Putin Rally, Ivermectin Study, and the World’s Happiest Countries 1440 Weekend Edition

Good morning. It's Saturday, March 19, and in this weekend edition, we're covering the latest in Russia's invasion of Ukraine, results from the largest study on ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment, and much more. Have feedback? We'd love to hear it. Let us know at [email protected]

First time reading? Sign up here.



Putin Holds Rally

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to a crowd of tens of thousands of people at a flag-waving rally in a Moscow stadium yesterday, praising his troops for the country's invasion of Ukraine. Putin sought to justify his actions by describing the invasion as a special operation meant to stop what he claims to be a genocide in the Donbas region in southeastern Ukraine. 


The rally was held to formally mark the eighth anniversary of Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. According to reports, some members of the crowd had been forced to attend the rally. 


Putin held his speech while Russian airstrikes expanded and hit the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. Four missiles destroyed buildings at an aircraft repair plant near the airport, injuring at least one person, the city's mayor said. Lviv is about 40 miles from Poland's border, a NATO territory. 


Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday in an effort to deter China from providing military assistance or economic aid to Russia. 


See map updates of the war and catch up on the latest here.



Study finds ivermectin ineffective against severe COVID-19 cases. 

The oral antiparasitic medication ivermectin didn't improve outcomes of coronavirus patients in the largest trial to date, researchers found. The drug was ineffective in preventing hospitalizations when compared to a placebo. 


Hong Kong exceeds 1 million total COVID-19 cases.

Health officials reported more than 20,000 confirmed cases and more than 200 deaths Friday. The city's morgues are also running out of space, with total deaths surpassing 5,000. 


Texas wildfires prompt hundreds of evacuations.

Multiple wildfires burned through at least 70 square miles of land in Eastland County, Texas, where about 18,000 people live. About 475 homes in the town of Gorman and a nursing home in the town of Rising Star were evacuated. 


Great Barrier Reef hit with widespread bleaching.

Australia's Great Barrier Reef suffers from mass coral bleaching, authorities said Friday. Rising ocean temperatures cause healthy corals to expel algae from their tissues, draining their colors. The report comes ahead of UNESCO's review of the reef's World Heritage listing. 


A 36-million-year-old whale fossil found in Peru.

Paleontologists discovered a skull of the marine predator in the Ocucaje Desert, which was once a shallow sea millions of years ago. The skull was well preserved, with rows of long, pointy teeth. 

In partnership with LMNT



It's easy to forget that our bodies' sweat isn't just water. But why is it that we only down a glass of water after a long run or a hot day? Our sweat consists of water and salt, so next time you're reaching for that glass of water ... remember to replenish electrolytes too.


After years of mixing his own homemade electrolyte blends and frustration with the lack of healthy options on the market, LMNT Co-founder Robb Wolf used his experience as a biochemist and Navy SEAL resiliency committee member to create his own product—and thus was born LMNT. With no sugar, artificial ingredients, or junk found in conventional sports drinks, LMNT is your chance for a clean electrolyte boost after a long day, intense workout, or night out.


Ready to hydrate your body the right way? Try LMNT for FREE (just pay S&H) with a sample pack of all eight of their delicious flavors.

Please support our sponsors!



> $518,628: The selling price of a football from Tom Brady's touchdown pass to Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans in the 2022 NFC Divisional. The ball was sold at an auction just a day before Brady announced he was unretiring. 


> $4,000: The price of a nearly 100-year-old bottle of cognac a Bay Area woman swiped from a steakhouse. Her family eventually returned the bottle and is now banned from the establishment.


> 1,000: The gallons of diesel fuel thieves allegedly siphoned from a gas station in Texas. The family-owned gas station claims the thieves took about $5,000 worth of fuel using a trap door inside a minivan. 


> 485%: The global increase in the number of Duolingo users who are studying Ukrainian. Most of the spike came from those in the US, the language-learning company said. 


> 60: The number of points Brooklyn Nets players Kyrie Irving and Karl-Anthony Towns each scored in consecutive games. Irving and Towns are the first teammates in NBA history to alternately score more than 50 points in back-to-back games.



> Community rallies to revive historic Houston-area theater closed from the pandemic. (More


> Harvard teens build a website to match Ukrainian refugees with people offering places to stay. (More)


> A 99-year-old World War II veteran is now a children's book author. (More


> US soldier surprises his mom at the restaurant where she works. (More)


> Indiana University cheerleaders save stuck ball during NCAA tournament. (More)

From our partners: What's Your Problem? No, we're not asking—we're telling you about the latest and greatest podcast from Pushkin Industries. Highlighting innovators figuring out how to accomplish things that no one knows how to do, What's Your Problem? episodes explore how a drone delivery service built in Rwanda can work in North Carolina, how to convince people to buy a house on the internet, and how to build a car that can drive itself. Listen to What’s Your Problem? wherever you get podcasts.



Dear readers, 1440 staff member Sony K spotted the above reminder in Chicago this week. We couldn't help but think about moments of kindness in our lives—and yours. What act(s) of kindness have you experienced over the past year? Share your stories here.




> The world's happiest countries. 

US cities with the most $1M homes.  



> Investigating a supernatural occurrence in a used Toyota Prius


> Boy crashes into a sloth while zip-lining.

> What was medieval junk food like

Every piece of gear in an army cavalry scout's 72-hour bag

> "60 Minutes" on "Ted Lasso." 


Long Read 

> A long-ignored environmental disaster: Kenya is drowning

> A doctor in India turns out to not be the person he claims to be.


Best of the Week: America's most popular dog breeds.

Historybook: HBD actress Glenn Close (1947); HBD actor Bruce Willis (1955); RIP American fashion designer Anne Klein (1974); Public television network C-SPAN launches (1979);  NFL strips the city of Phoenix of the 1993 Super Bowl over Arizona's refusal to recognize a paid Martin Luther King Jr. holiday (1991).


"It always amazes me to think that every house on every street is full of so many stories; so many triumphs and tragedies, and all we see are yards and driveways."

- Glenn Close

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.