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Maine disqualifies Trump from 2024 ballot and university chancellor fired for porn career: Morning Rundown

And what drove killer whales' dramatic behavior this year? 
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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 

Former President Trump
Scott Olson / Getty Images

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?

Image: An orca whale designated J2 pokes her head upward while swimming in the Salish Sea
Mark Malleson / The Center for Whale Research via AP, file

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

An entrance sign for the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse.
The University of Wisconsin at La Crosse.Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images file

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.

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.

Thanks for reading today’s Morning Rundown. Today’s newsletter was curated for you by Elizabeth Both. If you’re a fan, please send a link to your family and friends. They can sign-up here.