A surge in Amazon.com Inc. shares Thursday morning in advance of the online retailer's earnings report has propelled founder Jeff Bezos past Bill Gates as the world's richest person. Shares of the online retailer rose 1.3 percent to $1,065.92 at 10:10 a.m. in New York, giving Bezos a net worth of $90.9 billion, versus $90.7 billion for Gates. If that holds through the 4 p.m. close, Bezos, 53, will leapfrog Gates, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder, on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Gates, 61, has held the top spot since May 2013.
The first known attempt at creating genetically modified human embryos in the United States has been carried out by a team of researchers in Portland, Oregon, MIT Technology Review has learned. The effort, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University, involved changing the DNA of a large number of one-cell embryos with the gene-editing technique CRISPR, according to people familiar with the scientific results. ... Although none of the embryos were allowed to develop for more than a few days -- and there was never any intention of implanting them into a womb -- the experiments are a milestone on what may prove to be an inevitable journey toward the birth of the first genetically modified humans. read more
Ben Shapiro, National Review: [Donald] Trump has not moderated his behavior one iota since becoming president. In fact, the man who once promised he would be "so presidential you will be so bored" has now redefined "presidential" to fit his behavior -- he recently tweeted that his behavior is presidential because he is president. ... [I]t's clear that the vast majority of Republicans no longer care if he does, so long as he does one thing: keep tweeting about the fake-news media. Were Trump to fulfill every conservative pledge but stop tweeting about Mika Brzezinski's face and CNN's ratings, many Republicans would be less enamored of him. Trump's visceral rage is what thrills Republicans, not his policy -- and a huge number of Republicans aren't even interested in whether the rage undercuts his policy. read more
Shortly after telling a reporter that he planned on firing assistant White House press secretary Michael Short, White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said it was "unfair" that the public knew about the firing before Short did -- even though Scaramucci himself was the source of the news. ... First, Politico's Tara Palmeri reported that Scaramucci had told her, in her words, "that he plans to dismiss assistant press secretary Michael Short," as part of his early war on White House leakers and other staffers deemed insufficiently supportive of President Donald Trump. ... Fifty minutes later, Time's Zeke Miller reported that Scaramucci said leakers were "unpatriotic" and that Scaramucci refused to confirm Short's firing, saying it would be inappropriate to speak publicly about the matter -- even though, as Miller pointed out, he already had.
Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review: Once again, Donald Trump has tweeted himself into the center of the day's news. He does this almost every morning -- even, perhaps especially, when he has nothing new to say. Upon seeing today's efforts, I sighed and muttered "there goes Wednesday." This is my increasingly frequent response. Irrespective of the position being advanced, this habit is destructive in a free society, and those who hope for a more limited government should be appalled. Trump is the president, and he can speak as he wishes; he enjoys the same First Amendment protections as I do, and I would never wish to limit them by law. Nevertheless, I do wish that, just once, he'd just shut the hell up -- not because the law compels him to, but because he has some understanding of the extent to which his behavior is crowding out civil society and making us all accessories to his ego.