Advancements in artificial intelligence have stunned the tech industry this year, with an intense race currently underway to create the best chatbot. This week, Google opened up a waitlist for its new AI tool, which promises to help people write essays, plan events and even get lunch ideas.
Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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Former President Donald Trump is bracing for several potential scenarios related to a possible indictment from the Manhattan grand jury probing a hush money scheme. Even as there are signs the investigation into Trump’s alleged role in the scheme to quietly pay adult film star Stormy Daniels is nearing an end, it is not clear yet that the former president will be charged or when those charges could be unveiled. Still, Trump has created a media spectacle around how “unfair” an indictment would be – a move likely intended to fire up his base to generate funding for his 2024 presidential bid, analysts say. Separately, the Justice Department has also convinced a federal judge that Trump used one of his defense attorneys in furtherance of a crime related to the classified documents probe. This marks the first time that the DOJ is arguing it has evidence that Trump may have committed a crime.
An announcement on interest rates and new economic projections are expected from the Federal Reserve later today. It will be the first time the world hears from Fed officials since the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank – and as the US banking system remains under intense pressure. If the Fed follows its pattern of aggressive rate hikes over the past year, it will likely raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point, or 25 basis points, underscoring its commitment to fighting inflation. However, some analysts say there is a chance policymakers may decide to hold rates steady this time around due to the ongoing banking turmoil.
Countdown to Fed’s big decision on interest rates
While most Americans have put Covid-19 vaccines on the back burner, health officials in the US are now weighing whether to offer another round of bivalent boosters for people at high risk of infection, according to a source familiar with the deliberations. Officials are considering this step because the virus that causes Covid-19 has evolved and protection from existing boosters may be waning. Data recently presented to the CDC shows that in the first two months after adults get the updated booster, the shot appears to be about 50% more effective at preventing hospital or emergency room visits due to Covid-19. By four months, however, the added protection falls to a little more than 30%. Citing this trend, the United Kingdom and Canada have begun allowing certain people to get another bivalent booster.
A powerful 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck Afghanistan and Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least 13 people after it damaged buildings and triggered landslides. Officials today said the death toll could rise much higher following the tremors that were felt in several major Pakistani cities and as far away as the Indian capital New Delhi. Dozens of others were injured in affected areas, according to health officials, and rescue teams have been dispatched to some extremely remote areas that don’t have cell phone service. Just weeks ago, one of the deadliest earthquakes this century struck Turkey, close to the Syrian border, killing more than 50,000 people and sending aftershocks reverberating throughout the region.
A dayslong meeting between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin concluded today, leaving no question about Beijing’s commitment to Russia amid its onslaught in Ukraine. Ultimately, the meetings yielded no breakthrough in resolving the conflict. Both leaders emphasized that peace talks should be used to solve the Ukraine crisis, but Kyiv and the West say any peace agreement must include the withdrawal of Russian troops. Meanwhile, Russia hit Ukraine overnight with another wave of attacks using Iran-made Shahed drones. A total of 21 drones were launched against Ukraine from the north shortly before midnight local time, 16 of which were shot down, according to the Ukrainian air force.
Supreme Court will hear arguments in Jack Daniel’s case vs. dog toy company
Lawyers for distiller Jack Daniel’s will argue before the Supreme Court today that a dog toy company is ripping off its brand. At the center of the case is a squeaky toy created by VIP Products that is strikingly similar to Jack Daniel’s bottles, with a black label and similar font style. The distiller argues that the toy, with its poop-themed jokes, damages its reputation. VIP Products, on the other hand, argues consumers can easily distinguish between Jack Daniel’s and their parodied dog toy. Depending on how the high court rules, the case could have major implications on trademark protections for companies that use other brand logos to express humor.
Japan defeats Team USA in World Baseball Classic final
The dramatic ending of Tuesday’s championship game left fans ecstatic inside loanDepot Park in Miami.
Shaquille O’Neal shares reason for his hospitalization
Good news: Shaq is on his way back – to the sports desk, that is. The basketball star shared an update after posting this photo showing him hooked up to machines in a hospital bed.
Tortoise stuns handlers with an adorable surprise
Zoo handlers were shell-shocked when they learned a 90-year-old tortoise fathered three hatchlings. Watch this video on his surprising story.
‘Vibrant’ Roman mosaic discovered under supermarket construction site
More incredible Roman finds were discovered in Britain. This time, it was on land earmarked for a grocery store.
Gwyneth Paltrow is in court this week over skiing accident
The actress made an appearance in court on Tuesday over a 2016 ski collision involving an elderly man.
That’s around how much of the world’s population lacks access to clean water – or an estimated 785 million people. In honor of World Water Day today, here are some simple things you can do at home that can help care for the global water supply.
“Visibility is at a big ‘nope’ today.”
– Southern California officials, warning people in some counties Tuesday to reconsider travel when conditions are more favorable. This comes as another atmospheric river slams the state this week with heavy rain and hurricane-force winds. More than 15 million people in coastal areas of Southern California remain under flood watches lasting until at least this evening.
Check your local forecast here>>>
Swim with the biggest fish in the ocean
In this stunning virtual reality video, you can experience what it’s like to swim with whale sharks – the gentle giants of the sea. (Click here to view)