US Troop Shift, Jeff Zucker, and an Antarctic Eclipse Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Thursday, Feb. 3, and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and scurried back to his home—enjoy six more weeks of winter. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].



Troops to Eastern Europe

The Biden administration announced yesterday thousands of US troops will be temporarily deployed to Eastern Europe to reassure NATO allies in response to Russia’s military buildup on Ukraine’s borders. After 8,500 US troops were put on alert last week, nearly 2,000 troops will be sent to Germany and Poland, while 1,000 troops currently in Germany will be sent to Romania. No troops will be sent directly to Ukraine; the US currently has fewer than 200 members of the Florida National Guard in the country to train the Ukrainian army. 


Russia objects to claims it is planning to invade Ukraine, though more than 100,000 Russian troops are believed to be near the border.


Separately, a leaked proposal suggested the US offered to reduce NATO military exercises in exchange for Russia deescalating the Ukrainian border threat.

Shake-up at CNN

CNN President Jeff Zucker abruptly resigned yesterday, acknowledging a relationship with a senior colleague. Zucker, who separated from his longtime wife Caryn Nathanson in 2018, said a relationship with Chief Marketing Officer Allison Gollust began during the pandemic. Under company rules, the pair were required to disclose the relationship, which they failed to do (Gollust will remain in her role).


According to Zucker, who had led the company since 2013, the romance was revealed during an investigation into former CNN host Chris Cuomo. The latter was fired after an internal probe concluded he improperly helped his brother, then New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), amid a flurry of sexual harassment charges. Zucker was known as a hands-on executive and his departure comes as CNN prepares to launch a streaming news service. 


The company will be led by a trio of executives until a replacement is found. 

Washington Goes Commando

The NFL's Washington Football Team will now be known as the Washington Commanders after the team revealed a long-awaited franchise rebranding. Yesterday's announcement comes two seasons after the team dropped the "Redskins" moniker amid pressure from activists, investors, and business partners. 


Team owner Daniel Snyder had long resisted calls for change, contending the original name, which the franchise had held for more than nine decades, was a term of respect. At the time, the brand was also estimated to account for about $230M of the team's $3.4B valuation (it was estimated at $4.2B last fall, see full list). Snyder eventually bowed to calls for a rebrand from top sponsors like FedEx—who sponsors the team's stadium—and Nike. 


The new name leaked Tuesday night after a news helicopter used its zoom-in camera to spy through the stadium's windows. See how the decision-making unfolded here.

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ridge

> Team USA taps bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor and curler John Shuster as flag bearers for Friday's Olympics opening ceremony (More) | Beijing Games already underway; see full schedule (More)


> Monica Vitti, iconic actress known as the "Queen of Italian Cinema," dies at 90 of complications from Alzheimer's (More)


> Dolly Parton, Eminem, and Lionel Richie headline list of 17 artists and groups nominated for 2022 class of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (More)

From our partners: Fwd this to your Valentine ... so they know what to get you. The Ridge makes wallets, gear, bags, and phone cases inspired by minimalism and quality materials. The bestselling Ridge Wallet is ultra-slim, RFID-blocking, holds 1-12 cards without stretching out, and is backed by a lifetime guarantee. Celebrate everlasting love with gifts that last even longer: Take 10% off today with code VDAY10.

Science & Technology

> Biden Administration restarts cancer moonshot initiative, aims to cut cancer deaths by 50% over 25 years; effort will focus on access and prevention, no new research funding proposed (More)


> Astronomers predict signals from the merger of two giant black holes located roughly 1.2 billion light-years away are expected to reach Earth in roughly 100 days; the long-predicted mechanism for black hole growth has never been directly observed (More)


> "Quantum friction" resolves paradox of why water flows more smoothly through narrow carbon nanotubes; new theory is the first indication of quantum mechanical effects at the boundary of a fluid and solid (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets up (S&P 500 +0.9%, Dow +0.6%, Nasdaq +0.5%) for the fourth consecutive session, but futures drop after tech earnings released after the bell (More)


> Meta (Facebook) missed expectations and posted lower quarterly earnings over last year, also expects revenue growth to slow; shares down over 20% in after-hours trading removing approximately $200B from company’s market cap (More) | Spotify posts over $10B in 2021 revenues, but management forecasts slower subscriber growth sending shares down 10% in after-hours trading (More


> Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Pfizer top Fortune’s annual list of the world’s most admired companies (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> France, Denmark begin to lift a wide range of pandemic restrictions; Danish officials say COVID-19 is no longer a "socially critical disease" (More) | See current US COVID-19 stats here (More)


> Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman sues Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani, and others for alleged witness intimidation and retaliation; Vindman testified at the first impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump (More)


> At least 22 people killed, almost 50 injured, in Ecuador after 17-hour rainstorm triggers mudslides (More) | See aerial footage (More)



How Tom Brady Changed the NFL

The Ringer | Kevin Clark. Quarterback Tom Brady retired this week, having obliterated a slew of major records over the course of 22 seasons. Here's how his legacy transformed the league. (Read)

Searching for Susy Thunder

The Verge | Claire L. Evans. Inside the world of the great lost female hacker of the 1980s who disappeared. (Read)



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A solar eclipse over Antarctica, viewed from space.


AI-captained vessel to recreate the Mayflower voyage.


The metaverse real estate market is booming.


Each country connected to its biggest trading partner.


Nifty animation demonstrates the speed of light.


Sweden's litter-fighting murder of crows.


Cincinnati schools get day off for the Super Bowl.


A wind-whipped landing at Heathrow Airport. (w/video)


Clickbait: Dutch bridge to be deconstructed for Jeff Bezos' superyacht.


Historybook: RIP printing press inventor Johannes Gutenberg (1468); American novelist Gertrude Stein born (1874); Musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper are killed in plane crash (1959); Luna 9 becomes first spacecraft to make soft landing on the moon (1966).


"Understanding and believing are not the same thing."

- Gertrude Stein

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