Frozen Afghan Funds, Endangered Koalas, and French Fry Perfume 1440 Weekend Edition

Happy Saturday! It's Feb. 12, and in this weekend edition, we're covering an executive order over frozen Afghan funds in the US, a state of emergency in Ontario, and much more. Have feedback? We'd love to hear it. Let us know at [email protected]

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Afghanistan Assets

President Joe Biden signed an executive order yesterday to release $7B in frozen assets that belong to Afghanistan’s central bank. Half of the funds would be set aside for the families of 9/11 victims who have sued the Taliban. The other half would go toward humanitarian relief for Afghanistan as it faces widespread famine and a collapsing economy.  


The Afghan government left behind billions of dollars in reserves across several countries when the Taliban took over its capital of Kabul last year after US troops withdrew. The final transfer of the funds could take months, requiring action from the courts as well as the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve, and financial institutions.


Separately, the Taliban had detained two journalists working for the United Nations and Afghan nationals working alongside them, according to reports yesterday. They were later released. Several other foreigners, including an American, have been held in Kabul since December. Their status is unclear.



Canadian Province of Ontario declares a state of emergency.

The emergency status comes as Canadian trucker protests against COVID-19-related mandates shut down parts of Ottawa, Ontario and the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario. A judge ordered protestors to clear the bridge.


CDC proposes new opioid prescription guidelines.

The proposal from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would roll back some suggested limits on the painkillers that were issued in guidance from 2016.


Australia lists koalas as an endangered species.

The status is aimed at three of Australia's eastern states where koala numbers have declined as a result of drought, bushfires, and habitat loss. 


Lab-grown heart cells help power robotic fish.

Scientists built a biohybrid fish from paper, plastic, gelatin, and two strips of living heart muscle cells. They say the findings could pave the way for producing human heart tissue. 


Scientists discover respiratory infection in a dinosaur.

A study in Montana of the fossils of Dolly the dinosaur's neck bones shows the first evidence of respiratory illness common in birds today. 


McDonald's is headed into the metaverse.

The fast-food chain filed trademarks this week that include operating a virtual restaurant with in-person home delivery.

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> 1.42 billion: The number of chicken wings Americans are expected to eat Sunday for the Super Bowl.


> 31.4 million: The number of Americans who plan to wager a total of $7.61B on the Super Bowl this weekend. 


> $5.3M: The amount of money a jury awarded a coffee worker for lung damage from chemicals released in the coffee-making process. 


> $4.3M: The amount an anonymous buyer paid in cryptocurrency for a 555.55-carat black diamond called "The Enigma." 


> 75 years: The length of time it took two letters to arrive at their final destination. 



> NFL's Anthony Harris attends daddy-daughter dance with 11-year-old fan whose father and grandfather died last year. (More)


> Canadian snowboarder wins gold in Olympics three years after cancer diagnosis. (More


> Three friends have attended the Super Bowl for 55 years; this weekend may be their last together. (More)

> US Olympian Karen Chen's figure skating dress was sewed by her mom. (More)


> Instacart worker saves man's life during grocery delivery. (More) 

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> Idaho Potato Commission releases french fry perfume for Valentine's Day.

The most-searched Super Bowl dip recipes in every state.



> Forests above forests: A discovery of a sky garden brimming with life.


> The history of ghost photography

Why does New York City have so many rats
Possible SpaceX Starlink satellites shoot across the sky in Puerto Rico


Long Read 

> How Bagel Bites became one of the best-known pizza snacks.

> When private equity becomes your landlord
> Why communities in the Netherlands embrace floating homes.


Best of the Week: National Park photographer captures a massive moose.

Historybook: Abraham Lincoln born (1809); Charles Darwin born (1809); NAACP founded (1909); HBD American basketball player Bill Russell (1934); HBD American author Judy Blume (1938); RIP Peanuts cartoonist Charles M. Schulz (2000).


"How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it."

- Judy Blume, "Tiger Eyes"

Why 1440? The printing press was invented in the year 1440, spreading knowledge to the masses and changing the course of history. Guess what else? There are 1,440 minutes in a day and every one is precious. That’s why we scour hundreds of sources every day to provide a concise, comprehensive, and objective view of what's happening in the world. Reader feedback is a gift—shoot us a note at [email protected].

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