Moskva Sinks, Elon Musk, and Remembering the Titanic Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Friday, April 15, and we're covering a blow to Russia's naval strength, a power play by Elon Musk, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].



The Moskva Sinks

Russia's flagship war vessel in the Black Sea sunk yesterday, one day after a fire broke out following an explosion. Ukrainian officials claimed the explosion was caused by a cruise missile strike on the ship. Russia acknowledged the explosion but not an attack, saying the ship sank in stormy waters while being towed to a Crimean port. 


The Moskva was Russia's premier warship in the Black Sea, leading the naval campaign against southern Ukraine. The 510-crew vessel had been in service since the Cold War, while also being used during conflicts in Georgia and Syria. Analysts say its loss will significantly reduce Russia's firepower in the Black Sea.


Separately, Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday Russia would look to redirect its energy exports currently sent to Europe, where officials have already drafted plans to reduce their reliance on Russian resources. See a deep dive into the region's interconnected energy networks here.


See updates on the almost two-month-long conflict here.

Elon's Twitter Bid

Billionaire Elon Musk announced a bid yesterday to acquire Twitter for $54.20 per share, an all-cash deal reportedly valued at approximately $43B. The news comes just over a week after he revealed the purchase of a 9.2% stake, making him the largest individual owner of the social media platform. 


The Telsa and SpaceX CEO has a storied history with Twitter, including claims his tweets have unduly influenced the stock prices of a number of companies. He has criticized the company for restricting free speech and—after becoming the largest shareholder—questioned whether it was a dying platform. Musk reversed a decision last week to join Twitter's board, which would've capped his total possible ownership at 14.9%. 


Despite averaging more than 200 million daily active users, the company has seen slow growth in recent years, which in part led to the departure of former CEO and founder Jack Dorsey.


Twitter said it was reviewing Musk's offer. 

Child Booster Shots

Booster shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine produced a robust immune response in children aged 5 through 11, the companies said yesterday. The data showed a 36-fold increase in antibody levels effective against the omicron variant, measured one month after the booster was received—it's unclear how long the added protection lasts in the age group.


Pfizer is expected to request emergency authorization for the booster dose, which comes six months after children receive their second dose of the initial regimen.

Less than one-third of the age group has received a second shot.  


New US COVID-19 infections have risen by more than 40% over the past week to around 38,000 per day (see data), though that number remains well below the peak of the January omicron wave, which surpassed 800,000 new daily cases. Average COVID-19 deaths have fallen below 500 per day for the first time since August.


Meanwhile, Shanghai hit a record high for new cases despite the city of 26 million having been placed under strict quarantine measures by the Chinese government.

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle and Prince Harry meet with Queen Elizabeth II for first time in more than two years (More)


> The 2022 Cannes Film Festival (May 17-28) announces lineup of 47 films, including "Elvis" and "Top Gun: Maverick" (More)


> Upstart American football league USFL kicks off this weekend; see full schedule and preview (More)

Science & Technology

> French archaeologists to open mysterious lead sarcophagus found under Paris' Notre-Dame Cathedral; announcement comes just ahead of the third anniversary of the fire that engulfed the 12th-century church (More)


> Xanthan gum, a common processed food additive, found to be broken down by a single microbial species in the gut; study suggests the bacteria is relatively absent in people from nonindustrialized countries (More)


> Solar storm expected to create auroras, or northern lights, as far south as New York; phenomenon expected to last through tonight (More)

Business & Markets

In partnership with Loop TV

> US stock markets fall (S&P 500 -1.2%, Dow -0.3%, Nasdaq -2.1%) to end the four-day trading week down (More) | US banking giants post declines in first quarter profits (More)


> US retail sales increased by 0.5% in March, less than the expected 0.6% and beneath February growth (More)


> Connected fitness giant Peloton to increase subscription prices for the first time while reducing equipment prices; shares fall 5% (More)

From our partners: Control your business's TV for free. Loop TV allows businesses to take control of their TV screens, giving you options for music videos, digital signage, scheduling, short-form content, and more. The Loop Player has dozens of customizable features and can be installed in just minutes. And the best part: It's all free, from service to content to shipping to hardware—check it out today.

Politics & World Affairs

> The UK to fly some asylum-seekers 4,000 miles to Rwanda as part of new deal; move aims to curb illegal sea crossings (More


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signs law banning abortion at 15 weeks, effective July 1; exceptions are saving mother's life, preventing serious injury, or if fetus has fatal abnormality (More) | Republican National Committee withdraws from commission organizing presidential debates (More)


> British Islamic State fighter El Shafee Elsheikh convicted for role in the death of four Americans (More) | Brooklyn subway attack suspect Frank James held without bail (More)



The View From Russia

Axios | Staff. (Podcast) A look at how the war in Ukraine is being communicated to everyday Russians. (Listen)


Politico | Ximena Bustillo, Steven Overly. Examination of a cheeseburger reveals why your grocery bills have risen so much. (Read)

Prefab Disaster

Washingtonian | Marisa Kashino. Things—or specifically, houses—fall apart when a prolific restaurateur attempts to disrupt the luxury real estate market. (Read)

Illuminating the Deep

ESRI StoryMaps | Staff. A fascinating interactive look at the effort to explore the deepest locations on Earth. (Read)



In partnership with Graze


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Remembering the Titanic 110 years later


America's most beautiful botanical gardens.


Winners of Apple's iPhone photography challenge.


Meet the world's oldest squash player.


The microchip implants that let you pay with your hand.


This reality show follows toddlers running errands


Bassoon the sea turtle recovers from acupuncture


... and this chill capybara is right at home with ducks. (via Twitter)


Clickbait: Are birds real?  


Historybook: RIP President Abraham Lincoln (1865); RMS Titanic sinks after hitting an iceberg, killing more than 1,500 (1912); Jackie Robinson breaks color barrier, becomes first Black major league baseball player (1947); HBD actress Emma Watson (1990); Two bombs explode at Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring 264 (2013).


"I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me. All I ask is that you respect me as a human being."

- Jackie Robinson

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