2.26.2022

Supreme Court Nomination, Ukraine, and a Pink Lagoon 1440 Weekend Edition
 

Good morning, it's Saturday, Feb. 26, and in this weekend edition, we're covering a Supreme Court nomination, updates on the war in Ukraine, and much more. Have feedback? We'd love to hear it. Let us know at [email protected]

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ONE BIG HEADLINE

 

Supreme Court Pick

President Joe Biden has nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court, the White House announced yesterday. If confirmed, Jackson would replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, and become the first Black female justice in the court's history.

 

Only a simple majority vote is needed in the Senate to confirm Jackson to the Supreme Court, with Vice President Kamala Harris also casting a vote in the event of a tie in the 50-50 split Senate. 

 

Jackson, 51, is currently a judge for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She has held the position since June after winning Senate confirmation by a 53-44 vote. Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (SC), Susan Collins (ME), and Lisa Murkowski (AK) voted in her favor with Democrats, including moderates Sens. Joe Manchin (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ). It's unclear whether they would all vote for Jackson again. 

 

Read more about Jackson here.

QUICK HITS

 

NATO readies forces as Ukraine crisis continues.

The second day of Russia's attack on Ukraine brought more destruction to the region as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization activated its Response Force for the first time. The special force consists of thousands of soldiers from member countries in a defensive capacity. See the war in maps, pictures, and videos here.

 

The UN says up to 5 million Ukrainians are expected to seek refuge.

More than 50,000 people have already fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, primarily Poland and Moldova, amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, according to the United Nations. 

 

Russia threatens Finland and Sweden on joining NATO.

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday any attempts to join NATO would have “military and political repercussions.”

 

The CDC eases COVID-19 masking guidelines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention loosened the metrics used to determine whether to recommend face coverings, allowing many Americans to no longer wear masks indoors at most places. The metrics will look beyond caseloads and consider hospitalizations and hospital capacity.

 

J&J and three US drug distributors finalize $26B opioid settlement.

Johnson & Johnson, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson will distribute the money to local and state governments to settle suits claiming their business practices fueled the opioid crisis. The first payment will begin in April and continue over the next 18 years.

 

UN body considers a global treaty to curb plastic pollution.

Delegates of the UN Environment Assembly are meeting next week in Kenya to weigh proposals for an international framework to reduce single-use plastic.

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BOOKKEEPING

 
 

> $4M: The amount a small Oklahoma city and its local college are paying American Airlines to continue to serve the area. American has been the only airline that flies to the city of Stillwater since 2016 but planned to back out because of unprofitability.

 

> $900K: The price at which a rare 1998 Pokémon trading card was sold.

 

> 6,988: The number of passengers the world's largest cruise ship can hold. The Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas ship, which can also hold 2,300 crew members, will begin its maiden voyage March 4 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

 

~25 tons: The amount of lettuce the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has fed to manatees as part of a feeding program to reduce mortality rates. More than 1,000 manatees died in 2021 due to starvation caused by water pollution. 

 

> 8 years: The length of time a group of an East African species of ticks survived without food in an entomologist's lab. They lived for a total of 27 years, and at least one female tick reproduced years after the last male tick died.

HUMANKIND

 
 

> Shaquille O'Neal surprises family of 11 with new vehicles. (More

 

> First graders in Arizona send personalized holiday cards to veterans. (More)

 

> A Wyoming animal sanctuary rescues 30 beagles en route to research facility as part of mission to rescue 150 beagle puppies. (More

 

> A Chicago student becomes the first person at his school to score a 36 on the ACT. (More

 

> Parents welcome baby girl born Feb. 22, 2022, at 2:22 am. (More)

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ETCETERA 

 

Browse 

> Photographs of a candy-colored pink lagoon in Australia.

A ranking of the safest cities for solo female travelers

 

Listen 

Burnout—and how to avoid it.


Watch 

> The rise and fall of linoleum flooring.

The history of the first smartphone that came too early for its time.

 

Read
Pepsi is launching new nitrogen-infused drinks.

 

Long Read 

> In search of Troy: Getting to the bottom of the city celebrated by Homer.

> The fight to save chocolate and wine.
> The centuries-old feud between American Budweiser and Czech Budweiser.

 

Best of the Week: The British Museum reveals the secrets of Stonehenge.

Historybook: French poet and author of "Les Misérables" Victor Hugo born (1802); "Livery Stable Blues" by the Original Dixieland Jass Band becomes first jazz recording created (1917); Pianist and singer-songwriter Fats Domino born (1928); Singer Johnny Cash born (1932); Trayvon Martin killed, starting a series of protests about racism across the country (2012).

 

"Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise."

- Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables"

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