1.24.2022

Ukraine Tensions, Yemen, and 50 States of Adventure Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Monday, Jan. 24, and we're covering tensions in Ukraine, another devastating attack in Yemen, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Aid to Ukraine

The US has coordinated the first shipment of military aid to Ukraine, the latest move in an increasingly tense standoff with Russia. An estimated 100,000 Russian troops have been stationed near Ukraine's eastern border for months, though President Vladimir Putin denies rumors of an impending invasion. The US has ordered nonessential staff to evacuate the embassy.

 

Ukraine is sandwiched between the European Union and Russia (deep dive here), with historical and cultural ties to the latter as a former Soviet Republic. Despite downplaying the threat of an invasion, Russia invaded and annexed the strategic Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. While Putin's intentions remain unclear, analysts believe the primary goal is to prevent Ukraine's drift toward Western powers—in particular, joining NATO. 

 

In related news, British intelligence suggested Putin has plans to install a pro-Russia puppet government in the event of an invasion. 

Webb Reaches Destination

NASA engineers will send final correction burn instructions today to the James Webb Space Telescope, an adjustment that will nudge the craft into its permanent orbit.

 

Sitting nearly 1 million miles from Earth, the location is known as the second sun-Earth Lagrange point—a spot where both the Earth's and sun's gravity combine with the centrifugal force of orbiting to provide the telescope a stable trajectory. See a model of the craft's orbit here

 

The orbit will allow the craft, the largest and most complex space telescope ever launched, to permanently face away from the Earth and sun. A 70-foot sun shield keeps its measurement tools ultracold, allowing the detection of infrared signals from the farthest reaches of the universe. 

 

See how the JWST can effectively peer back in time

Airstrikes in Yemen

At least 87 people were killed and more than 260 injured in Yemen after a Saudi-led airstrike largely demolished a rebel-held prison. Reports suggest the majority of the victims were migrants being detained at the facility. A separate strike on a telecommunications hub in the port city of Hodeida knocked out internet access across the country, while a third strike hit the capital city of Sanaa.

 

The country's bloody seven-year civil war has become a proxy for the region's larger power struggle. The offensive comes days after the Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed drone attacks in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates—a key ally of Saudi Arabia. The war has killed more than 130,000 people, including thousands of civilians, and has led to an acute famine affecting millions of children

 

See drone footage of the prison following the strike here.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with obé Fitness

> Defending champs Tampa Bay eliminated; Kansas City, Cincinnati, San Francisco, and Los Angeles Rams all advance in NFL divisional playoff weekend (More) | See latest playoff bracket (More) | Kansas State's Ayoka Lee breaks Division I women's basketball record with 61 points in single game (More)

 

> "Spider-Man: No Way Home" tops weekend box office and passes $1.69B total at global box office, becomes sixth highest-grossing film of all time (not adjusted for inflation) (More

 

> Louie Anderson, Emmy-winning actor and comic, dies at 68 of cancer (More) | Brazilian samba legend Elza Soares dies at 91 (More) | Iconic French fashion designer Thierry Mugler dies at 73 (More) | Thich Nhat Hanh,  Buddhist monk and peace activist, dies at 95 (More)

From our partners: Workouts that don't feel like work. Make moves this year with the endless variety, curated programs, and live and on-demand workout options from obé Fitness. Choose from instructors who are Rockettes dancers, Broadway performers, and professional entertainers who know how to make exercise fun. And they're giving 1440 readers an exclusive limited-time offer: get two months for just $2 using code 2FOR1440.

Science & Technology

> European Union backs law narrowing the ability of tech companies to track and profile users to deliver hyper-targeted ads (More)

 

> Large Hadron Collider researchers make first detection of elusive X particles; created in quark-gluon plasma, the particles shed light on the first fractions of a second after the Big Bang (More) | What is the LHC? (More)

 

> Saturn's innermost moon may contain a subsurface ocean; newly detected wobble in orbit may be due to internal "sloshing" (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets slide again Friday (S&P 500 -1.9%, Dow -1.3%, Nasdaq -2.7%) delivering worst week since 2020 (More) | Cryptocurrencies tumble—Bitcoin falls to $34K over the weekend, down over 50% since November all-time high (More)

 

> Intel to build two chipmaking factories in Ohio, with an initial investment of more than $20B (More)

 

> Private equity firm to acquire data assets of IBM’s Watson Health unit for rumored $1B (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Booster shots of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines almost 90% effective at preventing hospitalization from the omicron variant (More) | Daily cases in the US appear to peak, average daily deaths rise above 2,000 (More)

 

> Hundreds evacuated from California's Pacific coast as a wildfire burns up from a canyon near Big Sur (More) | Multiple winter storms to affect roughly 50 million people in the US Midwest and Northeast throughout the week (More)

 

> Two police officers shot, one fatally, in New York City during domestic disturbance call; marks the third and fourth officers shot in four days (More)

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ETCETERA

 

Visualizing how N95 masks work.

 

All 50 states' most epic adventures.

 

The dramatic changes of Tonga's volcano.

 

Rare snowstorm hits the Saudi desert.

 

Amazon teases its "Lord of the Rings" prequel.

 

Teenage pilot becomes youngest woman to fly solo around the world

 

Tarantula-killing worm named after actor Jeff Daniels

 

Robot umps to get promoted to the minor leagues.

 

Clickbait: When you try to purchase a child at Walmart.

 

Historybook: RIP Winston Churchill (1965); Ted Bundy executed (1989); Actress Sharon Tate born (1943); RIP Thurgood Marshall (1993); Department of Homeland Security opens (2003).

 

"To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to have changed often."

- Winston Churchill

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