China Plane Crash, Rohingya Genocide, and the Hydrogen Race Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Tuesday, March 22, and we're covering a deadly air crash in China, another strike on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].



Flight MU5735

A Boeing 737-800 crashed yesterday in the southern Chinese province of Guangxi, in what may be the country's worst aviation incident in more than two decades. Nine crew members and 123 passengers were aboard when the flight, operated by China Eastern Airlines, went down. Officials have not confirmed the number of victims as of this writing.


According to flight tracking data (see here), the plane went into a rapid descent, falling almost 22,000 feet at speeds above 250 mph before crashing into a mountainside. Footage showed the plane in a near-vertical nosedive moments before impact.


The plane was not the same model as Boeing's 737-MAX aircraft, which suffered two high-profile crashes in 2018 and 2019 due to a faulty auto-stabilization system, leading to a worldwide grounding. The cause of Monday's crash has not been identified. 

Kyiv Mall Destroyed

At least eight people were killed after a Russian missile struck a 10-story shopping center in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. It marks the latest in a string of attacks across Ukraine on civilian structures or areas where residents have taken shelter. See footage from the blast here.


In the southern city of Mariupol, which has suffered the brunt of shelling, Ukrainian officials rejected a Russian offer to establish safe passage corridors for civilians in exchange for Ukraine laying down arms. Read firsthand accounts from journalists who escaped Mariupol after almost three weeks under siege.


Separately, some Western officials have described the war as rapidly reaching a stalemate. Others have expressed concern that danger to civilians will rise as Russia increasingly uses missiles and long-range artillery after being unable to capture cities outright. 


See map updates here, along with photos from the ground

The US Recognizes Rohingya Genocide

The US government yesterday formally declared Myanmar's military has committed genocide against the largely Muslim Rohingya population. The US will also provide $1M in funding for a UN body that is gathering evidence of human rights violations for possible prosecution. This is the eighth time since the Holocaust in which the US has concluded the occurrence of genocide. 


More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled from Buddhist-majority Myanmar to Bangladesh since August 2017, after the Myanmar military launched a widespread purge of the Muslim Rohingya population in the western part of the country. In February 2021, the military ousted the democratically elected government in a coup. Since then, thousands of civilians have been killed, jailed, or suffered violent repression from mass rape to arson. 


Myanmar, also known as Burma, faces genocide accusations from the International Court of Justice in The Hague and has been previously hit with sanctions from the US. 

See more on the crisis here.

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Shanghai Disneyland and its resorts closed indefinitely yesterday as the city deals with rising COVID-19 cases (More)


> Christie's to auction Andy Warhol's "Shot Sage Blue Marilyn" portrait for an estimated $200M this May; would be a record for 20th century art (More


> Ten-seeds South Dakota and Creighton's upset victories highlight second round at NCAA women's basketball tournament (More) | See latest women's bracket (More)

Science & Technology

> Russian court finds Meta (Facebook) guilty of "extremist activities"; Instagram and Facebook have been banned from the country, WhatsApp continues to operate (More)


> New technique allows genomic analysis of embryos created via in-vitro fertilization with unprecedented accuracy; may provide risk analysis for common diseases in the future (More, paywall, Science)


> NASA confirms existence of 65 new exoplanets—planets located outside our solar system—bringing the total known to more than 5,000 (More) | Explore NASA's exoplanet archive (More)

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets fall for first time in five trading days (S&P 500 -0.04%, Dow -0.6%, Nasdaq -0.4%) after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell suggests more dramatic interest rate movements may be required given higher inflation (More)


> Securities and Exchange Commission proposes public company reporting requirements on greenhouse-gas emissions and climate change risks; public comment will be open for at least two months before a final vote (More)


> Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway to acquire insurance provider Alleghany for $11.6B; Berkshire’s largest acquisition in six years (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> Average US COVID-19 cases fall below 26,000 per day; daily deaths drop to around 700 (More) | Alcohol-related deaths rose 25% year-over-year during the first year of the pandemic, study finds (More)


> Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson provides opening remarks ahead of weeklong Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on her nomination to the Supreme Court (More) | Read opening statement (More)


> Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe makes first public comments; the British-Iranian dual citizen, jailed in Tehran for six years on spying charges, was released after the UK paid a $526M outstanding debt to Iran (More)



The Hydrogen Race

BBC Future | Mark Piesing. During the Cold War, the US and the Soviet Union explored using liquid hydrogen to fuel aircraft—but they ran into problems. Now, a new generation of engineers is pursuing hydrogen-powered flight. (Read)

College Rankings

NYT | Anemona Hartocollis. A math professor at Columbia University investigates the accuracy behind his school's No. 2 ranking in the US News and World Report. (Read, paywall)



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Americans think brain chip implants are a bad idea.


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A 24-year-old is first woman to represent France in world cooking contest


The Jordan Jumpman's leap to March Madness.


Mind-bending physics toys. (w/video)


Most popular plastic surgery trends of 2022


Alabama man caught stealing a 70-ton crane.


A British restaurant finds a full set of teeth left behind.


Clickbait: Arizona biotech company wants to pay for poop.


Historybook: First Stanley Cup championship played (1894); HBD legendary musical theater composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948); HBD sports broadcaster Bob Costas (1952); HBD Reese Witherspoon (1976); Terrorist drives car into crowd in London, killing five and injuring 50 (2017).


"There is a very fine line between success and failure. Just one ingredient can make the difference."

- Andrew Lloyd Webber

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