news·4 min read

Daily Skimm: Twitter, Melissa Lucio, and Kane Tanaka

 Design: Camille Rapay
Design: Camille Rapay
Apr 26, 2022

His Money Don’t Jiggle Jiggle

The Story

It’s verified: Elon Musk is buying Twitter.

Officially?

Yup. After weeks of twittling its thumbs, the company said it’s accepting Musk’s one and only offer. It came after the Tesla CEO bought a 9% stake in Twitter earlier this month, flirted with taking a board seat, then said he would buy the whole company for $54.20 a share, final offer. Yesterday, after trying to push Musk away, the company said ‘ok’ to the $44 billion deal — the biggest of its kind in decades. Twitter called it “the best path forward” for stockholders.

Why is this happening again?

Free speech. Musk has long criticized the social media platform over it. Now, the world’s wealthiest person gets to put changes where his money is. Musk says he hopes even his “worst critics” stay on Twitter, because “that is what free speech means.” He also wants to bring transparency to the algorithm and take on spam bots, among other changes.

And what's the reaction?

There’s a range. Republican lawmakers say free speech is making a comeback. Dems are looking at the bill and reiterating calls to tax the rich. But investors seem excited: the company’s stock went up more than 5%. As for Twitter’s future, employees are worried this could mean layoffs or staffing changes. But Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal says that won’t happen...at least not before the deal closes.

So what happens next?

Regulators will need to approve it. But despite Musk’s tense history with them, the agreement is expected to close later this year. After that, Agrawal may want to tweet out his résumé.

theSkimm

Twitter has been struggling with growth. But it still has about 217 million daily users, including politicians and celebrities. Now, a billionaire known for car and space companies and for trolling people gets to shape discourse on one of the world’s most popular social media platforms. This should be #interesting.

PS: Tweets can move markets. Read up on what that means for investing here.

And Also...This

Who people are talking about…

Melissa Lucio. Yesterday, Texas's highest criminal court delayed her execution just two days before she was set to die. In 2008, a jury sentenced Lucio to death for the 2007 murder of her two-year-old daughter. Since then, five members of that jury have said ‘maybe we were wrong.’ That's because, despite indications of physical abuse, new evidence suggests the toddler's death was the result of a fall — and not murder. If executed, she'd be the first Hispanic woman to be put to death in Texas. Celebrities, lawmakers, and Lucio’s children have called for leniency in her case. Now, it’s being sent back to the trial court. Lucio says she’s grateful for the “chance to live” and prove her “innocence.”

…Oh and speaking of second chances, the Supreme Court is willing to give Rodney Reed's case a closer look.

PS: Want more on Lucio's case and how we got here? We got you covered.

Who’s being held in contempt…

Former President Donald Trump. Yesterday, a New York judge held Trump in contempt for failing to turn over documents to the state’s attorney general. ICYMI, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) has been investigating Trump’s financial dealings for years — like whether the Trump Org inflated assets when applying for loans and mortgages. And deflated them when it came time to pay taxes. He called the investigation a politically motivated “witch hunt.” Now a judge is siding with James, saying that until Trump turns over the documents — which he claims to have done — he has to cough up $10,000 every day. James praised the judge’s decision. Trump plans to appeal.

What's saying 'would you like to form an alliance'…

Sweden and Finland. Yesterday, it came out that the traditionally neutral countries reportedly plan to apply to join NATO. Sweden and Finland (which shares a border with Russia) have refused to join the US-led alliance for decades. But after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, both countries said Russia’s war left them wanting the kind of protection NATO could provide. (Think: guaranteed backup from 30 countries, security, and training). The Swedes and Finns broke their promise to stay neutral when they sent weapons to Ukraine — a first since WWII. Now, they could be on their way to making things official, but they'll need unanimous approval from all members. TBD how Russian President Vladimir Putin will react. He did cite the threat of NATO expansion in Ukraine as a pretext for his war. And now one of Russia's neighbors may do exactly what the Kremlin feared from Ukraine.

Who we’re saying ‘farewell’ to...

The world's oldest person.

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