Subway Suspect Arrested, South Africa Floods, and the Last King of Babylon Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Thursday, April 14, and we're covering an arrest in Tuesday's subway attack in New York City, deadly floods in South Africa, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].



Subway Suspect Captured

New York City authorities detained a man suspected of an attack on a Brooklyn metro stop Tuesday that left 29 people injured, 10 from direct gunfire. Frank James, 62, allegedly opened fire and tossed a pair of smoke grenades aboard a train after it departed from a station in the Sunset Park neighborhood.


While officials have not disclosed a motive as of this writing, multiple social media posts from James, who is Black, have emerged containing violent rants and broadly racist and antigovernment content. James, who lists residences in Wisconsin and Philadelphia, was captured after being spotted by bystanders in the East Village yesterday. James will be charged under terrorism statutes—though it is believed he was not connected to larger terror organizations. 


See photos from the scene here (warning—sensitive content).

Deadly Floods in South Africa

At least 259 people were killed and hundreds more displaced in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal after heavy rains and flooding hit the area, causing mudslides and destroying homes. The region, which includes the eastern city of Durban, has experienced torrential rainfall since late last week, with some areas experiencing nearly 2 feet of rain. The flooding disrupted shipping from Durban port, the largest and busiest shipping terminal in sub-Saharan Africa, with reports of shipping containers being swept away down major highways. Officials have blamed the high death toll on poor drainage in the low-lying areas.


The extreme weather comes as southeast Africa has been hit with three cyclones and two tropical storms since the start of the year, with 230 earlier deaths reported.


Separately, a stretch of the central US ranging from eastern Texas up through southern Minnesota was hit with tornado-producing storms, while the Northern Plains experienced a late-season blizzard.

Migrant Bus Arrives in DC

A bus carrying migrants from Texas arrived in Washington, DC, yesterday after Gov. Greg Abbott (R) last week said he would begin sending migrants to the nation's capital. Roughly two dozen people, who were previously processed at the border after claiming asylum, arrived. Reports said those aboard had been transported voluntarily; a second bus is expected today. 


Abbott had also ordered enhanced inspections of commercial trucks crossing the US-Mexico border, which has slowed traffic between the two countries and frustrated truckers. The efforts are in response to the federal government's plan to rescind a policy that allowed Customs and Border Protection agents to quickly expel migrants to prevent the spread of COVID-19, known as Title 42.


US officials have raised concerns about a potential surge in migrants when the policy is officially lifted May 23. More than 1.7 million migrant expulsions have occurred under the Title 42 since March 2020. About 53% of them, or 915,000, have been from Texas. See data here


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention invoked Title 42, a World War II-era law, during the start of the pandemic (see 101).

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with FirstLeaf

> Music by Queen, Alicia Keys, and Ricky Martin among recordings added to the Library of Congress National Recording Registry (More) | See complete Library of Congress registry list (More)


> Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. avoids jail time after pleading guilty to forcible touching at a New York City nightclub in 2018 (More)


> Liverpool and Manchester City join Real Madrid and Villarreal in UEFA Champions League Semifinals (More) | Former soccer star John Terry joins Boston Celtics owner Stephen Pagliuca's bid to purchase Chelsea Football Club (More)

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Science & Technology

> Study links life span with the number of genetic mutations that accumulate over time; different species show different mutation rates, which correspond to average longevity (More)


> Large-scale simulations suggest climate change driven by patterns in the Earth's astronomical position may have driven early human migration and evolution (More)


> New thermal battery allows energy generated by solar and wind power to be stored for up to 18 years; still in the concept phase, approach may allow wider adoption of variable renewable sources into the grid (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets up (S&P 500 +1.1%, Dow +1.0%, Nasdaq +2.0%) on initial earnings season results (More)


> JPMorgan shares down 3% after Q1 profits fall 42% over last year; CEO Jamie Dimon says powerful forces could threaten US economy (More) | Dutch banking giant ABN AMRO issues apology for historical links to the slave trade in the 18th and 19th centuries (More)


> Amazon to add 5% fuel and inflation surcharge later this month to its online seller customers using fulfillment services (More)

Politics & World Affairs

President Joe Biden authorizes an additional $800M in aid to Ukraine, including helicopters and artillery (More) | European security organization report finds Russia broke international human rights law (More) | See updates on the war here (More)


> CDC extends nationwide mask requirement for passengers on planes and public transportation through May 3 (More) | Average US COVID-19 cases rise to 38,000 per day; see stats here (More)


At least 56 people dead, dozens missing, and hundreds injured in the Philippines after landslides and flooding triggered by a tropical storm (More) | Ali Harbi Ali sentenced to life in prison for killing British lawmaker David Amess (More)



The Last King of Babylon

Archaeology | Eric Powell. A look at the reign of Nabonidus, one of ancient Mesopotamia's most eccentric rulers. (Read)

Is Web3 the Future?

Verge | Nilay Patel. An interview with a16z's Chris Dixon, one of the country's best cryptocurrency investors, on the next evolution of the internet. (Read)

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Charting social media use by age.


Ukrainian puppy gets rescued from rubble. (w/video)


New England's oldest known shipwreck


Fascinating 3D animation shows how Romans built roads.


Art forgers reveal how to fool experts.


One of grunge's most famous guitars goes up for auction.


Mark Zuckerberg's security costs $27M per year.


What is the Yuxi Circle? 


Clickbait: Definitive proof the housing market is out of control.


Historybook: "Webster’s Dictionary" is first published (1828); President Abraham Lincoln is mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth, dies the next day (1865); RIP marine biologist and environmentalist Rachel Carson (1964); Human Genome Project is completed (2003).


"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life."

- Rachel Carson

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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