1. Botcha! News’ AI Reliability Ranker Flags Itself Bad
Well, that’s awkward. A news site launched this year vowing to champion balanced journalism amid the high seas of mis and disinformation. The Messenger promised to be the source of thorough, objective, non-partisan news coverage and partnered with SEEkr. The AI-powered tool uses machine learning to judge a news article’s objectiveness and accuracy, scoring reliability on a scale of 1- 100. Except when Messenger’s articles were plugged in, Seekr rated them “low” to “very low” in reliability, citing an overserving of subjectivity. Meanwhile, stories from out-and-out conspiracy sites with clear opinions in the headlines rated “high” in reliability. Pro tip: take Seekr’s scores with a giant grain of salt.
2. China’s rich to strangers: Here’s my cash
An increasingly dire domestic economy, geopolitical tensions, and a re-opened post-pandemic world have China’s rich sneaking out cash through strangers. Individuals are only allowed to wire $50K a year out of China and the government’s cracked down on smuggling out cash in suitcases or junks to Hong Kong. The result’s a sophisticated underground network in Hong Kong and other places with large Chinese populations. “Customers” deposit sums through piecemeal transactions into accounts of people hired by these agencies – many of them college students. It’s faster and easier than old-school buying hugely inflated properties or businesses or making fraudulent commercial trades. This year, $150B is expected to exit China.
3. Battle over obesity drug coverage headed to court
A new lawsuit from a public employee in Washington State could test whether health plans can refuse to pay for obesity drugs. The woman’s an ideal candidate for Wegovy, but her health insurance won’t cover it. Her lawsuit claims the denial violates state law because Washington recognizes obesity as a type of disability. The case illustrates the conflict insurers are facing. Obesity drugs such as Wegovy are in huge demand because of their unprecedented effectiveness. But the scale of that demand could impose massive financial burdens on U.S. providers where more than 100M are obese and the drugs’ annual sticker prices can exceed $16K.
4. Judge sinks le treasure hunter’s claim on French shipwreck
If not for a 1565 hurricane, Florida might be Floride francoise and Disney World – Disney Monde. But three French military vessels, including La Trinite, sank off Cape Canaveral and Spain sailed to power. Ciest la vie. History would’ve stayed mostly forgotten if a treasure hunter hadn’t found La Trinite’s wreckage in 2016 and launched a court battle to claim her multimillion-dollar objets. France claimed the U.S.’s Sunken Military Craft Act ensures countries forever own their warships, including La Trinite. The treasure hunter argued au contraire – it wasn’t a warship because France and Spain weren’t warring. But le Judge, based on an extensive historic cruise, disagreed and sided with France. Et voilà.
5. Wait, she’s not with you? Serial wedding crasher caught
She said she was with the bride, but the woman hanging around a Mississippi wedding, had an altar ego – serial wedding crasher. Police say she’s been arrested in Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi for saying “I do” to cash and wedding gifts. This most recent crash was multitiered – she ate a piece of cake. The bride’s sister initially spotted her in the bridal room. Not long after the just-married couple realized someone had just carried away $200. When family members confronted her, she confessed to larceny at first swipe. Now she’s honeymooning for one in jail on several charges and has an invitation to Alabama to RSVP to a warrant.