4.5.2022

Parkland Trial, Kansas Comeback, and Lunar Dust at Auction Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Tuesday, April 5, and we're covering a death penalty trial in Florida, a historic ending in the men's college basketball championship, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

NEED TO KNOW

 

Parkland Trial Begins

Jury selection began yesterday in the death penalty trial of Nikolas Cruz, who shot and killed 17 students and staff members at a Parkland, Florida, school in 2018. Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty in October for the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, so jurors will only need to decide whether he receives a death sentence or life in prison without parole. 

 

The Parkland massacre is the deadliest high school shooting in US history. Cruz, then 19, opened fire in the school's halls with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, killing 17 people and wounding 17 others. Cruz, a former student at the school, eventually left campus and was arrested a few miles away. See other US mass shootings here.

 

The trial was originally set to start in 2020, but was delayed due to the pandemic. It is expected to last at least four months. Florida is among 27 states that have the death penalty (see list here). 

Kansas Comeback

No. 1 Kansas defeated No. 8 North Carolina last night, 72-69, in the men's college basketball championship, securing the program's fourth title and first since 2008. The Jayhawks rode a furious second half performance to overcome a 16-point deficit—it was the largest comeback in men's title game history. It also marked the fifth year in a row a No. 1-seeded team won the championship.

 

Guard Ochai Agbaji was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player, though Kansas used a balance attack last night (box score), with five players scoring in double digits and two notching double-doubles. The victory makes coach Bill Self the 15th coach in tournament history with multiple titles.

 

See highlights from the entire tournament here, along with way-too-early rankings for the 2022-23 season.

Musk Snaps Up Twitter Shares

Tesla CEO Elon Musk owns a 9.2% stake in Twitter, according to financial filings disclosed yesterday, becoming the company’s largest outside shareholder. In comparison, Twitter cofounder and former CEO Jack Dorsey owns about 2%. Twitter shares closed up 27% yesterday following the announcement. Analysts say the stake may position Musk to take a more active ownership role in the company's trajectory. 

 

The news of the roughly 73-million-share purchase—worth nearly $3.6B as of Twitter’s closing price yesterday—comes a week after he knocked the social media platform for restricting free speech, claiming the company has been “undermining democracy” by silencing some voices and floating the idea of creating his own social media platform. Musk is currently required by the SEC to have his tweets preapproved (though he has at times flouted the process).

 

With 80 million followers, Musk has one of the largest platforms on Twitter—see how his previous tweets have affected many companies' stocks.

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Returns as of 3/29/2022

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Kanye West pulls out of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival; West was a headliner for the event due to begin next weekend (More)

 

> Tommy Davis, two-time National League batting champion, dies at 83 (More) | All MLB teams to wear No. 42 in Dodger blue April 15 in honor of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier (More)

 

> Sunday's Grammy Awards broadcast pulled in just 8.9 million viewers, narrowly eclipsing 2021's record-low numbers (More)

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Science & Technology

> UN climate panel releases update to the third and final chapter of its global climate assessment; says greenhouse gas emissions must begin declining by 2025 to avoid missing targets set forth in the Paris agreement (More)

 

> The United Kingdom's Royal Mint to produce its own nonfungible tokens as the country announces a major push into cryptocurrency (More)

 

> Scientists find 75 genes linked to increased risk of Alzheimer's, including 42 that had never been previously implicated in the disease (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets up (S&P 500 +0.8%, Dow +0.3%, Nasdaq +1.9%) led by tech sector rally (More)

 

> Starbucks founder Howard Schultz suspends share buyback program on first day in interim CEO position, shares fall 4% (More)

 

> Chinese fast fashion e-commerce business Shein is reportedly raising $1B at $100B valuation; company tracks fashion trends and quickly develops new fashion pieces (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> President Joe Biden accuses Russia of war crimes as hundreds of dead civilians are found after Russian troops depart from Kyiv region (More) | See photos from

Bucha, where at least 400 civilians have been found dead (More, warning—sensitive content)

 

> Senate Judiciary Committee deadlocks on vote confirming Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, prompting full Senate vote to discharge her nomination from committee; final vote expected later this week (More)

 

> Hungarian President Viktor Orbán wins reelection; the pro-Russia Orbán criticizes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in victory speech (More) | Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic wins reelection (More) | Political newcomer Rodrigo Chaves wins Costa Rican presidency (More

IN-DEPTH

 

The Boy From Booker T.

Texas Monthly | Jeffrey McWhorter. The short life of a teen who grew up in a tough Austin housing project and how his tragic death shaped his family, friends, and community a decade later. (Read)

More Than a Winter's Nap

Knowable | Chris Woolston. Bear hibernation is more than just a long slumber. It offers key insights into the biology of large mammals—including us. (Read)

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ETCETERA

 

Lunar dust collected by Neil Armstrong heads to auction

 

Ken Burns debuts PBS documentary on Benjamin Franklin.

 

Drone captures inside footage of Tesla's Berlin Gigafactory.

 

The NFL wants to bring flag football to the Summer Olympics.

 

Look inside a futuristic office in the UAE desert. (w/video)
 

Could robotic beehives save the bees

 

Rare Sumatran rhino born in Indonesian sanctuary. 

 

Jumbo jet completes flight powered by cooking oil.

 

Clickbait: "There's a snake in my couch."

 

Historybook: Booker T. Washington born (1856); American Civil War Battle of Yorktown begins (1862); Actress Bette Davis born (1908); Former Secretary of State Colin Powell born (1937); RIP Kurt Cobain (1994).

 

"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."

- Colin Powell

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