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Europe Shakes Off Soccer Terror Threats

Your unbiased daily news brief

Good morning and happy Wednesday. If you have a bunch of loose change somewhere, go through it before dumping it into a machine for cash. Some coins may be worth much more than Uncle Sam has designated. Have a great day!

In Today’s Brief

  • Arizona: Abortion ban ruling

  • Peter Higgs: Physicist dies at 94

  • New poll: Biden leads Trump

  • Costco: A gold rush

  • Renee Zellweger: Bridget Jones return

... and more

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Top Tips

1) Play on

The Champions League is holding its quarterfinal round as scheduled despite terror threats connected to the Islamic State.

  • What happened: A media outlet that supports IS published threats against venues in major European cities holding games yesterday and today. The continent is on high alert following the recent terroist attack on a Moscow concert hall.

  • The response: UEFA said it was aware of the threats, but the contests involving elite professional soccer teams in London, Madrid and Paris would not be postponed. Government ministers in France and Spain said extra security measures would be taken.

  • Big picture: Western governments have said there is an increased risk for terror attacks targeting large gatherings. The Champions League ties are the start of a busy summer in Europe, with Paris hosting the Olympics and Taylor Swift touring the continent starting in May.

2) Make it happen

The major networks are putting in a word for democracy -- and for their own ratings.

  • The news: ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, and NBC reportedly plan to send an open letter asking President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump to agree to televised debates before Election Day. The networks are still finalizing the language and hope to get other outlets to sign on.

  • State of play: The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates has already scheduled three presidential debates and a vice presidential debate for September and October. Trump has said he will debate Biden after refusing to attend Republican primary debates; Biden has not committed to participating.

  • Big picture: Since 1976, there has been at least one televised debate between major party candidates in each election year. If independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy can draw 15% in national polls and qualify for enough state ballots to have a mathematical chance at winning the Electoral College, he would be eligible to debate according to CPD bylaws.

3) More turbulence

When it rains, it pours for Boeing.

  • The news: The beleaguered aviation giant has a new crisis. The FAA is investigating a whistleblower's allegations of safety concerns with two jet models. The whistleblower also said he was the target of retaliation after speaking out.

  • The claims: Boeing engineer Sam Salehpour has accused the company of production shortcuts with its 777 and 787 Dreamliner jets. He says the flaws could cause catastrophe as the planes age. He made his claim to federal officials in January; a Senate subcommittee has scheduled a hearing for next week.

  • Big picture: This new claim comes amid several in-flight safety incidents involving Boeing aircraft, specifically the 737 jet. An Air Canada flight on that model made an emergency landing in Idaho yesterday due to a warning light.

Quick Tips

U.S. News

  • Arizona's Supreme Court ruled a near-total abortion ban from the 1860s should be followed. It will restrict all abortions in the state unless a mother's life is at risk; Attorney General Kris Mayes said she will not enforce the law, which predates Arizona's statehood (More)

  • Norfolk Southern will pay $600M to businesses and residents within 20 miles of the 2023 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. The class-action settlement payout is only about $6K per person; courts must still approve the deal (More)

  • House Republicans will delay sending articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate. Senate Democrats are expected to dismiss the claims without a trial (More)

World News

  • British physicist Peter Higgs died at 94. The Nobel Prize-winning scientist developed the concept of the Higgs boson or "God" particle, which explains how the universe is bound together (More)

  • Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin rejected accusations Israel has committed genocide in Gaza. He said there is no evidence to support the allegations while testifying before a Senate committee (More)

  • Former President Trump has expressed interest in visiting Ukraine, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump has been invited through intermediaries, but no date is set (More)

Campaign News

  • President Biden has a four-point lead on former President Trump in a new national poll commissioned by Reuters and Ipsos. Biden is up 41% to Trump's 37%; 22% of respondents were undecided, leaning toward a third candidate or may not vote (More)

  • Fundraising for Senate candidates has exploded in recent years, according to a new analysis. Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown raised $12M in for his competitive re-election bid in Q1; most candidates spent that much on their entire race 20 years ago (More)

  • A California appeals court said Vince Fong can run in two elections this fall. The Republican can seek the House seat vacated by former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy while also running for re-election to the state legislature (More)

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes closed mixed yesterday. Wall Street is bracing for today's new inflation report (Dow -0.02%, Nasdaq +0.32%, S&P 500 +0.14%).

  • Costco is selling up to $200M worth of gold a month, according to a Wells Fargo analysis. The big-box retailer is selling 1oz bars made mostly of 24-karat gold at slightly above market rate (More)

  • Samsung expects its operating profit to skyrocket 900% in Q1 and approach $5B. The South Korean tech giant had a rough 2023 as demand for consumer devices and computer chips waned (More)

Entertainment & Sports

  • Renee Zellweger will star in a fourth Bridget Jones film, tentatively titled Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy. The first three films have generated over $750M at the box office; Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson will also return (More)

  • WWE’s WrestleMania 40 was the most-streamed entertainment event in Peacock history. Subscribers watched the two-night professional wrestling show for a total of 1.3B viewing minutes (More)

  • Francis Ford Coppola's self-funded Megalopolis will debut at the Cannes Film Festival on May 17. The Godfather director's epic is reportedly having a hard time finding a distribution deal (More)

Quick Hitters

  • Have Fun: The New York Academy of Medicine Library makes thousands of coloring book pages available for free. The program is called #ColorOurCollections.

  • New Idea: It took 13 years, over 40 missions and $100B to build the International Space Station. A startup wants to replace it with a $200M inflatable.

  • Go Deep: How did the avocado become such a trendy (and pricy) fruit? It starts with a lucky break and some help from the NFL.

  • Take Note: Nosebleeds are no fun. But there are ways to make them less likely, especially when allergies or your surrounding environment causes them.

  • Life Hack: Long-haul flights typically end at a desired destination, the journey can be brutal. Here are some tips to better handle hours in the air.

  • 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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The harrowing tale of a family trying to escape North Korea.

Looking Ahead …

TikTok is launching an Instagram competitor. The popular (and controversial) social media platform is promoting an upcoming app for photo sharing; it will reportedly be named TikTok Notes.

Question of the Day

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Yesterday’s results:

What did you do for the solar eclipse?

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