The Data Examiner 09/03/2023


For years, the needs of furry friends were an afterthought for landlords who prioritized amenities such as fitness centers and outdoor grilling stations to fill units and command high rents. But an explosion of pandemic pets has unleashed fierce competition among property owners to lure new tenants with generous perks for pooches, from dog schools to pet happy hours.

How “Strategic” Was Oil Reserve Drawdown:

There are about 23 million fewer barrels of crude oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve now than in January, when the drawdown began, which was aimed at holding down gasoline prices and other refined products, But the replenishment will likely take years and may never restore the S.P.R. to its 2010 peak, when it held twice as much crude as it now.


Joe, a bartender at Sardi’s, Broadway’s go-to saloon, is retiring after 55 years.

Hawaiian Electric And Vegetation May Have Led To Wildfire:

Nearly four years ago, Hawaiian Electric concluded that it needed to do far more to prevent its power lines from emitting sparks. Now, the company is facing scrutiny, litigation and a financial crisis over indications that its power lines might have played a role in igniting the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century. Hawaiian Electric said it would investigate any role its infrastructure may have played and cooperate with a separate probe by the Hawaii attorney general.

Maui County filed a lawsuit against the utility company, alleging that poor maintenance of the electrical system and power grid led to the island’s recent wildfires. Maui seeks unspecified civil damages to cover losses of public infrastructure, environmental damage, destruction of landmarks and other costs.

The buildup of vegetation around Lahaina helped lead to a “catastrophic fire spread” according to a preliminary analysis by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, an industry research group. Officials with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources said they have tried to reduce the threat of overgrown vegetation despite limited funds.

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** About 4 million children in Pakistan need humanitarian aid, UNICEF finds.

** Heineken sells business in Russia for roughly $1, incurring a $325M loss.

** Spain intercepts record 10.5 tons of cocaine hidden in a banana shipment.


** How to tell if you are addicted to your phone. WATCH

** Inside Thailand’s homemade rocket festival. WATCH

** A fly that swims in a shimmering bubble shield. WATCH

DATA In-Depth

Cancer Runs In Families, But Few Get Tested For Genetic Risk

Some 10% of cancers are associated with genetic inheritance, but after a cancer diagnosis, inherited risk isn’t a priority for many patients. Doctors are recommending genetic tests to more cancer patients and their families. Testing costs have dropped, and the results are helping doctors choose newer targeted drugs. Some are pushing for universal testing after some studies showed that around half of genetic cancer links are missed under standard testing guidance.


** After recently eliminating 18k roles, Amazon plans to lay off another 9k employees – mostly from its cloud computing, HR, advertising, and Twitch units.

** Starbuck’s Howard Schultz is out as CEO earlier than planned, replaced by Laxman Narasimhan. The coffee giant faces federal scrutiny for alleged union-busting activities.

** Billionaire Rupert Murdoch is engaged again at 92, this time to Ann Lesley Smith. His four previous divorces were costly – last year’s settlement with Jerry Hall included a $13.5m home.

** Flooding is threatening harvests across California’s $3B strawberry industry, responsible for ~90% of U.S. production. Strawberry prices rose 8.7% in 2022, after sprouting 41% in 2021.

** Gangs have taken over much of Haiti’s capital.

** Russian pop star Dima Nova was found dead from drowning on Sunday after criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was 34. Born Dmitry Svirgunov, Nova founded the popular electronic group Cream Soda – whose song “Aqua Disco” became an anthem for anti-war protests in Russia.

** More than two-thirds of parents worry a shooting could happen at their children’s school, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. But home is a far more dangerous place for kids. In the five years ending in 2022, at least 866 kids ages 17 and younger were shot in domestic violence incidents, according to an analysis by The Trace of data from the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive; 621 of them died. In that same time frame, 268 children were shot at school, 75 of them fatally, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database, a federally funded tracker launched after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018.

** An overwhelming majority of Parisians who took part in a referendum on electric scooters have voted to ban the devices from the streets of the French capital, reflecting exhaustion with a public-transit alternative that was once seen as convenient and climate-friendly but is now largely regarded as dangerous and environmentally questionable.

** The Norfolk Southern 100-car train derailment and subsequent toxic chemical fallout in East Palestine, Ohio, caused nearly half of the U.S. government investigators to experience symptoms of illness while studying the health impacts, authorities said. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CNN last week that seven of the 15-member crew, which included members of the Epidemic Intelligence Service, began feeling symptoms while surveying town residents’ homes near the contaminated areas.

** Walmart rolled out a redesigned website experience to counter Amazon’s ecommerce dominance – with an interface that looks similar to Amazon.

