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Daily Skimm: Queen Elizabeth, Michigan, and Cereal

Queen Elizabeth II attends an Armed Forces Act of Loyalty Parade at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on June 28, 2022
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Sep 9, 2022

The Queen

The Story

The UK is remembering its longest-reigning monarch.

The end of an era.

Absolutely. Yesterday, Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth II died “peacefully” at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She was 96. In 1952, the queen took the crown at age 25 after the death of her father, King George VI. During her 70-year reign, she worked with 15 prime ministers across the political aisle and became the longest-reigning British monarch in history. The queen helped bring the monarchy into the modern age by broadcasting her family’s life on radio and TV. And was known for her commitment to her duties, the stability she was seen to have brought, and her devotion to the Commonwealth. Now, in the UK and beyond, many are mourning her loss.

What are people saying?

UK PM Liz Truss called the queen the “rock on which modern Britain was built.” President Biden called her a “stateswoman of unmatched dignity” whose legacy will “loom large in the pages of British history.” Former US presidents and world leaders from Canada to India also paid tribute to the monarch. King Charles III remembered his mother as a “cherished Sovereign.”

What happens now? 

Next week, the queen’s coffin is expected to lie in state for four days at Westminster Hall — where the royal family, dignitaries, and eventually the public will pay their respects. Her funeral is expected to take place 10 days after her passing. And the day of her burial will be an official bank holiday. Meaning, the London Stock Exchange and many businesses will close their doors. Charles, who was next in line for the throne, is taking over her duties. At age 73, he’s the oldest heir in decades. And ultimately, the national anthem will change from "God Save the Queen" to "God Save the King."

Are people ready for him?

We’ll see. According to one poll, the prince’s favorability rating has increased to 60% — compared to the queen’s 83%. Over the years, some have questioned the role of the monarchy in modern life. And some Commonwealth countries have taken formal steps to break ties, with Barbados removing the monarchy as their head of state. “The Firm” — as the royal family is known — has also had to deal with a series of recent scandals, ranging from accusations of racism to Prince Andrew’s civil sex assault case. But Charles’ title won’t be the only thing changing. He also apparently plans to update the monarchy to make it more “slimmed down” — meaning royal titles could be limited to eight working senior royals.

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Queen Elizabeth II ruled for 70 years — and lived through everything from The Troubles to the Wales mining disaster to Brexit. She was a defining figurehead for decades. And for many others, a symbol of British imperialism. How the monarchy evolves next remains to be seen. In the meantime, millions will be honoring her life and legacy.

And Also...This

What’s leaving it to the people…

Michigan. Yesterday, the state Supreme Court decided to put abortion rights on the ballot. Currently, abortion is protected until fetal viability (around 24 weeks). But with Roe overturned, an existing 1931 law criminalizing abortion was supposed to go into effect. An abortion-rights advocacy group had petitioned to put an amendment on the November ballot enshrining abortion as a state constitutional right. But Republicans on the Board of State Canvassers (who apparently choose what goes on the ballot) blocked the add. So the advocacy group appealed. Now, the Michigan Supreme Court is stepping in and ordering the board to put the constitutional amendment on the ballot…one day before the ballots needed to be completed. Come Nov 8, Michigan will be able to weigh in. 

What’s got people saying ‘you can’t tell, but I’m excited’...

Daxxify. Yesterday, the FDA approved the anti-wrinkle injection, shaking up the anti-aging market. Botox has dominated the over $3 billion facial injectables market for decades, owning 70% of the market and delivering results that last up to four months. Now, Revance Therapeutics is throwing a wrinkle in Botox’s plans. Studies show its Daxxify treatment can provide up to six months of worry-free lines. And the side effects were apparently mild, with 6% of trial participants experiencing headaches. But it’s not just about the aesthetic: one health expert says Daxxify could help treat migraines, overactive bladders, and more. TBD on the drug’s price tag, but don’t be surprised if it causes a frown. 

What’s raising hope…

A new malaria vaccine. This week, scientists at the University of Oxford said they’ve developed a vaccine that could eradicate malaria by 2040. The mosquito-borne disease kills more than 400,000 people every year — mostly children. Last year, the WHO backed the world’s first malaria vaccine for children after it showed it can reduce severe illness by 30%. But this new vaccine, R21, has shown to be up to 80% effective among children in Burkina Faso when fully vaccinated and boosted. And scientists say it’s cheaper to manufacture. If all goes well, more than 100 million doses could be available next year. 

Why we know science has gone too far...

Watery cereal.

What's just in time for spooky season...

Mercury retrograde

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