2.15.2022

Israel, Russian Doping Decision, and the Year's Best Underwater Photos Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Tuesday, Feb. 15, and we're covering a historic trip in the Middle East, the ongoing Russian Olympic doping saga, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

NEED TO KNOW

 

Israeli Leader Visits Bahrain

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett became the first Israeli leader to visit the Gulf nation of Bahrain yesterday after the two countries formally established relations in 2020 when signing the Abraham Accords.

 

The visit is seen as part of a broader shift in priorities for Arab countries who are seeking to strengthen ties with Israel over shared concerns about a nuclear Iran, rather than pressing Israel to end its conflict with Palestine. World leaders, including the US, are working to revive a deal with Iran over its nuclear program amid rising tensions between Arab nations and Iran-allied groups. Bennett's meeting also comes less than two weeks after Israel and Bahrain signed a defense agreement.

 

Bennett will meet today with Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and his son, Prime Minister and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa. Read more about the Abraham Accords, an effort spearheaded by the Trump administration, here.

Russia Doping Decision

Star Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva has been cleared to compete in the Winter Olympics despite failing a December drug test, according to a ruling yesterday. The overseeing committee concluded a provisional suspension was not warranted while a full investigation proceeds—however, public medal ceremonies will not be held for any event in which Valieva reaches the podium.

 

The 15-year-old phenom became the first female figure skater to land a quadruple jump in Olympic competition last week, leading the Russian squad to victory in the team event. One day later, it was revealed she tested positive for trimetazidine, a heart medication that also increases blood flow and endurance.

 

The drama comes as Russian athletes compete as part of the Russian Olympic Committee, instead of under the country's flag, following a multiyear ban in 2019 for a previous doping scandal

Georgia Hate Crimes Trial 

Opening statements began yesterday in the federal hate crimes trial of three men convicted of murdering Georgia resident Ahmaud Arbery almost two years ago. Gregory McMichael, his son Travis, and their neighbor William Bryan, received life sentences in January on state murder charges. The current trial focuses on whether the trio violated Arbery's civil rights and targeted him because he was Black. 

 

The 25-year-old Arbery was killed in February 2020 while out running, according to his family (see timeline), after the McMichaels confronted and shot him during a struggle. The trio would later claim they believed Arbery had committed theft and were attempting a citizen's arrest—a claim rejected by the jury during their murder trial. 

 

The federal case proceeds after the presiding judge rejected a plea agreement struck by prosecutors that would've avoided a trial. 

In partnership with The Ascent

PLANNING FOR LATE 2023

 

We like a nice grace period on a credit card—it can allow us to get our ducks in a row for a month or two, or sometimes six, when we could use a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.

 

So imagine our excitement when The Ascent found a credit card that offers not one, not two, not six, but up to 21 months of 0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. That could quite easily have you covered until late 2023. But an intro 0% APR isn't the only perk—you can enjoy an underrated benefit of cellphone protection, special offers on different spending categories, and somehow $0 annual fee. It's no wonder that it recently took home a pair of awards designated by The Ascent team for best credit cards of 2022.

 

Looking to avoid credit card interest for as long as possible? Who isn't? We don't think this card can be beaten. Apply today.

Please support our sponsors!

IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with CanvasPeople

> US women top Finland 4-1 in hockey semifinals; take on Canada tomorrow in gold medal game (More) | See latest medal standings (More)

 

> Judge to dismiss Sarah Palin's defamation lawsuit against The New York Times, saying her legal team failed to show the paper acted with "actual malice," the standard in such cases (More)

 

> Regina Hall, Wanda Sykes, and Amy Schumer tapped to host 2022 Academy Awards (March 27) (More) | Trevor Noah to headline White House correspondents' dinner; show was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 (More)

From our partners: Free large canvas?! Bring beautiful photos from the camera roll to the living room, with CanvasPeople. They print your favorite images onto high-quality canvases, and today they're giving 1440 readers one free 16x20 canvas print (over $120 in value). Just pay S&H; create yours today!

Science & Technology

> US Southwest megadrought is the most severe 22-year period in the past 1,200 years, new analysis finds (More)

 

> SpaceX plans three new privately crewed missions, including one with its flagship Starship spacecraft (More)

 

> Study suggests immune system B cells produced following an influenza infection hide in lung tissue to fight future illnesses (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets fall for third consecutive day (S&P 500 -0.4%, Dow -0.5%, Nasdaq -0.0%) on growing fears of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine (More)

 

> Texas attorney general files lawsuit against Meta (Facebook) alleging company’s former facial recognition technology violated privacy protections (More)

 

> Microsoft employees to start initial return to offices by end of month, will focus on hybrid work environment (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he has been told Russia may attempt to invade the country tomorrow (More) | Russia pulls back some troops, hinting at possible continuation of talks (More) | See a deep dive on the crisis here (More)

 

> San Francisco recall vote set for today, voters to decide whether to replace three school board members; critics say the board failed to prioritize a return to in-person learning for students, among other issues (More)

 

> Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invokes emergency powers for the first time in country's history to quell protests over COVID-19 restrictions (More) | US Navy engineer pleads guilty to attempting to sell nuclear submarine secrets to foreign powers (More)

IN-DEPTH

 

Trees From Space

Richard Hollingham | BBC Future. In 1971, 500 seeds were transported to the moon aboard the Apollo 14 mission. Take a look at the effort to locate where the trees were planted upon their return. (Read)

The Economics of Spotify

The Hustle | Mark Dent. A look into the economics that turned Spotify into a streaming juggernaut—and left some artists feeling underappreciated. (Read)

BEST OF 2022

 

In partnership with The Ascent

 

Recently, The Ascent—our go-to experts on all things credit cards—released a list of the best credit cards of 2022. And there's one card in particular that stood out to us. Why? Because it's so good, they mentioned it twice.

 

This card was named "Best 0% Intro APR Credit Card" and "Best Balance Transfer Credit Card," thanks to its incredible 0% intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers of up to 21 months, along with additional perks and no annual fee. Check it—or any of The Ascent's other great credit finds—out today.

Please support our sponsors!

ETCETERA

 

Sharks top the best underwater photos of the year

 

Charting the age at which mothers have their children.

 

Five decades of Olympic doping.

 

The physics of the ski jump.

 

Colombia attempts to recover a fabled Spanish shipwreck.

 

Coinbase scores with its bouncing QR code ad.

 

VR headsets are causing insurance claims to spike.

 

A 5,000-year-old chalk drum is set to go on public display

 

Clickbait: Not every moment is Instagrammable.

 

Historybook: Astronomer Galileo Galilei born (1564); Women's rights activist Susan B. Anthony born (1820); RIP musician Nat King Cole (1965); Soviet-Afghan War ends as all Soviet troops depart Afghanistan (1989); Millions of people in 600 cities protest Iraq War (2003).

 

"People don't slip. Time catches up with them."

- Nat King Cole

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].

Interested in advertising to smart readers like you? Apply here!

Join a community of over 3.6 million intellectually curious individuals.

100% free. Unsubscribe anytime.

Don't miss out on the daily email read by over 3.6 million intellectually curious readers.