No Bull With Raging Robert.
Thirteen US service members and at least 95 Afghans were killed in a pair of suicide attacks targeting the Kabul airport yesterday, where huge crowds have gathered over the past two weeks in the hopes of being evacuated by US and allied forces. At least 18 other US service members were injured, along with more than 140 Afghans, according to reports.
The attacks were believed to have been carried out by an Islamic State affiliate, known as ISIS-K (see background). The Taliban, who seized control of the country almost two weeks ago, had largely allowed the evacuations to proceed without attacks (though there were numerous reports of violence against Afghan citizens en route to the airport).
Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said the attack occurred at a checkpoint where troops physically inspected those attempting to depart the country. The measure is intended to prevent those with explosives from making it onto air transport. President Joe Biden said the US would avenge the attack, though no specifics were provided.
The presence of three distinct extremist groups — the Taliban, al-Qaida, and the Islamic State — is expected to complicate dynamics in the country moving forward. See the difference between each here.
Separately, officials said more than 95,000 people (soft paywall, Reuters), including both Americans and Afghan citizens, had been evacuated since Aug. 14. As of yesterday, there were an estimated 1,500 Americans left in the country.
Condo Collapse Report
The Miami-area condo building that collapsed in June had extensive signs of corrosion and improperly placed reinforcements, according to evidence revealed by federal investigators. Ninety-eight people were killed in the disaster, with almost a dozen others injured.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology said yesterday it would establish a team of experts to initiate a five-pronged study of the root causes of the incident. Preliminary data previously suggested the collapse was triggered when a ground floor pool deck collapsed, potentially precipitated by water leaks — allowed due to inadequate water-proofing — that led to structural corrosion (see diagram).
Federal officials also released new footage from the aftermath of the collapse (watch here).
Surge Down Under
Two of Australia’s biggest hospitals have been forced to set up emergency tents, overwhelmed by a flood of COVID-19 infections. The moves come as the country recorded more than 1,000 new cases in a single day, the first time the mark has been passed in Australia during the pandemic. See the country’s caseload trend here.
The surge and resulting lockdowns have forced the Australian government to reconsider its “COVID zero” policy (paywall, Economist) — an approach that effectively forces lockdowns until caseloads drop to zero.
North of Down Under, Japanese officials suspended the use of more than 1.6 million Moderna shots, citing potential material contamination.
In the US, the average of daily new cases has risen to 155,000 (see data). Almost 95,000 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, while the country is averaging about 1,200 deaths per day.
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In partnership with Piestro
A SLICE OF THE PIZZA MARKET
There’s a lot of dough in the pizza industry. In fact, the US pizza market will be worth an estimated $54B by 2023 (up from $46B today). Read on for an exciting investment opportunity and cheesy pizza puns.
Because of labor and real estate costs, traditional pizzerias have profit margins estimated at 22% on average. But Piestro is changing the game. They’ve designed a robotic pizzeria that makes pizza at a fraction of the cost of traditional pizzerias and boasts an impressive 48% projected profit margin. And they’re already off to the races. Piestro recently launched a partnership with global brand 800 Degrees Pizza — valued at approximately $530M — for a projected 3,600 Piestro units over the next five years. This is their second large commercial partnership in the past few months, which brings pre-orders to approximately $580M.
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IN THE KNOW
Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
Brought to you by The Ascent
> Paralympics: American teenagers Anastasia Pagonis, who has 2 million TikTok followers, and Gia Pergolini set world records; win gold in separate swimming events (More) | China and Great Britain lead medal count (More)
> Tina Tchen, CEO of Time’s Up, resigns over the organization’s prior connection to former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (More) | “Dancing With the Stars” to feature same-sex partners for first time (More)
> Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly nearing an agreement to transfer from Italian club Juventus to the Premier League’s Manchester City (More) | Real Madrid offering $212M to Paris Saint-Germain for young star Kylian Mbappé (More)
From our partners: This new credit card is a reward-seeker’s dream, offering 2% cash rewards on purchases (no more tracking categories) and a generous sign-up bonus. The Ascent’s independent team of experts is calling it one of the market’s best all-around cards. Learn more today.
Science & Technology
> Hacker responsible for the leak of data from at least 50 million T-Mobile customers goes public; 21-year-old American John Binns, now living in Turkey, said he gained entry via an unprotected router found on the company’s network (More)
> DNA recovered from a 7,000-year-old skeleton believed to be the first remains discovered from an ancient culture known as the Toaleans; group lived along an island chain in Indonesia (More)
> Australia’s invasive cane toads have developed highly cannibalistic tendencies over nine decades, study shows; research sheds light on the rapid evolution of such behavior in animals (More)
Business & Markets
> Connected exercise giant Peloton sees revenue growth slow, to cut price of exercise bike by just over 20% to $1,495; shares fall 6% in after-hours trading (More)
> Forbes to go public via a special purpose acquisition company valuing the company at $630M (More) | Politics publisher Politico to be acquired by German publisher Axel Springer for rumored $1B (More)
> Shares of electric truck maker Lordstown Motors soar 18% after auto industry executive named new CEO (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> US Supreme Court overturns Biden administration’s extension of a pandemic-era ban on evictions (More)
> Seven Capitol Police officers file suit against former President Donald Trump, political operative Roger Stone, and the “alt-right” groups the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers over their alleged role in the Jan. 6 storming of the US Capitol (More)
> Robert F. Kennedy killer Sirhan Sirhan attempts 16th parole hearing; prosecutors reportedly won’t challenge his release (More)
‘Was It Worth It?’
The Associated Press | Claire Galofaro, Russ Bynum. The mother of a fallen Marine struggles with the abrupt end to America’s war in Afghanistan. (Read)
Reuters | Staff. The final hours of photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, killed while reporting from the front lines of the fight against the Taliban. (Read)
Science News | Lisa Grossman. It’s been 15 years since Pluto’s status as the solar system’s ninth planet was revoked — and some fans are still sore. (Read)
How to Build an Island
Atlas Obscura | Alastair Bonnett. All that’s required to build an island is copious amounts of money and concrete. (Read)
LIGHTNING FAST ‘ZA
In partnership with Piestro
Piestro’s incredible robotic pizzeria can make the pizza of your dreams on-site in just three minutes. Imagine how much preparation and delivery time that could save you at the mall, university, or workplace.
With profit margins that more than double traditional independent pizzerias, Piestro could fundamentally change the way Americans eat pizza on-the-go. Take a look at their investment opportunity today.
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Visualizing how American’s spend their time each day.
The five most struck-by-lightning buildings in the US.
Celebrating National Dog Day.
Pair of 1,500-year-old skeletons found in an eternal love lock.
World War II vet reunites with rescued Italian children.
Chinese Olympian says her gold medal is peeling.
The world’s first 3-D printed Wagyu beef.
An Australian farmer pays a unique homage to his aunt.
Clickbait: Someone needs to claim this raw chicken suitcase.
Historybook: Krakatoa volcano eruption, among the largest in recorded history, kills around 40,000 (1883); President Lyndon B. Johnson born (1908); “Guinness Book of World Records” first published (1955); RIP W.E.B. Du Bois (1963); RIP American vaudevillian Gracie Allen (1964).
Broadway, Prezi, Bing, Duck Duck Go, www.nypost.com, Tik Toc, You Tube, Google, Instagram, Joe Biden, Afghanistan, Behance, Times Square Chronicles, Making A Difference, Melissa Billie Clark, Metropolitan Magazine, Nimbus Magazine, National Review, Medium.com, Word Press, Wall Street Transcript, SoundCloud, HubSpot, HBO, Disney, Robert Massimi Editing “No Way Out”.