issues: Biden's approach to Israel's war against Hamas could be a political liability with Michigan's large Arab-American community. The United Auto Workers have refrained from endorsing the president so far. And he appears to be losing ground with other key constituencies.
Big picture: A Michigan flip could swing the Electoral College to Trump (or any Republican nominee). Democrats are also worried about down-ballot elections with a competitive Senate race expected. The state GOP's internal turmoil could also be a complicating factor.
3) Forever rising
The hike: A forever first-class stamp is now 68 cents, climbing up from 66 cents. Other postage levels have seen increases. The Postal Service said the changes are due to inflation.
Up and up: USPS data says stamp rates typically increased 3-4 times a decade in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. This is the third increase in 12 months and the 18th since 2000.
Big picture: The Postal Service projected a net loss of $6.5B for its fiscal year last November and it handles far fewer pieces of mail each year. So rates will likely continue to rise. A forever stamp was 41 cents when first introduced in 2007.
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Almost 30K California State University system faculty members and employees launched a week-long strike yesterday. The work stoppage comes after union leaders rejected a recent contract offer (More)
President Biden believes Russia could defeat Ukraine within weeks if U.S. aid does not continue. He reportedly told congressional leaders of his concern during a White House meeting last week (More)
Dexter Scott King died at 62. The youngest son of Martin Luther King Jr. succumbed to prostate cancer at his Malibu home; he was the chairman of The King Center and president of the King estate (More)
Israel has proposed a two-month fighting pause if Hamas will free all remaining hostages in Gaza. The deal, presented through Egypt and Qatar, would not be an agreement to end the war (More)
Canada will cap the number of international students admitted into the country for two years. A 35% cut in study visas is designed to alleviate healthcare and housing pressure (More)
Russia became China's largest oil supplier last year, surpassing Saudi Arabia. Russia sold over 100M tons of oil to China and send almost 500K more barrels per day than the Saudis (More)
The New Hampshire primaries are today. Donald Trump has a double-digit lead on former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in most recent GOP polls; President Biden is favored to win the Democratic race via write-in (More)
Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses will have a joint campaign event today for the first time this year. They will appear at a reproductive rights rally in Virginia (More)
OpenAI banned the developer of an artificial intelligence bot imitating Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips, who has mounted a primary challenge against Biden. It is the first known political restriction by the ChatGPT creator (More)
Business & Markets
Major indexes closed higher yesterday as the Dow Jones closed above 38K for the first time. The S&P 500 grew its all-time high (Dow +0.36%, Nasdaq +0.32%, S&P 500 +0.22%).
Macy's rejected a $5.8B deal to take the department store chain private. The company could now face a hostile takeover attempt amid recent layoffs and store closings (More)
Rumble's stock price jumped 36% and its valuation rose over $500M after it announced a partnership with Barstool Sports. The anti-censorship video platform is backed by billionaire Peter Thiel (More)
Entertainment & Sports
The 2024 Academy Award nominations will be announced today. Oppenheimer is expected to be the most-nominated film at the March 10 ceremony (More)
Chicago Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg announced he has metastatic prostate cancer. The Hall of Fame second baseman managed the Philadelphia Phillies after his playing career (More)
Norman Jewison, who directed In the Heat of the Night, Moonstruck and other films, died at 97. The Canadian-born director received an Oscar for lifetime achievement in 1999 and was a three-time nominee for his work (More)
Feel Good: When a fan in need called into a Pittsburgh sports talk radio station, a fellow listener responded. Here is how a host helped a disabled woman find help clearing her snow-covered driveway.
Be Safe: Those charging kiosks at airports and hotels may be handy, but use them cautiously. Hackers are now manipulating them to upload malware and gain access to personal devices for cybercrime. USB-only ports are particularly dangerous; experts say you should only plug into power outlets when possible.
Take Note: Not every bell pepper is built the same. While all colors are considered healthy foods, the red bell pepper is the most nutrient-rich. Since they are the ripest variety, they have had more time to develop antioxidants and vitamins.
Life Hack: There are better ways than napping or watching TV to give your brain a much-needed rest. Active rest activities -- like taking a walk -- are preferable to more passive activities, according to researchers.
Get Healthy: Pop quiz: What’s the body’s most abundant protein? The answer: Collagen. NativePath's Certified Grass-Fed Collagen Powder is made from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows and contains 18 grams of protein per suggested serving. Start incorporating it daily to support skin elasticity, joint health, bone strength, and muscle growth and maintenance.*
Netflix released a trailer for its upcoming series Ripley, a new take on the novel The Talented Mr. Ripley. Andrew Scott plays the title character; John Malkovich is among the cast.
Looking Ahead …
Can you go a month without your smartphone? If so, a yogurt company might give you $10K. Siggy's Dairy is accepting applications for a digital detox promotion where 10 people will lock their phone in a box in return for the cash, a flip phone and three months of product.
Which team has the best chance to win the Super Bowl?