Confirmation Vote, Opening Day, and the Con Artist Down Under Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Thursday, April 7, and we're covering a confirmation vote for the latest addition to the Supreme Court, baseball's opening day, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].



SCOTUS Confirmation Vote

The Senate is expected to vote on the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court this afternoon as the first Black woman to serve on the high court. Her approval requires a simple majority in the 100-seat chamber, and three Republicans joined all 50 Democrats in supporting a Monday discharge petition that moved her nomination out of the Judiciary Committee. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Susan Collins (R-ME), who voted in favor of Monday's petition, are expected to support her confirmation.


Jackson, 51, previously served as a public defender and trial judge before serving as a federal appeals court judge in Washington, DC. Jackson would fill the vacancy left by Justice Stephen Breyer's departure at the end of the current term, with the court maintaining a 6-3 conservative majority.


If confirmed, Jackson will be appointed before the next term starts Oct. 3 for the cases the court has so far agreed to hear in 2022-23.

Opening Day

The 2022 Major League Baseball season gets underway today, one week after its original date, following an offseason lockout that continued into spring training. Despite the delay, fans will enjoy a full 162-game season under an updated agreement that ended the 99-day work stoppage. 


The updated schedule resulted in a slimmer opening day slate, with just under half the league taking the field (see game times). One of the most notable matchups comes later in the day when the Houston Astros travel to face the Los Angeles Angels and two-way star Shohei Ohtani. The reigning MVP had a historic 2021 season, including becoming the first player to start as both a hitter and a pitcher in the All-Star Game. See more storylines here.


See a history of opening day here.

Amir Locke Shooting

Minnesota prosecutors yesterday declined to charge a Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot 22-year-old Amir Locke during a no-knock search warrant in February. Locke was staying in his cousin's apartment and was not named in the warrant. The decision comes a day after Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey issued a special order prohibiting unannounced search warrants.


Prosecutors said the law requires a case to be evaluated based on the perspective of a reasonable police officer. The prosecutors, in a 44-page report, said any reasonable police officer in the position of 34-year-old officer Mark Hanneman would have perceived threat of death or great bodily harm under the circumstances. 


SWAT teams raided an apartment Feb. 2 in search of a suspect tied to a January homicide. Body camera footage (view here, warning: sensitive content) shows Locke rising from the couch where he slept and displaying his legally owned gun. Hanneman then shoots Locke three times, killing him. 


See an overview of the case here.

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> The Weeknd and Swedish House Mafia to replace Kanye West as headliners of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (April 15-17, 22-24) after West dropped out  Monday (More)


> Sarah Lawrence College sex cult leader Larry Ray found guilty on all 15 counts of sex trafficking, extortion, and other charges (More) | Six attorneys general warn NFL about possible investigation over workplace harassment (More)


> Ed Sheeran wins UK copyright lawsuit alleging plagiarism over 2017's "Shape of You" (More) | Motion Picture Academy Board of Governors to meet tomorrow to discuss Will Smith's slap of Chris Rock at Oscars (More)

From our partners: Ready to buy a home or investment property? Consult your options first. The Ascent found a mortgage provider for us that offers market-leading mortgage rates, no origination fees, a quick-and-easy online application, and more. And if you do end up buying, you can take $150 off closing costs by following our links.

Science & Technology

> New studies suggest immune cells infected with the coronavirus may trigger a massive inflammatory response, leading to severe COVID-19 symptoms (More)


> OpenAI releases preview of updated version of DALL-E, an open-source AI platform capable of creating images based on user-provided written descriptions (More) | Visit site here (More)


> Hydra Market, the dark web's largest online marketplace for illicit goods and services, shut down by German and US authorities (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets fall (S&P 500 -1.0%, Dow -0.4%, Nasdaq -2.2%) as Federal Reserve minutes from last meeting indicate it may consider larger interest rate hikes (More)


> Sources say Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating how Amazon uses third-party seller data for its private-label brands (More)


> New US mortgage applications down 9% over same week last year, refinancing applications down 62% over last year, as 30-year interest rates approach 5% (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Ukrainian officials claim at least 5,000 civilians killed in the besieged city of Mariupol (More) | The US and allies ban new investment in Russia, sanction President Vladimir Putin's daughters (More) | See map updates of the crisis here (More)


> Israel's ruling coalition loses majority in parliament after surprise defection by lawmaker; move puts the country at risk of requiring its fifth national election in three years (More


> At least one person killed, several tornadoes reported as another round of intense spring storms rolled through the US Southeast yesterday (More)



Britain's Nordic Legacy

Smithsonian | Joshua Levine. A 1,100-year-old graveyard uncovered in central England provides new insight into the nation's Viking history. (Read)

The Con Artist Down Under

Truly*Adventurous | Sandy Milne. The astonishing escapades of Jody Harris, one of Australia's most cunning con artists. (Read)



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Americans are drinking more craft beer


America's most (and least) financially literate states.


Visualizing the evolution of automaker logos.


Construction crew damages 112-million-year-old dinosaur tracks.


Winners of the Smithsonian's annual photo contest.


Rare Michelangelo drawing heads to Paris auction.


Meet the world's youngest mariachi singer. 


Stunning shots of a singing red-winged blackbird


Clickbait: These mushrooms are getting chatty.


Historybook: English poet William Wordsworth born (1770); Jazz singer Billie Holiday born (1915); Ford Motor Co. founder Henry Ford dies (1947); World Health Organization is established (1948); The US breaks diplomatic ties with Iran during Iran Hostage Crisis (1980).


"Somebody once said we never know what is enough until we know what's more than enough."

- Billie Holiday

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