Ukraine Halts Kremlin Plot

Your unbiased daily news brief

Good morning and happy Wednesday! The iconic Swiss Army Knife is getting a big change. Victorinox, the firm that makes the multi-tool, said it is developing versions without a blade. Regulations on knives have become more stringent around the world, prompting the shift. Have a great day!

In Today’s Brief

  • Biden: Speech on antisemitism

  • Russia: Latest on detained U.S. soldier

  • Trump: Mistrial bid denied

  • FDIC: Scathing report

  • Disney: New Marvel plan

... and more

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Top Tips

1) Traitors thwarted

Ukraine says it stopped a Russian plan to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelensky.

  • What happened: A pair of Ukrainian security officers have been arrested on treason charges. The SBU, the Ukrainian security service, said the colonels were working with the Kremlin and planning to kill Zelensky.

  • The plot: The officers allegedly were paid by the Kremlin to take out Zelensky and other top Ukrainian officials. The officers were aiming to coerce Zelensky's bodyguards to participate; they allegedly received two drones and ammo from the Russian FSB to transfer to another accomplice.

  • Big picture: Zelensky has reportedly faced several assassination attempts and close calls since Russia invaded his country in 2022. But this is the first time the Kremlin has been found to have penetrated the upper levels of the Ukrainian security apparatus with double agents.

2) A concerning mess

A janitorial company received a heavy fine after it had kids working in unsafe conditions.

  • What happened: Fayette Janitorial Service employed two dozen children, some as young as 13, on overnight shifts at a pair of slaughterhouses. Federal law prohibits children from working cleaning and machinery jobs at slaughtering and meat packing facilities due to hazardous conditions.

  • Alarming findings: The Department of Labor levied a $650K fine and said the underaged workers "were used to clean dangerous kill floor equipment such as head splitters, jaw pullers, meat bandsaws, and neck clippers" at facilities in Iowa and Virginia. Fayette blamed fraudulent ID documents; it must now use a third party to prevent future incidents.

  • Big picture: There has been an uptick in illegal child labor in recent years. This is not the first such case; another sanitation service paid a $1.5M fine last year after minors worked in hazardous conditions and on overnight shifts.

3) Groundbreaking study

A new study aims to uncover why Black women die of cancer at higher rates than any other group.

  • The project: American Cancer Society announced it is launching the VOICES of Black Women study, the largest ever of its kind. The ACA's goal is to "better understand the multi-level drivers of cancer incidence, mortality and resilience within this demographic."

  • The plan: Black women ages 25-55 who have not been diagnosed with cancer will participate in the 30-year study. The ACA aims to have over 100K participants in 20 states and Washington D.C. -- a geographic footprint that encompasses 90% of the the Black women residing in the U.S.

  • Big picture: While Black women are less likely to be diagnosed with cancer than white women, they are far more likely to die within five years of a diagnosis. Breast cancer kills Black women at a 40% higher rate; cervical cancer has a 60% higher mortality rate in the demographic. Black women are twice as likely to die of endometrial cancer.

Quick Tips

U.S. News

  • President Joe Biden condemned a "ferocious surge" in antisemitism during a Holocause remembrace ceremony. He expressed concern people are "already forgetting" about Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel (More)

  • Two people and a dog died after a mobile home exploded in a Minnesota town an hour north of the Twin Cities. The blast was heard as far as 20 miles away; a tank shooting propane into the air was observed at the scene (More)

  • The final construction worker killed during the Baltimore bridge collapse was recovered. Six men perished when the Francis Scott Key Bridge fell in May (More)

World News

  • The U.S. soldier detained in Russia entered the country through China without permission, according to the Army. Staff Sgt. Gordon Black will be held until at least July 2 on theft charges (More)

  • At least seven people are dead after an apartment building collapsed in South Africa. The five-story structure in Cape Town was under construction; dozens remain trapped in the rubble (More)

  • The head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog said progress has been made in talks with Iran. The IAEA is aiming to get the country to agree to "tangible measures" in an effort to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons (More)

Campaign News

  • Former President Donald Trump's request for a mistrial in his criminal hush money case was rejected. Porn star Stormy Daniels was a surprise witness yesterday; she will return to the stand Thursday (More)

  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr. challenged Trump to a debate at the Libertarian Party Convention. The independent presidential candidate flirted with pursuing the party’s nomination; Trump has agreed to speak at the event (More)

  • A New York judge tossed an abortion rights amendment off the state's November ballot. Democrats plan to appeal the ruling; the measure could impact turnout amid several competitive House races (More)

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes closed mixed yesterday. The Dow Jones rose for the fifth straight day (Dow +0.08%, Nasdaq -0.10%, S&P 500 +0.13%).

  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. management did little to address its toxic workplace environment, according to an independent investigation. The probe found bullying, discrimination and rampant sexual harassment; FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg was found to have behaved improperly (More)

  • TikTok is suing to block a law requiring Chinese parent company ByteDance to divest or see the platform banned. The social media app company says the legislation is unconstitutional and violates the First Amendment right to free speech (More)

Entertainment & Sports

  • Disney will cap new Marvel projects each year to improve quality. CEO Bob Iger said there will be an annual limit of three movies and two Disney+ shows; Deadpool and Wolverine is the only Marvel film planned this year (More)

  • A bodyguard was seriously injured after a drive-by shooting outside Drake's home in Toronto. Police said they could not speak to a motive; the rapper is embroiled in a public feud with Kendrick Lamar (More)

  • WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said the league's teams will travel by charter flight starting this season. It will cost the league about $25M in each of the next two years (More)

Quick Hitters

  • Real Heroes: A British couple in their 80s has fostered over 150 children. They have no plans to stop helping as long as their health allows.

  • Be Safe: Ford has recalled over 242K Mavericks made in 2022-24. The cars have a faulty taillight.

  • Smart Spending: Grocery store hopping has become a new national sport. Customers are leveraging different brands and chains to get the best prices as inflation lingers.

  • Go Deep: The United Kingdom's controversial plan to deport migrants to Rwanda is now underway. Here is everything you need to know about it.

  • Life Hack: It happens to everyone -- a favorite mug gets a stubborn stain on the inside. Here is how to clean it up like new.

  • 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 …

Discovery+ will release a two-part documentary about Taylor Swift's famous feud with Scooter Braun later this year. Taylor Swift vs Scooter Braun: Bad Blood will examine the battle between the pop star and the producer over her masters; it will begin streaming on June 7.

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