Kazakhstan, Philadelphia Fire, and the Secret Life of Cells Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Thursday, Jan. 6, and we're covering unrest in Kazakhstan, a tragic fire in Philadelphia, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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Jan. 6 Anniversary

A long-anticipated report from US Capitol security officials laid out a list of reforms to enhance security, recommendations which come just ahead of the anniversary of the Jan. 6 storming of the congressional complex. In addition to the conclusions, the report notes the force is short 447 officers—almost 20% of planned staffing levels.


President Joe Biden is scheduled to deliver remarks from the White House. Former President Donald Trump rescheduled a planned news conference, opting instead to speak at a Jan. 15 rally in Arizona. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will travel to Georgia, leading a delegation to former colleague Johnny Isakson's funeral. 


More than 700 people face charges linked to activities from the day. The majority relate to disorderly conduct and unlawful or violent entry of a restricted building; six have pleaded guilty to assaulting police officers. The longest sentence handed out to date is 63 months.


In related news, the Democrat-led House select committee investigating the events said it would seek to interview Fox News host Sean Hannity. 


One mystery remains—the identity of a suspect believed to have placed pipe bombs at the headquarters of both the Democratic and Republican National Committees on the night of Jan. 5.


See photos from Jan. 6 here.

Kazakhstan Protests

Government officials in Kazakhstan resigned yesterday after antigovernment protestors set fire to buildings in the nation’s biggest city. The protest was triggered by rising fuel prices and the influence of former president Nursultan Nazarbayev. Nazarbayev stepped down in 2019 after three decades of rule but was still in charge of the Security Council and had a strong influence over his party—he was stripped of his current role Wednesday. Current President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev promised a tough crackdown and implemented a two-week curfew. Internet in the country was also shut down.


The protests ignited earlier this week over a price increase for liquid gas, which is widely used to fuel cars and heat homes. The price doubled to 27 cents per liter when the government lifted a cap on fuel prices Saturday. The increase is significant as the minimum wage in the country is $98 per month.


Reports say dozens of people have been killed, hundreds injured, and a number of buildings destroyed. See photos of the unrest here.

Philadelphia Rowhouse Fire

At least 12 people, including eight children, died yesterday morning in a fire inside a two-unit rowhome in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Two people were sent to hospitals and eight people were able to escape. The building, which is owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority, had at least 26 occupants at the time of the blaze.


Fire department crew members responded to the scene around 6:40 am local time and saw flames around the kitchen area on the second floor of the three-story building. It took about 50 minutes to control the fire. Fire officials said the smoke alarms in the building were not operating. Philadelphia Housing Authority officials said the alarms had been inspected annually and that all the smoke alarms were operational during an inspection in May 2021.


Two of the victims were sisters—Rosalee McDonald, 33, and Virginia Thomas, 30. The identity and ages of the other victims have not been disclosed, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation. 

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> The 2022 Grammy Awards, originally scheduled for Jan. 31 in Los Angeles, have been postponed indefinitely amid omicron concerns; new date likely for April or May (More)


> Sundance Film Festival (Jan. 20-30) cancels its in-person events in Park City, Utah, for second straight year due to rising COVID-19 rates (More)


> Australia cancels world No. 1 Novak Djokovic's visa following backlash over vaccine exemption he received to play in Australian Open (More) | International Olympic Committee says 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to go on as planned (More)

Science & Technology

> AT&T and Verizon agree to two-week delay of 5G equipment rollout over airline industry concerns the frequency interferes with planes' altimeters; federal officials tentatively agree to no further delays (More)


> James Webb Space Telescope successfully completes deployment of its sun shield, considered one of the riskiest process steps (More) | Where is the JWST right now? (More)


> New nanomaterial is shown to capture chemotherapy drugs before they wander off target and potentially damage healthy cells; method is estimated to be more than 3,000% more efficient than competing approaches (More)

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets slide (S&P 500 -1.9%, Dow -1.1%, Nasdaq -3.3%) after Federal Reserve meeting minutes point to potential rate increases as early as March (More)


> NFT marketplace startup OpenSea raises $300M, valuing company at $13.3B (More) | What are NFTs? (More)


> Approximately 1,700 more US flights canceled yesterday due to weather and staffing shortages from the COVID-19 omicron variant; 11th straight day that over 1,000 flights have been canceled (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> Homer Plessy, the plaintiff in the Plessy v. Ferguson case that legalized a "separate but equal" racial segregation doctrine between 1897 and 1954, receives a posthumous pardon (More) | See background on the case here (More)


> US COVID-19 cases averaging 550,000 per day, with daily deaths remaining around 1,250; see data (More) | Track US hospitalization status here (More)


> Human remains found near suspected origin of Colorado fire that destroyed close to 1,000 buildings over the weekend; two others remain missing (More)



Texas' Turtle Movers

Vox | Lauren Owens Lambert. Inside the cross-country rescue operation to help the world’s most endangered turtles. (Read)

The Secret Lives of Cells

Nature | Diana Kwon, Benjamin Thompson. (Podcast) Technological advances are providing scientists with an unprecedented look into the intricate machinery of our bodies' cells—with potentially huge implications for the future of medicine. (Listen)



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America's oldest WWII veteran passes away.


Visualizing China's aging population.


Meet the two newest official dog breeds.


Iowa Cubs employees make bank.


When you have to help a disoriented swan.


Comparing the size of emojis at real-life scale.


Get ready to text with your tongue.


When you accidentally donate your cat to the thrift store.


Clickbait: Woman weds the color pink.


Historybook: Joan of Arc born (1412); Telegraph publicly demonstrated for first time (1838); RIP geneticist and botanist Gregor Mendel (1884); RIP President Teddy Roosevelt (1919). 


"Nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty."

- Teddy Roosevelt

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