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Happy Tuesday and Happy Lunar New Year. Today marks the first day in the year of the Tiger, representing strength and braveness. Go get ‘em this year! We are cheering you on!

credit: giphy

In Case You Missed It. 

🧩 The New York Times has bought Wordle, the word puzzle game that went viral this year.

🇧🇷 Massive landslides in Brazil claimed at least 19 lives and displaced over 500,000 families last weekend.

🇰🇵 North Korea confirmed that it successfully tested a long-range missile, capable of traveling approximately 500 miles.

🇷🇴 The New York Times is suing the State Department to obtain emails between Romanian embassy officials and Hunter Biden.

Covid Update 😷:

  • Japanese study shows that ivermectin did show an “antiviral treatment” against Omicron and other Covid variants. Ivermectin has been used in Japan as a treatment against Covid since last summer.
  • new study shows that people with asthma, autoimmune conditions and unhealthy gut bacteria are more at risk for long Covid.
  • Finland will end all Covid restrictions next month.
  • Pfizer may soon make recommendations to the FDA for children under 5 to get the Covid vaccine.
  • The city of Denver will lift indoor mask and vaccine mandates this week.

MARKETS

Bitcoin

$38,223.05

Ethereum

$2,734.10

Solana

$105.55

Dow

35,131.86

S&P

4,515.55

Nasdaq

14,239.88

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00 am ET. 

  • Markets: The S&P and Nasdaq wrapped up their worst month since March 2020 as cryptos bounced back nicely.

The Lead: EPA Returns to Work

credit: getty

The Environmental Protection Agency has reclaimed its right to regulate toxins from coal and oil-fired power plants. This was something former President Donald Trump had nullified because he said that regulators made mistakes when making their mandates.

Now the EPA says it will regulate again against mercury, lead, arsenic and other toxins released into the environment.

“Sound science makes it clear that we need to limit mercury and toxins in the air to protect children and vulnerable communities from dangerous pollution,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

This proposal should face no resistance from President Biden. He has taken a lot of heat for not acting quickly or decisively enough on the environment. This is something but like most climate actions, not nearly enough.

Meanwhile in Europe, countries are ditching nuclear power at a time when power supplies are crunched, causing a bit of a desperate scramble for clean alternatives.

What is Mexican Food Anyway?

the vivo mexican chop salad credit: getty

Does adding black beans and cheese to a dish make it “Mexican”? That is what one court in Las Vegas must decide.

A Mexican restaurant in a strip mall had a clause in its lease that the landlord could not rent to another restaurant if it served Mexican or Tex-Mex food as 10% or more of its menu. The neighboring restaurant is a salad shop that started selling a “Mexico Chop” salad and “Santa Fe” chopped salad and that was the avocado heard round the world. A court battle was launched and now a judge must decide: what exactly makes a dish Mexican?

Purists take issue with the cheddar cheese in the salads. Mexicans do not use cheddar cheese. Cheddar is English. Others say that even a “burrito bowl” should be disqualified because that dish was created by Chipotle in Colorado.

Neither restaurant seems willing to budge so the case will go to trial in August.

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ScoreMaster

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The Snowless Olympics

credit: getty

The first events for the Winter Olympic games are tomorrow but there is no snow, which you kind of need to host, say, downhill ski competitions. Beijing has had to rely on snow machines for outdoor events.

recent report shows that most cities that have hosted Olympics in the past will not be able to do so again due to climate change. Winters are less severe, happening later and ending earlier around the globe. In fact, of the previous 21 Winter Olympic cities, only ONE would be able to host again due to the reliability of conditions.

According to the Associated Press, “The International Olympic Committee says it will contractually obligate future hosts to be climate positive. The Beijing Games are supposed to be climate neutral; all venues are expected to be powered by renewable energy, and four ice rinks will use natural CO2 technology for cooling, replacing the hydrofluorocarbons that do more damage to the ozone.”

Still, winter athletes worry that the writing is on the wall for their sports.

Mikaela Shiffrin, two-time Olympic ski champion, told the New York Times: “I’m worried about my sport’s future but, really way beyond that, just worried about all our futures and how much time we have before it all truly catches up with us.”

I once saw people try to downhill ski on dirt in a Warren Miller film. It’s not the same.

Sorry Not Sorry

drone strike credit: reuters

The Pentagon says that it is going to try to do better at not killing civilians when it launches attacks. In a new directive, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin lays out a plan to come up with a plan.

The directive says that Austin has requested a report on civilian casualties within 90 days. That report is supposed to make some recommendations on how to minimize such things. It is also supposed to “establish a civilian protection center of excellence to better expedite and institutionalize the advancement of our knowledge, practices, and tools for preventing, mitigating, and responding to civilian harm.”

Translation: we can’t be caught hiding these things any more. Show of hands: Who here feels better now that the Pentagon has this plan to make a plan?

News By The Numbers

16. That is how many parties British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attended during lockdowns in his country. That is 16 more than the law allowed and police are investigating, according to a new report. He said he was sorry but the sentiment in the UK is: Apology not accepted.

5.3%. That is how much the U.S. stocks lost in value in January. That is not a huge loss but feels like it since the market had been booming like a party until recently.

73,300. That is how many species of trees there are on earth, according to researchers. That is 14% more than previously estimated. Apparently 9,000 of them have yet to be discovered.

#1. That is where the Encanto song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” has landed itself on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has been climbing the charts like a rocket with 34.9 million streams in the U.S. last week.

What’s Trending?

giphy.gif credit: bloomberg

Vaseline is trending because of a new TikTok trend called “slugging.” It means that you slather your face in Vaseline before going to bed. This is not new people. My Grandma Honey had this one on lock since the 1940s.

Des Moines is trending because of this Tweet from author Liza Cameron Wasser asking if the average American knows what state the city is located. It turns out this is not exactly a fair question since four states have a city called Des Moines. The author will instead use Chicago as the location for her next book.

Happy Black History Month is trending because that kicks off today. Did you know that Black History Month has a different theme every year? This year the theme is Black Health and Wellness and the aim is to honor “the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birthworkers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora.”

Ted Cruz is trending because he says that President Biden’s commitment to choosing a Black woman for the Supreme Court is “offensive.” Maybe now is not a good time to say that? Reference above topic.

Woopi Goldberg is trending because she said that the Holocaust was not “about race.” She has since apologized on Twitter. The Holocost was about race.

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