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1. HURRICANE IAN STILL CHURNING
Hurricane Ian left behind “indescribable” destruction when it marched across Florida — more than 2 million homes and businesses are still without power, hundreds of people have been rescued, and many have lost their lives. Devastating Category 4 storm surges hit Fort Myers and other Gulf Coast communities Wednesday while Orlando in central Florida saw “historic” flooding Thursday before Ian moved into the Atlantic as a tropical storm. It has intensified back to a Category 1 hurricane and is expected to make landfall again today, this time in South Carolina.
2. ALS DRUG APPROVED
The FDA approved medication for ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, from Amylyx Pharmaceuticals after lobbying from patients and advocates. The process is already raising eyebrows after the results from one small, mid-stage study were used to give the drug — Relyvrio — the green light. FDA scientists have also voiced concerns that the company's results were not convincing.
3. MARKETS DOWN AGAIN
What goes up must come down, and after we told you about things looking good on Wednesday, Thursday's markets dropped like a rock, losing most of their gains. The culprit is ever-growing worries about a possible recession after a stronger than expected weekly unemployment report. That's good news for workers — for now — but doesn't help ease inflation and, in turn, will not convince the Fed to rethink upcoming interest rate hikes.
We're on a never-ending roller-coaster ride.
4. GINNI THOMAS JAN. 6 INTERVIEW
Ginni Thomas, staunch conservative and wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, stood by the Big Lie in her interview with the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. There have been questions about any role she may have played in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Her attorney said Thomas told the committee about "her minimal and mainstream activity" to make sure reports of voting irregularities were investigated.
5. TROUBLE OVERSEAS
NATO says damage to two Baltic Sea natural gas pipelines is the result of sabotage just as another leak was discovered near Sweden. The international body said any attack will be "met with a united and determined response." Many international observers are pointing the finger at Russia. Meanwhile, Russia is annexing parts of Ukraine today after it held so-called referendums to determine whether Ukrainians wanted to leave their country. The results of the vote are not widely recognized by West.
6. EBAY EXECS SENTENCED
A bizarre harassment scheme will end with prison time for two former eBay executives. Former Senior Director of Safety and Security James Baugh and former Director of Global Resiliency David Harville were sentenced to nearly five years and two years, respectively, for making the lives of a husand-and-wife online newsletter team "a living hell." The newsletter included articles critical of the company, and in response, the two execs and at least five others retaliated by sending packages full of threatening items, like live spiders, and signing the wife up for strange email groups.
7. EPIX REBRANDS TO MGM+
Epix is rebranding to MGM+, similar to many other services that have added the plus sign to their moniker. While it can provide a great marketing moment, it hasn’t always added subscribers to the bottom line. What could prove to be a smarter strategy for the Amazon-owned streamer is to combine it with its other, more well-known properties like Prime Video, Cheddar News’ Michelle Castillo reports.
A plus sign doesn’t always add up.
A plus sign doesn’t always add up.
8. TECH UPDATES
STADIA SHUTTING DOWN: After just a three-year run, Google is pulling the plug on its cloud gaming service Stadia. Customers will have access to the service until January and will be offered refunds on hardware, games and add-ons that were purchased in the Google store. The tech giant plans to repurpose the tech for other areas of its business including YouTube and its AR properties.
TESLA AI DAY: The second annual Tesla AI Day kicks off today. Elon Musk's robot Optimus looks to be the draw of this year's event. He first mentioned the “Tesla Bot” last year and said the company's robot sector has the potential to be more significant than its car business. Buckle up because the potential uses for the bots are unconventional. Musk said they could be used for cooking, gardening and even sex.
Did we learn nothing from I, Robot?
9. IN ENTERTAINMENT
Here are a few of the entertainment headlines we've kept an eye on over the last 24 hours: The Byers' house from Netflix's Stranger Things has been sold. The buyer plans to re-create the show and put it on the market as an Airbnb. “Barney” had plenty of haters and a documentary about the vitriol his team received is coming to Peacock, and 20th Century Fox just released the first look of the latest Planet of The Apes film, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.
10. PHARRELL'S AUCTION
Producer, rapper and fashion designer Pharrell Williams is set to host an auction of his most prized possessions. It's going down on his newly launched Joopiter platform next month, and he's selling everything from his iconic gold-plated Blackberry to his iced-out Bape G-Shock watch. Beyond his own auction, he said Joopiter will be a host for other curators looking to auction off their collections.
**LOVE **HATE **ATE
One thing we love: Lizzo killin' it on James Madison's flute.
One thing we hate: Those Spotted Lanternflies taking over NYC.
One thing we ate: Empanadas with the best green sauce!
WHAT TO STREAM THIS WEEKEND
Looking for something good to stream this weekend? The Cheddar News Digital Team has you covered! This week we're suggesting a controversial biopic, streetwear fashionistas, and a couple of shows that should just make you happy.
This image released by Netflix shows Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in a scene from Blonde. (Netflix via AP)