Jackson Confirmed, Historic Fossil Find, and the Great Internet War of 2022 Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Friday, April 8, and we're covering the newest member of the Supreme Court, a groundbreaking fossil discovery, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].



Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed

The Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, 53-47, to the US Supreme Court yesterday. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Mitt Romney (R-UT) joined all 50 Democrats to approve Jackson, who becomes the high court's first Black female justice.


Jackson, 51, previously served as a public defender and trial judge before serving as a federal appeals court judge in Washington, DC. Jackson will 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.


Separately, the Senate voted 100-0 to revoke "most favored nation" trade status from Russia and Belarus (the House followed with a 420-3 approval). The move means the US may now level various tariffs on imports from the two countries. See an update on the war in Ukraine here, along with photos from the ground.

The Day the Dinos Died

Fossils from dinosaurs killed on the day a massive asteroid struck the planet millions of years ago may have been unearthed, according to new claims from scientists. The find would represent a stunning paleontological discovery and the first remains recovered from the event that triggered the extinction of most dinosaurs species on Earth. 


The specimens were uncovered in a fossil-rich region of southwest North Dakota. About 66 million years ago, scientists believe a roughly 6-mile-wide asteroid struck Earth just off the Yucatán Peninsula. Despite being almost 1,900 miles away, the impact is believed to have sent tidal waves crashing up the Interior Western Seaway (see map), which split the continent during the Cretaceous period. 


The site reportedly contains a number of clues to the event, including fish fossils with minerals linked to the impact location. The conclusions are part of a three-year dig captured in a documentary set to air April 15, which in turn was spurred by a 2019 exposé (read here, paywall, New Yorker).

Jobless Claims Fall Again

An estimated 166,000 Americans filed initial unemployment claims last week, down nearly 5,000 claims from the previous week and better than analyst projections of 200,000. It is the lowest figure since November 1968 (and the second-lowest since weekly reporting began in January 1967). Continuing claims rose slightly by 17,000 to 1.52 million, coming two years after the number of claims reached an all-time high of 6.1 million in April 2020.


The decline shows employers are limiting layoffs in a tight labor market. Roughly 1.8 job openings are available for every unemployed worker; the unemployment rate stood at 3.6% in March, just above the prepandemic level of 3.5%. Nearly 4.4 million workers left their jobs in February, a number that has held steady as employers try to fill job openings.


The figure represents the third consecutive week new claims were below 200,000.

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with Vuori

> Tiger Woods finishes 1-under-par and tied for 11th after Round 1 at the Masters in his first full tournament since February 2021 near-fatal car crash (More)


> Iconic English rock band Pink Floyd releases new song for first time in 28 years with proceeds going to humanitarian relief for Ukraine (More)


> NBA regular season wraps up this weekend; see current playoff field and preview (More) | Two more coaches join Brian Flores' racial discrimination lawsuit against NFL (More)

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Science & Technology

> Farthest astronomical object ever detected identified by researchers; the galaxy sits 13.5 billion light-years away, may be home to some of the universe's first stars (More) | SpaceX Axiom-1 mission to launch tomorrow, becomes the first entirely private crew to board the ISS (More)


> Scientists compile 120,000 brain scans showing development as patients age, demonstrating the human brain grows and shrinks over time (More)


> New measurement of subatomic particles known as W bosons points to a gap in the Standard Model of particle physics; particles were confirmed to be 0.1% heavier than predicted by theory (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close up (S&P 500 +0.4%, Dow +0.3%, Nasdaq +0.1%) to end two-day losing streak (More)


> Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway discloses 11% stake in tech hardware maker HP; shares close up 15% (More)


> Walmart increases annual compensation of its truck drivers amid shortage; starting pay ranges from $95K-$110K (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA-12) tests positive for COVID-19, says she is experiencing no symptoms; the 82-year-old is the latest in a string of top officials to test positive over the past week (More) | See US COVID-19 stats here (More)


> At least two people killed, 12 injured in a shooting in downtown Tel Aviv, Israel; attack is the fourth over the past two weeks (More)


> Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi resigns, hands power to ruling council in bid to preserve cease-fire with Iran-backed rebels; the country has been locked in a bloody civil war since 2015 (More)



Master of Twitter

Margins | Ranjan Roy. A look at the timeline that led up to Elon Musk becoming Twitter's largest shareholder—and what he may be thinking. (Read)

The Music Tree

Smithsonian | Ellen Ruppel Shell. How lumber harvested from trees in a remote forest in Belize produces the world's most coveted instruments. (Read)

The Price of Privacy

Atlantic | Sarah Igo. Has the right to privacy been sidelined as a societal and legal value in a hyperconnected world? (Read, paywall)



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The Great Internet War of 2022.


A haunting shot tops this year's World Press Photos.


The Pentagon releases 1,500 pages of declassified UFO reports.


Reviewing last year's record-breaking auction sales.


New documentary charts the rise and fall of Abercrombie & Fitch.


Snapchat helps users learn American Sign Language.


Get ready to Uber a plane.


Jamming with your rescue parrot. (via TikTok)


Clickbait: German man redefines "fully vaccinated."


Historybook: HBD actress Robin Wright (1966); RIP Pablo Picasso (1973); Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth’s home run record (1974); Frank Robinson becomes first Black manager of a major league baseball team (1975); RIP Margaret Thatcher (2013).


"The way I see it, it's a great thing to be the man who hit the most home runs, but it's a greater thing to be the man who did the most with the home runs he hit."

- Hank Aaron

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