The U.S. Army is ready to discharge over 3,300 soldiers over their refusal to get the covid vaccine. They will not be dishonorably discharged, however, so they will still be eligible for post-service retirements.
*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00am ET. .
Markets: More tech earnings offered up a mixed bag yesterday. Qualcomm saw massive demand for its chips with sales up 30%. Facebook (aka Meta) dropped 21% on news that Apple's iOS "no tracking" feature is hurting, not helping the company. Also, Facebook is not attracting new users which have long been the company's strongest asset. Clayton covered the earnings call in this video last night.
Were Covid lockdowns effective? In the words of Missy Elliott: “Is it worth it? Let me work it.” By work it, we mean the numbers.
A new study is claiming that all the lockdowns, social restrictions and masking measures throughout the world reduced Covid deaths by 0.2%. That’s not 2%. That’s 0.2%.
This comes out of Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health and the Study of Business Enterprise. The authors found that shelter-in-place orders were only slightly less effective at reducing deaths: 2.9% effective. That’s not an exciting number when you think about what we’ve all been through. The authors conclude: “While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted. In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”
This study has not been peer-reviewed and is raising some feathers, some accusing the authors of cherry-picking their data set.
Even if their analysis is off by a margin of error of +/- 10%, that would still be a shocking number! Less than 10% reduction in mortality for all the collateral damage? Increase in late-detection cancers, anxiety in children, lost economic costs… We have to begin to put Covid on the scale of opportunity costs now and really answer Missy Elliott: Is it worth it?
The United States has announced new rules for transgender athletes to compete in swimming competitions. The rules call for a 3-person medical panel to assess an athlete's biological advantage over other competitors. Transgender athletes will also be required to test for testosterone for 36 months.
According to the BBC, "USA Swimming cited data showing that the top-ranked female athlete in 2021 would on average be ranked below 536th on male events that year."
Indeed, how can a biological female compete with a person who has gone through male puberty and now has the benefit of a "larger cardiovascular system, 40% more upper body muscles mass, more fast-twitch muscle fiber, more oxygenated blood"? She can't.
Then again, a transgender person should enjoy competition and not be forced to compete with the gender they just left behind. Will the panel disqualify people who have been too far through the looking glass of puberty or send them back to their birth category? That hardly seems right either.
Would a thoughtful option be for transgender athletes to compete in their own category? If, by some estimates, 0.01% of the population is transgender, is that enough to create new categories?
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A new study shows that Americans are taking twice the amount of melatonin than they were a decade ago. This is the over-the-counter sleep aid. It helps one fall asleep but not necessarily stay asleep.
Melatonin gained popularity because it is marketed as "all natural." In fact, it was discovered in cow brains so, yeah, that's natural but… Most likely the stuff you buy at CVS is a synthetic version of that.
It may surprise you to know that there are no long-term studies on the safety of melatonin. There is some research that indicates that it is an endocrine disruptor so doctors are asking that you do not use it regularly but rather on one-off situations like jet lag. Which begs the question: Why ARE more people using it regularly? Why can't you sleep?
The Department of Defense says that a counterterrorism raid conducted in Syria on Thursday was successful and there were "no U.S. casualties."
A British monitoring group called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that there were nine civilian casualties though, including at least one woman and two children. Another group puts this number at 13.
The U.S. did not say who the target of this raid was and has not confirmed civilian deaths but this comes just days after the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that the military must try to do better to minimize casualties and be more forthcoming when they happen. So….? We're listening.
News By The Numbers
200. That is how many spine kabobs were found in Peru. That is, spinal bones threaded on sticks that are at least 500 years old.
21. That is how many babies a gynecologist in the Netherlands fathered by sperm donation to his patients seeking fertility treatment. The couples thought that the donors were anonymous.
$5.25. That is how much a Venti cappuccino costs at Starbucks in New York City but the coffee chain is set to increase prices due to inflation so that will likely go up. Would New Yorkers pay $10 for a cappuccino? Prolly.
12 feet. That is how high China's new reinforced border wall is. The country says it built the wall out of concerns for Covid.
Giselle Bunchen is trending because she posted this emotional and heart-felt tribute about her husband Tom Brady's retirement. Brady's retirement is no longer rumor, he confirmed it on Wednesday.
Brian Flores is trending because he has filed a lawsuit against the NFL. It is a a class-action lawsuit against the NFL and three teams — the Dolphins, the Broncos and the Giants — alleging they have engaged in racist and discriminatory practices against Black coaches. He was the head coach of the Dophins until 2021.
#DeleteFacebook is trending on Twitter, not on Facebook clearly. This is a reaction to Facebook's stock dive after the company's earnings report. The company reported a daily user loss for the first time in its history.
The Masked Singer is trending because the show unmasked Rudi Giuliani as the surprise celebrity guest. His presence upset hosts Ken Jeong and Robin Thicke so much that they walked off the live taping.
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