** Raquel Welch died after suffering from cardiac arrest, it has been revealed. The former sex symbol died aged 82 in February and was also battling Alzheimer’s at the time of her death, according to Welch’s death certificate.

** Donald Trump, fortune dropped from an estimated $3.2 billion last fall to $2.5 billion today. The biggest reason? His social media business, once hyped to the moon, has come crashing down, erasing $550 million from his net worth – so far.

DATA In-Depth

Manufacturers Leaving China Setting Up In India

As companies seek alternatives to China – after COVID lockdowns and given rising tensions with the West – India has been trying to attract them, and venture capital in India has taken note. While VC funding has slowed there, as in Europe and the U.S., business-to-business investments remain a prime area of financing. No one expects India to replace China as the global factory floor, but government incentives and broader efforts to source materials from India have made it more attractive to investors.

The Data Examiner:

Daily surface air temperatures worldwide since 1979.

DATA In-Depth

No Kids Allowed

Only 12 major children’s movies are set for release in theaters this year, about half as many as four years ago. Most are adaptations – of a video game, TV show or comic book. The rise of streaming has reduced demand for moviegoing and left studios reluctant to release anything that doesn’t look like a blockbuster.

Views & Attitudes

** Views of Biden and the U.S.: Across 23 surveyed countries, a median of 54% of adults express confidence in President Joe Biden, while 59% have a favorable view of the U.S. Most say the U.S. interferes in the affairs of other countries, but also contributes to peace and stability around the world.

** Views of Putin, Russia, NATO and world leaders: Large shares of surveyed adults see Russia and President Vladimir Putin in a negative light, while opinions of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy are more mixed. Views of NATO remain favorable among people in member nations.

** Views of China: Views of China are broadly negative in the U.S. and 23 other surveyed countries. Most people say China does not take other countries’ interests into account in its foreign policy. Few have confidence in Chinese President Xi Jinping to do the right thing regarding world affairs.

** Attitudes toward same-sex marriage: Support for legal same-sex marriage varies widely by country, ranging from 92% of adults in Sweden to just 2% in Nigeria. Attitudes vary by geography, demographic factors, political ideology and religion.

** Attitudes toward abortion: Attitudes about legal abortion also differ widely by country – and often within the same country. Religiously unaffiliated adults, people on the ideological left and women are more likely to support legal abortion.


** A YouGov survey found that 31% of respondents have pushed an elevator’s close door button just to avoid a short lift with someone.

** 1 in 6 Americans say they have witnessed a shooting.

** The latest IMF prediction places Britain as the worst performing G20 country this year, shrinking by 0.3%.

** Elon Musk voiced his support recently for sending doctors and parents to a life sentence in the slammer if they approve or conduct sex-change surgeries and other life-altering procedures on minors who believe they are transgender.

** Ten states in the past three months have passed laws prohibiting what is known as gender-affirming care for young people, in a rapid effort by Republican lawmakers across the country. The laws ban or significantly limit the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and transition surgery for people under 18. Last week, Indiana and Idaho became the most recent states to pass bans.

** Around the country, classification as a runaway often means officers put less effort into looking for a missing child. Under federal rules, runaways also are disqualified from Amber Alerts – notifications to the media, on billboards and on cellphones that draw urgent and widespread attention to missing children.

** Move over Bey-Z … Justin and Hailey Bieber are coming for your throne as entertainment’s ultimate “power couple.” Sources say that Hailey has taken on a larger role in her pop star hubby’s business affairs – and whenever there’s a meeting, she’s in the room. “Hailey has taken control and is heavily involved. She’s a part of meetings and she’s talking a lot for him,” a source said. “She’s the voice. They’re becoming this power couple. She’s a big part of everything he’s doing,” the insider added.

** A tidal wave of stray cats has hit New York City this summer, paralyzing its shelter system as volunteers scramble for solutions and call for more city action. The stray cats live hard lives, often sick and at risk of infection with missing eyes or limbs. They can also carry parasites and diseases, putting other cats or even people at risk. They poop on doorsteps and kill local wildlife like birds. There are so many that the typically timid animals have become a public nuisance in some hard-hit neighborhoods.

** The nation’s largest Muslim advocacy group said a Maryland school system misled a federal court about its efforts to block parents from “opting out” their children of lessons pushing homosexuality and transgenderism. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also obtained documents showing that a labor union representing principals harbored similar concerns, with the principals saying that Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) was publicly telling parents it wouldn’t indoctrinate kids, then forcing principals to take the heat for doing the opposite.

** A Democrat politician in Chicago promoted a novel suggestion to address the city’s insane homicide rate: ask gang members to restrict their shootings to the evening hours. Maria Hadden, a Chicago alderwoman – sent an email in which she promoted a proposal from a group called Native Sons asking gang members to restrict their shooting to between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m.


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