Pipeline Paused, Soccer Settlement, and Global Literacy Rates Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Wednesday, Feb. 23, and we're covering the response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a settlement for US women's soccer, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].



Germany Pauses Pipeline

Germany suspended its approval of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline yesterday, one of a number of actions taken by Western leaders in response to Russia's movement into eastern Ukraine. The pipeline, an $11B project that would deliver almost 2 trillion cubic feet of gas from Russia to Germany each year, has been criticized for increasing European dependence on Russian energy sources. 


The move followed Russia's recognition of the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, two rebel-held territories which have seen eight years of civil conflict (see maps). The Kremlin has deployed troops into the region under the pretense of peacekeeping—Western officials have referred to the action as a de facto invasion.


The US issued sanctions targeting the two regions and a number of Russian institutions and individuals. European Union leaders issued sanctions on more than 350 Russian lawmakers who supported the invasion.


Separately, analysts say Russian state media has pivoted from being relatively muted on the tensions to justifying action using a bevy of questionable claims.

Verdict in Georgia

A jury yesterday found three white men guilty of federal hate crimes and attempted kidnapping in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, who was Black, yesterday. The verdict, in which a jury concluded race played a primary factor in the killing, comes one day before the two-year anniversary of Arbery's killing. 


Gregory McMichael, his son Travis, and their neighbor William Bryan were previously sentenced to life in prison by a Georgia judge for confronting and shooting Arbery, who was out running, according to his family (see timeline). The McMichaels were sentenced without parole, while Bryan will be eligible for parole at age 82. 


In the federal hate crimes trial, the jury also found the McMichaels guilty of firearms charges. Prosecutors had argued the men were racially motivated and cited about two dozen messages and social media posts with racial slurs and derogatory language.


Separately, deliberations in the federal civil rights trial against three former Minneapolis police officers accompanying Derek Chauvin when he killed George Floyd in May 2020 are expected to begin today.

USWNT Settlement

The US women’s national team reached a $24M settlement with the US Soccer Federation yesterday. Several players, including Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, filed an equal-pay lawsuit against the federation ahead of their 2019 World Cup victory. The team will receive $22M to be put toward back pay for the 28 players in the suit, with another $2M for charity—about one-third of the initial ask. The new deal, contingent on negotiating a new contract, closes the pay gap between men’s and women’s soccer.


USSF had argued it did not discriminate against the USWNT—men were paid on a pay-for-play basis earning more for wins, while women were paid on base salaries with a bonus structure for wins. In September, the federation offered identical contracts to the men’s and women’s teams.


The settlement is also a victory for USSF president Cindy Parlow Cone, a former women’s player. Cone replaced Carlos Cordeiro, who had made a legal claim that women had less physical ability than men. The women’s team has won four World Cups, six Olympic medals, and eight CONCACAF Gold Cups.


See players’ reactions here.

In partnership with The Motley Fool



Twice every month, The Motley Fool’s team of analysts produces a new, thoroughly vetted, and researched stock pick for their members. It’s their way of committing to continued excellence: They don’t rest on their laurels.


But they probably could if they wanted. Past recommendations have included Amazon (up 19,925%), Netflix (up 21,003%), and Salesforce (up 2,916%), generating massive returns for members who took their advice. And still—month in, month out—they recommend two new stocks. But every so often, they make a recommendation that isn’t so “new” after all. It’s a stock they’re so confident in … they recommend it a second time.


Known at The Motley Fool office as an “All In” buy sign, these stock picks have only happened 96 times in the 29-year history of The Motley Fool. Its average returns are 520%—access the latest “All In” pick when you join The Motley Fool today.


Returns as of 2/13/22

Please support our sponsors!



Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Eight of 23 Academy Awards (March 27) categories to be taped before telecast and incorporated into live show in effort to improve ratings (More)


> Indian chess grandmaster Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, 16, becomes youngest person to defeat world champion Magnus Carlsen since his reign began in 2013 (More)


> Mark Lanegan, Grammy-nominated musician with Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age, dies at 57 (More) | Dr. Paul Farmer, humanitarian and cofounder of global nonprofit Partners in Health, dies at 62 (More)

Science & Technology

> Researchers demonstrate first artificial organic neuron; synthetic nerve cell is capable of integrating with a plant and connecting to a synapse (More)


> STAT News releases its annual STATUS list of the most influential decision-makers in health, medicine, and biomedical science (More)


> Scientists find evidence of an ancient low-lying continent that sat between Europe and Asia roughly 50 million years ago; named Balkanatolia, the landmass eventually merged with both continents (More)

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets fall again (S&P 500 -1.0%, Dow -1.4%, Nasdaq -1.2%) on growing Russia-Ukraine fears (More)


> US home prices increase 18.8% over 2021, the highest level in 34 years, per the Case-Schiller index; Phoenix, Tampa, and Miami markets lead the gains (More)


> Retail giant Macy’s decides to not separate its e-commerce business from brick and mortar stores; shares fall 5% (More)

From our partners: No credit card interest until 2023? Sounds like a deal to us. This card offers an incredibly long 0% APR period to help you save big and pay off debt. Apply today in two minutes.

Politics & World Affairs

> National Guard to be deployed to help intervene in potential trucker COVID-19 protest planned outside Washington, DC, beginning this week (More) | Average US COVID-19 cases fall to 84,000 per day; daily deaths near 1,800 (More)


> Supreme Court denies appeal by former President Donald Trump to block White House documents from House Jan. 6 Committee (More) | Court agrees to hear case on whether Colorado web designer must provide business services for same-sex couples (More


> Tongan internet communications reestablished roughly five weeks after a massive volcanic and resultant tsunami impacted the island nation (More)



In partnership with The Motley Fool


In 2012, The Motley Fool recommended Tesla’s stock to its members (now up 13,405%). In 2007, it recommended Netflix (now up 13,797%). But here’s the catch: It had already recommended Tesla and Netflix before—these stocks were “All In” picks, meaning The Motley Fool was so confident in their potential for strong returns, it recommended them on two different occasions.


And today, The Motley Fool has another “All In” stock pick, excitingly positioned in the massive online advertising industry. Access the report today.


Returns as of 2/13/22

Please support our sponsors!



Visualizing global literacy rates.


US rents continue to rise.


Super rare pterosaur fossil found in Scotland.


Celebrated children's cartoon "Arthur" to end after 25 seasons.


Reporter covers the Ukraine crisis in six languages.


Study suggests fish are actually very chatty.


Fifty things to do before you die (part 2). 


Zoey the dog has been reunited with her owners after 12 years.


Clickbait: Magpies outwit scientists.


Historybook: Gutenberg Bible is published (1455); RIP President John Quincy Adams (1848); Sociologist and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois born (1868); Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima photo taken (1945); HBD actress Emily Blunt (1983).


"The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression."

- W.E.B. Du Bois

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.