In The News.

No Bull With Raging Robert.

Pacific Power Play

A surprise defense pact between the US, the UK, and Australia has led to strained relations between the group of countries and France, according to reports yesterday.

Negotiated largely in secret, the trilateral agreement — known as the AUKUS pact — will see the countries share defense capabilities, military intelligence, and more. Analysts view the deal as a move to counter China’s rising influence through an Atlantic and Indo-Pacific partnership.

Notably, Australia will develop a fleet of nuclear-powered subs based on US and UK technology. The announcement reportedly preempts a preexisting multibillion-dollar contract between France and Australia to develop a similar fleet. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called the move a betrayal of trust and a “stab in the back.”

China’s 2021 defense budget totaled roughly $210B, up about 7% year-over-year, compared to $704B in spending by the US.

Gabby Petito Search

Police officers from Moab, Utah, released bodycam footage yesterday of 22-year-old Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito recorded during a domestic violence call, weeks before she was officially reported missing. Petito had been on an east-to-west cross-country trip with her fiancé Brian Laundrie, 23, but was reported missing Sept. 11–10 days after Laundrie returned home alone.

The footage shows officers interacting with a visibly distraught Petito accompanied by Laundrie (view here). According to the witness, Petito slapped Laundrie during an argument and then climbed through the car window as if she had been locked out of the car. Petito told the responding officer that she struggled with mental health due to anxiety and arguments with Laundrie.

Petito’s last known location was Aug. 25 in Grand Teton National Park. Laundrie has been named as a person of interest but has been accused of refusing to assist in the investigation.

Roughly 2,000 missing person cases go unsolved each year in the US.

Pandemic Stretches On

Reported COVID-19 deaths in the US continue to rise, with the rolling seven-day average just under 1,900 per day. About one-third of the deaths come from Texas (325 per day) and Florida (302). The US has reported roughly 670,000 total COVID-19 deaths; globally, the figure is approaching 4.7 million (see data).

While deaths continue to rise, total current hospitalizations — typically a predictor of the future death rate — have dropped to 90,000, down about 10% from the beginning of the month.

About 74% of Americans aged 12 and older have received at least one vaccine dose. Vaccines are not yet authorized for those under 12, a group that makes up about 15% of the US population. Officials say a vaccine for those ages 5 to 11 may be available by late October.

On the science side, an analysis suggests that thousands of people are infected with SARS-like zoonotic diseases — viruses that jump from animal to human — but don’t spark widespread outbreaks. The analysis may help identify localized regions where a next potential pandemic may emerge.

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In partnership with Future Acres


The world’s population continues to grow rapidly — and with that, we’ll need to increase and improve the yield from our agricultural industries. In order to feed 10 billion people by 2050, farmers will need to increase food production by up to 70%.

And what better way to do so than with robots? Future Acres is creating the autonomous farm tools of tomorrow. Their first robot, Carry, is designed to transport crops more efficiently — and is estimated to increase farm efficiency by 30%. Such a boost to output means Carry can pay for itself in only 80 days, and provide farmers with up to $13,500 in efficiency gain per Carry per season. Better yet, Future Acres recently secured a $24M commercial partnership to deploy 400 Carry companion robots over the next five years.

If you’re interested in investing in autonomous, clean, and reliable technology in the agriculture industry, Future Acres and Carry could be the opportunity for you. Learn more about their investment offering and the $30B+ AgTech market before the round closes Oct. 8.

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Primetime Emmy’s return Sunday (8 pm ET, CBS) with comedian Cedric the Entertainer hosting (More) | See predictions for all major categories (More)

> Jane Powell, Golden Age of Hollywood actress, dies at 92 (More) | Joel Rapp, sitcom writer known for “Gilligan’s Island,” dies at 87 (More)

> Mayim Bialik, Ken Jennings tapped to host “Jeopardy!” for rest of 2021 while show looks for permanent host (More) | British media personality Piers Morgan signs global deal with Fox News (More)

Science & Technology

> SpaceX’s Inspiration4 splashdown scheduled off the Florida coast tomorrow; mission was the first to take an all-civilian crew to space (More)

> Australia’s 2019–20 wildfires unleashed an estimated 700 million tons of carbon dioxide, but up to 95% of emissions were offset by absorption of smoke plumes by phytoplankton in the Southern Ocean (More)

> Tooth analysis of Bronze Age skeletons suggests milk and dairy helped fuel the rapid expansion of the nomadic Yamnaya culture across Eurasia roughly 5,000 years ago (More)

Business & Markets

Brought to you by The Ascent

> US retail sales increased a better-than-expected 0.7% in August, following a drop in July; weekly jobless claims increased over last week’s pandemic-era low to 332,000 (More)

> World Bank Group cancels annual “Doing Business” report, rating the business environment of countries, after an investigation concluded top officials pressured writers to improve China’s ranking in 2017 (More)

> Chat app Discord raises $500M at a $15B valuation; company’s 150 million monthly users are largely video gamers, but the platform is expanding into other communities (More)

From our partners: No hoops, just cash back. This credit card offers unlimited 2% cash rewards, the highest rate The Ascent has come across with no restrictions or hoops to jump through. Earn a sizable cash rewards sign-up bonus with qualifying purchases in your first three months and bring home the cash back.

Politics & World Affairs

> Grand jury indicts attorney Michael Sussmann of lying to the FBI; charge is part of the probe led by special counsel John Durham into origins of the FBI investigation of Russian election interference in 2016 (More)

> Border encounters reach 209,000 in August, officials report; figure is lower than July but far higher than in previous years (More) | An estimated 10,000 migrants, mostly Haitian, huddle under Texas bridge after crossing the US-Mexico border (More)

> Security fence reinstalled around the US Capitol building ahead of Saturday rally; event is expected to draw less than 1,000 people (More) | Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R, OH-16), one of 10 House Republicans to vote for Trump impeachment, announces retirement (More)


The Power of Rituals

BBC Future | Karan Johnson. New research suggests cultural and individual rituals have a powerful impact on human psychology. (Read)

Who Shot Walker Daugherty?

Texas Monthly | Wes Ferguson. A shootout at a Texas hunting lodge was framed as an ambush by a gang of Mexican migrants — but the truth was much more complicated. (Read)

When Is It OK To Lie?

No Stupid Questions | Rebecca Lee Douglas. (Podcast) When is it OK to tell a small, medium, or big lie — and how many times a day? (Listen)

Experienced Cops Reduce Crime

City Journal | Robert VerBruggen. A working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests an approach to reducing violent crime. (Read)


In partnership with Future Acres

Supply of farm labor in the US is dropping. In California alone, a majority of farmers have reported labor shortages in the past five years, which is estimated to cause $3.1B per year of losses in crop production.

Future Acres is determined to provide farmers with an extra set of hands — sorry — wheels. Their autonomous robot, Carry, transports crops across farms, resulting in an estimated 30% increase in farm efficiency. You can invest in Future Acres before Oct. 8 — so check out how Carry works and what it could mean for the future of agriculture.

Please support our sponsors!


Rolling Stone’s (updated) ranking of the 500 best songs ever.

China, Bing, France, Duck Duck Go, Joe Biden, Covid 19, Tik Toc, Manhattan College, Info Gram, Harvey School Baseball, Metropolitan Playhouse, Nimbus Magazine, Times Square Chronicles, LinkedIn.



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robert massimi

Drama critic for Nimbus Magazine, Metropolitan Magazine and New York Lifestyles Magazine. Producer, editor and writer.