First Thing: Elizabeth Holmes guilty on four fraud counts

Show caption A US jury has found former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes guilty of fraud Photograph: David Odisho/Getty Images First Thing First Thing: Elizabeth Holmes guilty on four fraud counts High-profile trial of the Theranos founder that captivated Silicon Valley has concluded. Plus, the next US civil war is already here Nicola Slawson Tue 4 Jan 2022 11.28 GMT Share on Facebook

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Good morning.

The extraordinary rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, has been sealed as jurors found her guilty on four of 11 charges of fraud, concluding a high-profile trial that captivated Silicon Valley and chronicled the missteps of the now defunct blood testing startup.

The jury found Holmes guilty of several charges – including conspiracy to defraud investors – after a dramatic day in which jurors said they remained deadlocked on three of the criminal counts she faced.

Yesterday, the seventh day of deliberations, the jury told US district judge Edward Davila that it was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on those three charges. In response, Davila encouraged them to deliberate further, but jurors later returned and rendered their final decision.

Was she found guilty of all charges? No. She was acquitted on three charges, including one conspiracy to defraud patients and two charges related to patients who received inaccurate test results.

How did Holmes react? As the verdict was read, the Theranos founder bowed her head, remained seated and expressed no visible emotion.

Will she go to prison? Holmes does face prison time, although a sentencing date has not been set. She pleaded not guilty and is expected to appeal.

Capitol attack panel in race against time as Trump allies seek to run out clock

The House select committee investigating the 6 January attack. Photograph: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the 6 January attack on the Capitol is facing a race against time in 2022 as Trump and his allies seek to run out the clock with a barrage of delay tactics and lawsuits.

Republicans are widely expected to do well in this year’s midterm elections in November and, if they win control of the House, that would give them control to shut down the investigation that has proved politically and legally damaging to Trump and Republicans.

The select committee opened its investigative efforts into the 6 January insurrection, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election win, with a flurry of subpoenas to Trump officials to expedite the evidence-gathering process.

But aside from securing a trove of documents from Trump’s former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, the select committee has found itself wading through molasses with Trump and other top administration aides seeking to delay the investigation by any means possible.

What will happen next? Trump has launched a last-ditch appeal to the supreme court to prevent the release of the most sensitive of White House records but experts say it’s unlikely to be successful.

Will the 6 January attackers be held accountable? As Republicans spread a revisionist history of the insurrection, the Guardian takes a look inside the FBI’s Capitol riot investigation.

Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Giuffre’s legal deal with Jeffrey Epstein released

The Duke of York vehemently maintained his innocence against the claims made against him. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

Court papers unsealed on Monday revealed that Virginia Giuffre received $500,000 in a legal settlement with Jeffrey Epstein, the late financier and convicted sex offender whom she accused of sexual abuse. The unsealing stemmed from Giuffre’s sexual abuse lawsuit against Prince Andrew, which she filed on 9 August in Manhattan federal court.

Giuffre has long accused Epstein and his sometime girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell – now a convicted sex trafficker, after her New York trial – of forcing her into sex with the royal when she was 17. He vehemently maintains his innocence.

Andrew filed Giuffre’s settlement with Epstein as part of his attempt to dismiss her case, arguing that it shields him. Lawyers for the prince contend the settlement contains provisions that bar Giuffre from taking legal action against many Epstein associates.

What does the unsealed settlement say? It says that upon receipt of the stipulated sum, Giuffre, referred to under her maiden name, agrees to “remise, release, acquit, satisfy and forever discharge the said second parties and any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant … from all, and all manner of, action and actions of Virginia Roberts, including state or federal, cause and causes of action”.

In other news …

More than 1 million people in the US were diagnosed with Covid on Monday, a global daily record. A total of 1.06 million people tested positive for the virus, a figure driven largely by the Omicron variant, data from Johns Hopkins University revealed. Monday’s number is almost double the previous record of about 590,000 set four days ago, which itself was a doubling from the previous week.

SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/AP

Tesla has been criticised for opening a new showroom in the capital of Xinjiang , a region at the heart of years-long campaign by Chinese authorities of repression and assimilation against the Uyghur people. The council on American-Islamic Relations has said no US company should be doing business in the region.

A meteor that caused an earthshaking boom over suburban Pittsburgh on New Year’s Day exploded in the atmosphere with an energy blast equivalent to an estimated 30 tonnes (27,200kg) of TNT, officials said.

A large cleanup effort is under way in Los Angeles county after an estimated 8.5m gallons of raw sewage flooded through a neighborhood in the city of Carson, closing beaches and leaving toilet paper, feces and toxic residue strewn across nearby streets and sidewalks.

US twins in Salinas, California were delivered just minutes apart ended up being born in two different years. Aylin Yolanda Trujillo was delivered at Natividad medical center at exactly midnight on 1 January. But her brother, Alfredo Antonio Trujillo, had arrived at 11.45pm on 31 December.

Don’t miss this: the next US civil war is already here – we just refuse to see it

The political problems are both structural and immediate, the crisis both long-standing and accelerating. Illustration: Anthony Gerace/The Guardian

The US today is, once again, headed for civil war, and, like in the past, it cannot bear to face it. The political problems are both structural and immediate, the crisis both longstanding and accelerating. The American political system has become so overwhelmed by anger that even the most basic tasks of government are increasingly impossible. The right has recognized that the system is in collapse, and it has a plan: violence and solidarity with treasonous far-right factions.

… or this: ‘I saw a big set of white teeth coming towards me’

‘We have to learn to live with them, not to kill them from fear’ … a great white shark. Photograph: Brad Leue/Alamy

How does it feel to fight off a predator in the wild? From a British citizen attacked by otters in Singapore, to monkey attacks in Thailand, squirrel attacks in New York, and a man who fought off a crocodile with a pocketknife in Queensland, these encounters capture our imaginations. But how does it feel to survive such an ordeal – and how does it affect your life? Five people, who lived to tell the tale, explain.

Climate check: deforestation jumps in world’s largest savanna as scientists raise alarm

An aerial view shows a dead tree near a forest on the border between Amazonia and Cerrado. Photograph: Amanda Perobelli/Reuters

Deforestation last year rose to the highest level since 2015 in Brazil’s Cerrado, prompting scientists to raise alarm over the state of the world’s most species-rich savanna and a major carbon sink that helps to stave off climate change. The Cerrado, the world’s largest savanna spread across several states of Brazil, is often called an “upside down forest” because of the deep roots its plants sink into the ground to survive seasonal droughts and fires. “It’s extremely worrying,” said Mercedes Bustamante, an ecologist at the University of Brasília.

Last Thing: NHL fan saves life of Canucks staffer after spotting cancerous mole

Nadia Popovici and Brian Hamilton, the Vancouver Canucks’ assistant equipment manager, in Seattle. Photograph: Vancouver Canucks Image Library/AFP/Getty Images

When Nadia Popovici spotted a small mole on the back of Brian Hamilton’s neck last October, during an NHL game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Seattle Kraken, she was unsure if the Canucks’ assistant equipment manager was aware it was there. Gaining Hamilton’s attention, she wrote a message on her phone and pressed it against the plexiglass dividing the crowd from the ice. “The mole on the back of your neck is possibly cancerous,” the fan wrote. “Please go see a doctor!” Popovici was right and Hamilton is now cancer-free.

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