3.30.2022

Russian Pullback, Pluto's Ice Volcanoes, and the Wrong Will Smith Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Wednesday, March 30, and we're covering a step forward toward a cease-fire in Ukraine, a discovery on Pluto, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

NEED TO KNOW

 

Russia Pulls Back

Russia said yesterday it would scale back military activity around the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv amid ongoing cease-fire talks. The talks, mediated by NATO-member Turkey in Istanbul, were the first face-to-face discussions in more than two weeks. If Russia follows through on the pledge, it would mark the biggest step toward peace during the monthlong conflict.

 

Analysts noted Russian forces have been stymied outside several Ukrainian cities for weeks, with Ukrainian troops retaking a number of areas outside Kyiv in recent days. Russian officials over the weekend suggested a shift in focus to the contested eastern Donbas region (see 101).

 

Separately, reports suggested Russian Roman Abramovich and two Ukrainian negotiators suffered symptoms of poisoning following early rounds of talks. The claims have not been corroborated. 

 

Almost 4 million Ukrainians have fled the country amid the fighting. See a deep dive visualization of the rapidly escalating refugee crisis. 

Ex-Honduran President Extradited

Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández will face extradition to the US over drug trafficking charges after Honduras' top court upheld the extradition yesterday. US prosecutors allege Hernández took bribes in exchange for protecting drug traffickers and facilitating shipments of more than 1 million pounds of cocaine to the US since 2004. He has denied any involvement. 

 

Hernández will likely stand trial in the US on charges of drug trafficking, using weapons for drug trafficking, and conspiracy to use weapons in drug trafficking. He faces a minimum sentence of 40 years on each of the three charges.

 

His brother, Juan Antonio "Tony" Hernández, was sentenced to life in a US prison last year after being convicted of importing more than 407,000 pounds of cocaine in 2019. Geovanny Fuentes Ramírez, another convicted cocaine trafficker, also implicated the former president earlier this year.

 

The former president is the first Latin American leader to face extradition to the US on drug trafficking charges. See other world leaders who have faced trials here.

Pluto's Ice Volcanoes 

The previously mysterious peaks and valleys characterizing the surface of Pluto are likely recently active ice volcanoes, according to a new study. The conclusion was drawn from images sent back from NASA's New Horizons space probe, which flew past the dwarf planet nearly seven years ago (see current location).  

 

Analysis suggests Pluto's core was warm enough to sustain an underground liquid reservoir much more recently than previously believed. Scientists say rather than eruptions, the geologic features oozed a slushy mixture, which spread and formed glacial fields across part of Pluto's surface. The discovery left researchers puzzled, as current understanding of the dwarf planet suggests it should have lost its internal heat early in its evolution. 

 

Check out an interactive visualization of Pluto here.

In partnership with The Motley Fool

IS IT LIKE BUYING NETFLIX IN 2007?

 

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Tom co-founded The Motley Fool back in 1993, and every month since then, his company has searched far and wide to release their most promising stock picks. But every once in a while, they like a stock so much that they recommend it a second time. Which brings us back to Netflix. Back in 2007, The Motley Fool recommended the little-known DVD-subscription site for a second time, and returns have been a whopping 15,957%. In fact, their teams have only arrived at the same pick 97 times in the entire history of The Motley Fool, with average returns of 499%.

 

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Returns as of 3/22/22

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Queen Elizabeth II, in her first public appearance in five months, attends memorial service for her late husband, Prince Philip (More)

 

> NFL alters postseason rules, allowing both teams to have possession of the ball in overtime (More) | NFL to require teams to hire female or minority coaches beginning with 2022 season (More)

 

> US men's national soccer team looks to qualify for 2022 World Cup tonight (9 pm ET) in matchup with Costa Rica (More) | Boston Pride tops Connecticut Whale to win second straight Premier Hockey Federation (women's pro hockey) title (More)

From our partners: A reward-seeker's dream card has hit the market. This cash back card offers 2% cash rewards on purchases and a generous sign-up bonus. The Ascent's independent team of experts is calling it one of the best all-around cards. Learn more today.

Science & Technology

> Study suggests 40% of horseshoe bat species in Asia have not been identified yet; may provide large reservoir for previously undiscovered animal-to-human viruses (More)

 

> Manufacturing time to produce engineered immune cells for cancer immunotherapy shortened to one day, down from two weeks, with new technique (More) | How CAR-T works (More, w/video)

 

> Ancient reptilian fossil may represent a transitional species between land vertebrates and snakes; the 300-million-year-old specimen had legs, but no arms (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets up (S&P 500 +1.2%, Dow +1.0%, Nasdaq +1.8%) for fourth consecutive day as investors weigh Ukraine talks (More) | Shares of free stock trading service Robinhood up 24% as company extends trading window by four hours (More)

 

> Record high 4.4 million Americans voluntarily left their jobs in February; job openings of 11.3 million just below December 2021 record, per the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report (More)

 

> Media measurement giant Nielsen agrees to $16B takeover from private equity firms, after turning down a $15B bid last week (More) | Goldman Sachs to acquire robo-adviser NextCapital for undisclosed sum (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> US health officials to make available second COVID-19 booster shot for those aged 50 and older (More) | BA.2 omicron variant becomes dominant strain in the US; see variant overview (More

 

> President Joe Biden signs Emmett Till anti-lynching bill into law, designating such killings as a federal hate crime (More)

 

> Gunman kills five in mass shooting in city east of Tel Aviv, Israel, police identify suspect as 27-year-old Palestinian male; shooting comes one day after Israel concluded historic summit with four Arab countries (More)

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

 

In partnership with The Motley Fool

 

We don’t think investors want to compete with The Motley Fool on stock portfolio performance. The service averages 492%* returns, beating the S&P 500 by roughly four times.

 

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Returns as of 3/22/22

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ETCETERA

 

Visualizing how many people have ever lived.

 

The strange beauty of cold water invertebrates.

 

Feeling nostalgic may reduce pain.

 

This startup's panels make water out of thin air.

 

When school photos coincide with St. Patrick's Day.

 

Breaking down the history of James Bond's vehicles.

 

Senegal soccer fans go overboard with laser pointers.

 

Hamburger vending machines are now a thing.

 

Clickbait: Y'all got the wrong Will Smith.

 

Historybook: Vincent van Gogh born (1853); Treaty of Paris ends Crimean War (1856); HBD Celine Dion (1968); President Ronald Reagan survives assassination attempt (1981); RIP American musician Bill Withers (2020).

 

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together."

- Vincent van Gogh

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].

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