NASA's Perseverance rover successfully landed on the Martian surface yesterday. The landing followed seven comfortable months of interplanetary travel followed by seven final minutes of anxiety, which included deceleration from 12,000 mph and a descent via a 70-foot parachute (more here).
least the next 687 days—one Martian year—Perseverance will focus on four objectives. The first two involve searching for environments conducive to, and signatures of, past life in the planet's Jezero Crater, believed to have been an ancient lake. The rover will also collect soil and rock samples, and test oxygen production in the Martian atmosphere for use in future crewed missions. It will also test a foldable helicopter, in what will be the first controlled flight on another planet.
Watch the reaction from NASA engineers as the rover signaled touchdown.
Bob Dole Cancer Diagnosis
Former Kansas senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole (R) revealed yesterday he has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. The 97-year-old Dole said he would begin receiving treatment Monday.
Dole began his career in federal politics in 1961, serving in the US House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 1969. He served as Senate Minority Leader for eight years—and Majority Leader for less than one year—before announcing his candidacy for
president in 1996. Dole ultimately lost to former President Bill Clinton in an election where third-party candidate Ross Perot took more than 8% of the vote. Emblematic of a political era where dealmaking and compromise were favored, Dole went on to help launch the Bipartisan Policy Center in 2007.
Stage 4 cancers are metastatic, meaning it has spread from its origin point to different parts of the body—see the different stages here.
Massacre in Ethiopia
Government-backed forces allegedly killed hundreds in a massacre at Ethiopia's Church of St. Mary of Zion in November, according to witness accounts provided to The Associated Press. The church sits in the city of Axum in the northern region of Tigray, where the government has carried out a bloody, monthslong offensive to root out separatist elements.
Fighting in the region began months ago after Tigray officials held their own elections last fall, a move viewed as the latest
step in a gradual push toward regional autonomy (see overview). Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed—winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize—sent in troops to quell opposition, reportedly with support from Eritrean forces. Since then, communication out of Tigray has been nearly nonexistent, though thousands are believed to have been killed.
St. Mary of Zion is considered one of Ethiopia's holiest sites—tradition says it holds Christianity's Ark of the Covenant.
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THE STATE OF DIRECT MAIL
It’s easy to get data on digital marketing, but when it comes to direct mail, benchmarking is no simple task. From attribution models, to costs, to workflow there’s just not a lot of info out there on direct mail as a marketing channel.
>Japan names Seiko Hashimoto, renowned female athlete and politician, as president of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics committee after prior chief resigned following sexist remarks (More)
>Malia Obama to join writing team on Donald Glover’s first Amazon series; Glover signed a multiyear, eight-figure deal with Amazon (More) | U-Roy, pioneering Jamaican reggae and dancehall artist, dies at 78 (More)
>LeBron James, Kevin Durant named captains of 2021 NBA All-Star Game (March 7, 8 pm ET, TNT); see rosters(More) | Ivy League cancels spring sports season due to COVID-19; was first Division I conference to cancel fall sports in 2020(More)
>US life expectancy fell by roughly one year in the first half of 2020, largely attributable to the pandemic(More) | US reports 493,098 total COVID-19 deaths, with 2,558 yesterday; averages down 40% from mid-January (More) | At least 41 million people have received at least one vaccine dose; see state-by-state data (More)
>Three quantum devices linked in a network for the first time, a key step toward demonstrating the possibility of a quantum internet (More)
cloned; marks the first successful cloning of an endangered species in the US (More)
Business & Markets
>US stock markets slide (S&P 500 -0.4%, Dow -0.4%, Nasdaq -0.7%) as initial unemployment claims climb to 861,000 filed during the previous week, a 10% increase over last week (More)
>CEO of Robinhood, hedge fund managers, and Reddit traders grilled by House Financial Services Committee on GameStop’s
>Shares of Walmart slide 6% after missing earnings expectations despite 69% growth in e-commerce sales in 2020; company to boost wages for 425,000 workers to an average hourly wage of $15 (More)
Politics & World Affairs
>House Democrats unveil White House-backed immigration bill that includes eight-year path citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the country; passage is uncertain, with Democrats holding slim majorities in the House and Senate (More)
>Ivanka Trumpends speculation over 2022 primary challenge
against incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio (R), says she will support his reelection (More)
>US formally rejoins Paris Climate Agreement; Biden administration expected to announce emissions-cutting targets before Earth Day in April (More)
Ordinary Voices of Slavery
Atlantic | Clint Smith. Drawn from the 1930s Federal Writers' Project, powerful narratives of everyday slavery from those who survived it. (Read, $$)
Editor's note: Explore many of the original documents, courtesy of the Library of Congress.
A $100B Question
Atomic Bulletin | Elisabeth Eaves. A fascinating look at America's nuclear missile silos—and why they've become more about the social safety net than defense strategy. (Read)
The Gangster and the Gypsy King
BBC | Darragh MacIntyre. In June, heavyweight champion Tyson Fury thanked Daniel Kinahan for his role in brokering fights. The problem? Kinahan is one of Ireland's most notorious mob bosses. (Read)
'It’s a Miracle I Came Out Alive'
ELLE | Marjon Carlos. Singer FKA Twigs gets personal about her relationship with actor Shia LaBeouf, whom she is suing for domestic abuse. (Read)
Historybook: Thomas Edison gets patent for the phonograph (1878); HBD musician Smokey Robinson (1940); Battle of Iwo Jima begins (1945); HBD actress Millie Bobby Brown (2004); RIP “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee (2016).
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view."
- Atticus Finch, protagonist in Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird"
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