Good morning and welcome to Fresh Intelligence, our roundup of the stories, ideas, and memes you’ll be talking about today. In this edition, hundreds protest in Burns, Oregon, the Iowa caucuses don’t disappoint, Google briefly beats Apple, and airlines let them eat pretzels. Here’s the rundown for Tuesday, February 2.
Winter Storm Kayla is here and she is a doozy. The storm stretches from Arizona to the Great Lakes, making travel to pretty much anywhere a painful proposition. Meanwhile, today in New York should be sunny and clear, with temperatures in the upper 40s. [Weather.com]
Dueling Protests in Burns
The planned pro-militia protest in Burns today turned into a full-throated confrontation when anti-militia protesters added their voices to the mix. A large contingent of local townspeople joined the anti-militia protesters in a rare stand after months of trying to remain uninvolved. There were about 300 people demonstrating against the occupiers and 200 marching to support them. This was not the media moment the four remaining militia members were hoping for. [Reuters]
EARLY AND OFTEN
Everybody Wrong All Along: Iowa Ends in a Tie for Democrats
It looks like Clinton and Sanders are leaving Iowa effectively tied. Hillary avoided back-to-back losses in Iowa and New Hampshire (where Sanders has a considerable lead) and she told supporters that she’d breathed a “sigh of relief” at the results. On the other hand, Sanders carrying 70 percent more voters under 30 can’t be reassuring for the Clinton camp.
Trump to Make America No. 2 Again?
The first upset in what we’re sure will be an upsetting electoral process: Ted Cruz overtook predicted winner Donald Trump and won the GOP Iowa caucus. Trump spent most of the evening in a close race with Marco Rubio for second place. He managed to squeak by and was fairly gracious in his victory speech, but surely he has something scary planned for Cruz.
Martin O’Malley, What a Sport
Everyone’s favorite candidate that no one will vote for is calling it quits. After securing only 0.6 percent of the vote coming out of the Iowa caucus, Martin O’Malley announced he’s pulling out of the race. [WaPo]
Mike Huckabee Was Running for President?
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has suspended his presidential campaign as well after coming in ninth in Iowa — a pretty far fall from carrying the state in 2008. Putting as fine a point as possible on his relevance, Huckabee announced the suspension on Twitter. [NPR]
THE STREET, THE VALLEY
Steve Jobs Is Spinning in His Cryogenic Space Pod
Google is the most valuable company in the world. Well, kind of. For a moment yesterday, the parent company that owns Google, Alphabet, was worth $4.6 billion more than Apple. The rise in stock prices followed the company’s reveal of its financials yesterday. Google is profitable, Alphabet’s various “moonshot” projects, not so much. [CNN]
A Billion People Must Not Have Tried LINE Yet
Whatsapp, the messaging app that Facebook acquired two years ago, has now surpassed one billion users. This milestone fulfills a promise Mark Zuckerberg made when he acquired it, that Whatsapp would become the most popular messaging service on earth. Hopefully that won’t go to his head. [The Verge]
Meanwhile at Yahoo …
With Google getting all of the attention, it’s time we took a moment to check in with Yahoo, where things aren’t going so well. The once-great web company is the target of a mass-termination lawsuit, and CEO Marissa Mayer is expected to announce plans to cull nearly 1,600 jobs. [WSJ]
Airlines Think We’re Dumb
In case you’ve been wondering why, with gas prices so low, you still have to pay the same amount for airline tickets — hey, here are some pretzels, stop asking so many questions! Taking a cue from United, American Airlines is reinstating snacks in coach after a decade of food-free flying. [AP]
Coldplay Smugness Now Guaranteed
In one of the biggest shakeups in the music industry since Prince’s lollipop, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) will start counting streaming sales in its album certifications, meaning, overnight, 17 albums including Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly are now platinum. The rules apply to all albums, so Michael Jackson’s Thriller is now 32 times platinum.
Gotta Get That Big Bird Money
Not content with moving to HBO and gentrifying the whole neighborhood, Sesame Street is now entering the start-up business. They’ve partnered with Collaborative Fund to create Sesame Venture, which will have up to $1 million to provide to start-ups. Is that really enough to get into the start-up game these days? [Business Insider]
Fox Takes a Cue From Romney, Encourages Self-Deportation
21st Century Fox is aiming to cut around $250 million in costs, and its newest strategy is offering a series of voluntary buyouts to its employees in its American film and television-network units. Staff might start to bail as soon as next Monday. [Hollywood Reporter]
Uber drivers protested in front of the company’s headquarters in New York yesterday over a recent fare cut.
Vigilantism at Its Very Best
A concerned mother turned the tables on a Miami cop over the weekend, pulling him over for speeding and providing us with what is perhaps the most satisfying cop video ever. [Jalopnik]
OTHER LOCAL NEWS
Fat Cats Shaft Regular Cats
A small town in Maine and a group of stray-cat caretakers are battling it out with lawyers and a dead woman’s estate trustees in a story ripped from a yet-to-be-made Sandra Bullock movie. At stake is the dead cat lover’s inheritance, which is worth $200,000. [ABC]
Everyone’s Favorite Movie Is Now a Day
Today is Groundhog Day, America’s favorite animist divining ritual. Whether the little guys see their shadow or not, it will certainly turn out better than Groundhog Day 2014, when Mayor Bill de Blasio fatally dropped Staten Island Chuck. [Gawker]
All Eyes on Volkswagen
Today is the deadline for shamed auto company Volkswagen to turn in its plan to repair the 80,000 vehicles that have been found to have excessive emissions. If all goes according to plan, that should only leave about half a million cars that still need emissions modification. [Reuters]
Awkward Lunch to Take Place
President Obama is set to have lunch with House Speaker Paul Ryan at the White House today. The president is planning on pounding beers while the speaker glowers at him and pushes salt-and-vinegar chips around on his paper plate. [WSJ]