4.28.2022

Russian Gas Squeeze, NFL Draft, and a Canaanite Goddess Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Thursday, April 28, and we're covering a gas shut-off in Europe, the start of the NFL Draft, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

NEED TO KNOW

 

Russia Shuts Off Gas

Russia suspended natural gas shipments to Bulgaria and Poland yesterday in response to increased arms shipments and sanctions by the West. EU leaders framed the move as an attempt to use gas as blackmail—Russian oil production could decline by nearly 17% due to the sanctions—while Russia claimed the two EU countries did not meet Russia’s demand to pay in rubles. In related news, Shell said it would no longer buy any refined oil products, including blended fuels, containing any Russian oil.

 

Overnight explosions across the Ukrainian border in Belgorod, Voronezh, and Kursk raised the possibility that the monthslong war might spread. Meanwhile, Russia claims to have captured two towns in the Donbas region and two villages in the Kharkiv region.

 

Separately, the US and Russia agreed to a prisoner swap. Former US Marine Trevor Reed, held in Russia since 2019, was released in exchange for jailed Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko. 

 

See updates on the war here.

NFL Draft Begins

The first round of the NFL Draft will be held tonight (8 pm ET, ABC/ESPN), live from Las Vegas. 

 

Unlike many years, analysts say there is little consensus on which players will be taken at the top of the draft. For the second year in a row—and following a turbulent season—the Jacksonville Jaguars have the No. 1 overall pick and are likely to take a defensive end (experts lean toward Georgia's Travon Walker) or an offensive lineman. Also unclear is which signal-caller, Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett or Liberty's Malik Willis, will go first in what is projected to be a down year for quarterbacks.

 

The Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, New York Jets, and New York Giants fill out the top five picks. See first round projections and draft order here.

 

Round one of the draft will be held tonight, with rounds two through seven tomorrow and Saturday. Check out some of the draft's top sleeper candidates here.

Minneapolis Police Probe

A state investigation launched after the killing of George Floyd found there was probable cause that the Minneapolis Police Department engaged in a yearslong pattern of racial discrimination, in violation of Minnesota's human rights laws. Officials released the probe's results yesterday (find here), nearly two years after Floyd was killed while being detained by officers. The agency is working with the city to negotiate a court-enforceable agreement to address the issues identified.

 

In related news, Derek Chauvin, who was convicted last April and sentenced to more than two decades in prison for Floyd's death, filed an appeal. Chauvin is asking the Minneapolis Court of Appeals to either toss his conviction, order a new trial in a different venue, or reduce his sentencing.

 

Separately, the judge overseeing the state trial for Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, who accompanied Chauvin, said he won't allow livestreaming of the summer trial, in which jury selection is scheduled for June 14.

In partnership with Outer

2022: THE YEAR OF THE YARD

 

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks beat Chicago Bulls 4-1 to advance to NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals (More) | See updated playoff bracket (More)

 

> Rapper Travis Scott sets first festival concert since 10 were killed at Scott's Astroworld Festival in November 2021 (More) | Klaus Schulze, German composer and electronic music pioneer, dies at 74 (More)

 

> Liverpool tops Villarreal 2-0 in first leg of UEFA Champions League semifinal; second leg semifinal matches are set for May 3-4 (More)

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Science & Technology

> Researchers discover a genetic cause underlying the autoimmune disorder lupus; single DNA mutation found to cause immune cells to identify healthy tissue as damaged or foreign (More)

 

> Engineers demonstrate connected organs-on-chips with lab-grown tissue capable of modeling diseases that affect multiple organs at once, like cancer (More)

 

> More than one-fifth of the world's reptiles are either vulnerable to extinction, endangered, or critically endangered, study says (More) | See conservation levels here (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets end mixed (S&P 500 +0.2%, Dow +0.2%, Nasdaq -0.01%), but futures increase after Meta (Facebook) delivers results after hours (More) | Meta (Facebook) shares up double digits in after-hours trading after beating earnings expectations and increasing users, despite missing revenue targets (More)

 

> Archegos Capital founder Bill Hwang and company’s CFO both charged with racketeering and fraud; firm collapsed in 2021, driving $10B in bank losses (More)

 

> Ford posts results in line with expectations, but sees profits fall due to stake in electric vehicle startup Rivian (More) | Boeing shares fall 7% as company misses expectations and reports product development delays (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Richard Olson, former US ambassador to Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, charged for role in illegal lobbying for the Qatari government (More) | Former President Donald Trump appeals judge's contempt order and $10K daily fine for failure to provide documents in state civil financial probe (More)

 

> Myanmar's deposed leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, sentenced to five years in prison for corruption charges; the 76-year-old Nobel laureate was already sentenced to six years' imprisonment in other cases and faces 10 more corruption charges (More)

 

> World leaders paid tribute to Madeleine Albright, the nation's first female secretary of state; Albright died in March at 84 after battling cancer (More)

IN-DEPTH

 

The Disease That Lurks for Decades

BBC Future | Christine Ro. Health workers are exploring new ways of treating Chagas disease, a parasite-driven infectious sickness that can lurk in the body for decades and kills thousands of people per year. (Read)

Nukes, Nubs, and Coners

The Drive | Aaron Amick. Inside the unique social hierarchy that defines daily life aboard nuclear submarines. (Read)

DINING, OUT

 

In partnership with Outer

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ETCETERA

 

Gaza farmer finds 4,500-year-old statue of a Canaanite goddess

 

A rare violin handmade in 1736 heads to auction.

 

Face masks could help make stronger concrete.

 

Researchers develop a flexible paper-thin loudspeaker. (w/video)

 

The National Mall lands a star-studded music festival.

 

Real estate on former toxic waste dump sells for $1.3M.

 

Introducing a cereal made for orange juice.

 

Apply to be a Chief Taco Officer.

 

Clickbait: A city's most wanted chicken is taken into custody

 

Historybook: “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee born (1926); Italian dictator Benito Mussolini executed (1945); HBD US Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan (1960); Charles de Gaulle resigns as president of France (1969); RIP Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins (2021). 

 

"The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience."

- Atticus Finch, from Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird"

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