In today’s newsletter: Maine bars Trump from the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballot. Why millennials shouldn't expect much from the baby boomer “wealth transfer.'' And what drove killer whales' dramatic behavior this year.
Maine rules Trump ineligible to run on 2024 primary ballot
Maine has become the second state to determine that former President Donald Trump is constitutionally ineligible to appear on the state’s primary ballot for 2024. The decision by Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, follows the Colorado Supreme Court ruling last week that concluded the 14th Amendment to the Constitution prohibits Trump from serving in office again due to his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Trump is expected to appeal those decisions and others like them to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will likely have to settle the issue. He has railed against the effort to remove him from the ballot as politically motivated attempts to undemocratically disenfranchise him and his supporters.
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The ‘wealth transfer’ from boomers won’t save Gen X and millennials
The “generational wealth transfer” between baby boomers and their heirs has become a media fascination, both for its eye-popping size and because it may help younger generations with doubts about their financial security. Some $53 trillion is expected to be passed down from boomers to their Gen X, millennial and Gen Z heirs, as well as to charities, according to one wealth management firm.
Baby boomers have collectively benefitted from America’s economic growth — the value of low-cost housing purchased decades ago has increased dramatically, and the stock market has soared roughly 4,000% since 1969. Younger generations have had to deal with student debt, rising cost of living, the Great Recession and the pandemic at some of the most vulnerable stages of their lives, leaving many with doubts about their ability to retire securely.
But the balooning cost of health care for older people means they won’t be left with as much as expected to leave to their heirs, even if they seem well-off now.
Chinese spy balloon used a U.S. internet provider, intelligence officials find
The Chinese spy balloon that flew across the U.S. earlier this year used an American internet service provider to communicate, according to two current and one former U.S. official familiar with the assessment. The Biden administration sought a highly secretive court order from the federal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to collect intelligence about it while it was over the U.S., according to multiple current and former U.S. officials.
The balloon connected to a U.S.-based company, according to the assessment, to send and receive communications from China, primarily related to its navigation. Officials familiar with the assessment said it found that the connection allowed the balloon to send burst transmissions, or high-bandwidth collections of data over short periods of time.
Killer whales seemed to wreak havoc this year. What drove their headline-making behavior?
This year seemed to be a wild one for killer whales. From “attacking” and sinking several boats off southwestern Europe to hunting great white sharks around South Africa and Australia, the black-and-white behemoths appeared to live up to their moniker in 2023.
Yet for scientists, the recent orca antics have been more fascinating than fearsome, and some say the highly intelligent marine animals have shown us how much there still is to learn about them.
Wisconsin university chancellor fired over ongoing porn career
Joe Gow, the former chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, has been fired after his porn career with his wife was revealed. Officials at the university learned that Gow and his wife, a former UW-La Crosse professor, had been making pornographic videos together and published two books about making adult films. They used their real photos on social media profiles where they went by the moniker “Sexy Happy Couple.”
Gow told NBC News that they produced the books and adult films as private citizens — and that none of their public works mentioned the university or his professional career. The tenured faculty member said his termination is a violation of his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech.
Politics in Brief
2024 hypotheticals: The White House has an upbeat narrative about Joe Biden’s path to re-election, but here are five twists that could upend Democrats’ best-laid plans for winning.
E. Jean Carroll defamation trial: A federal appeals court rejected Trump’s request to delay his upcoming defamation trial in a second lawsuit brought by writer E. Jean Carroll.
Immigration: The Justice Department is threatening to sue Texas if it enforces a new state law that lets police arrest migrants who illegally cross the border, according to a letter obtained by NBC News.
Alleged swatting incident: Sen. Rick Scott said his home in Naples, Florida was “swatted” while he was at dinner with his wife.
2023 in Review: The year of the ‘ick’
A term first popularized on the U.K. reality show “Love Island” has come to describe the helplessness many singles felt this year. But experts say there’s a shift happening both on dating apps and in real life.
- In Case You Missed ItPowerful surf rolled onto beaches on the West Coast and Hawaii as a big swell generated by the stormy Pacific Ocean pushed toward shorelines, causing localized flooding.
- The University of Idaho started to demolish the house where four students were killed, despite pleas from two of the victims’ families to wait until more evidence is collected from the site.
- The fierce backlash against an influencer’s “almost naked’’ party and its attendees has exposed how much power Russia’s pro-war community has garnered since the Ukraine invasion began.
- San Antonio police are seeking the public’s help identifying two “persons of interest” in the investigation into the deaths of a pregnant teenager and her boyfriend.
- ESPN host Laura Rutledge said her 7-month-old son doesn’t require any more surgery, after he was airlifted to a hospital on Christmas Day.
- A search effort was called off for a woman who disappeared under the ice of a frozen river in Alaska while trying to save her dog.
- Magnetic balls advertised as stress relievers and sold online at Walmart are being recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, citing thousands of hospitalizations and seven deaths.
Select: Online Shopping, Simplified
Yesterday we brought you the top items purchased by NBC Select readers this year. Today we share 29 products Select editors tried and loved in 2023, from electric tea kettles and sneakers to headphones and cat feeders.
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