Twitter Deal Paused, Brittney Griner, and the World’s Highest Paid Athletes 1440 Weekend Edition

Good morning. It's Saturday, May 14, and in this weekend edition, we're covering a temporary hold on Elon Musk's deal to buy Twitter, WNBA player Brittney Griner's detention in Russia, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected]

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Twitter Deal on Hold

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk says his $44B deal to buy Twitter is temporarily on hold, weeks after agreeing to potentially take it private. The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX announced the hold Friday via Twitter, saying he wants more details on the platform's disclosure that spam and fake accounts comprise less than 5% of its 229 million daily users. He later tweeted he is still committed to the acquisition. 


Musk's announcement comes two weeks after Twitter made the disclosure in a quarterly filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Twitter itself had cast doubt on the total figure of spam and fake accounts, saying the figure is likely to be higher. Musk has been vocal about wanting to clean up spam bots on Twitter that mimic real people. If he were to cancel the deal—depending on the details—he may potentially owe Twitter a $1B breakup fee.


Twitter shares initially fell as much as 25% in premarket trading Friday from the news before settling down 9.6% at close. Tesla's shares were up 5.7%.



Russian forces suffer losses in failed river crossing.

Ukraine's military said it destroyed a pontoon bridge and dozens of Russian armored vehicles as Russian troops tried to cross a river in the eastern Donbas region. See photos of the aftermath here.


WNBA star Brittney Griner's detention in Russia extended.

Griner, who plays for the Phoenix Mercury and is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, appeared at a court hearing where her pretrial detention was extended by one month. She was detained at a Moscow airport in February for alleged drug charges. 


North Korea announces first COVID-19 deaths.

Six people have died in North Korea amid a coronavirus outbreak, the country's state media reported Friday. About 350,000 potential cases of the virus have been reported since April, with 18,000 newly found cases Thursday. 


United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa dies at 73.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan became the Gulf country's second president in 2004. He was also the ruler of Abu Dhabi, the largest and wealthiest of the seven emirates that comprise the UAE. Sheikh Khalifa's younger brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is expected to take his place.


A total lunar eclipse will be visible this weekend.

Most city and rural residents across the Americas, Europe, and Africa will be able to see the total lunar eclipse (see 101), also known as a blood moon for its reddish color, from Sunday night to Monday morning.

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A mother and daughter duo become Silicon Valley's go-to flower arrangers. (More)


Good Samaritans help a Florida driver suffering a medical episode. (More, w/video) 


Baltimore's public library system seeks to undo a legacy of trauma. (More)


A stranger changed two sisters' lives with $100; finding them two decades later has changed hers. (More


A toddler sweetly reacts to seeing his mom as a bride. (More, w/video)


A waitress at a Rhode Island pizza shop is surprised to see an $810 tip. (More)


A nonspeaking valedictorian with autism delivers a commencement speech. (More)

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Today, we're sharing a story from reader Joey A. in Pennsylvania. 


"I belong to a military motorcycle club and about 11 of us were traveling back from a gathering in NC to PA, when we stopped for lunch at a restaurant. We ate a lot of food and I’m sure the bill was high. We asked for our checks and the manager comes over and says our bill was paid in full by an anonymous patron. This person left only a napkin with this written on it: 'Thank you all for your service.' Wow!"


What act(s) of kindness did you experience this week? Tell us your story.




> Balenciaga is charging $1,850 for its new line of destroyed sneakers.

> There are now 65% more chief happiness officers than two years ago
Monthly rents in Miami have increased 58% over the last year.



> Ranking the world's highest paid athletes

> The best scenic drives in every state.

> Huge owl lands on a wildlife photographer's camera



> The people who’ve disappeared and the computers that deleted them.


> A doctor answers the internet's burning questions about the gut.

The unbelievable history of strawberries.  
Who made these mysterious circles in the Sahara desert


Long Read 

> How a Virginia businesswoman escaped her kidnappers in Iraq.
> The untold story of the White House's weirdly hip record collection.

> Ministers of Cheese: How a family moved from Kosovo to Canada and started a thriving cheese business.


Best of the Week: The US states that drink the most beer.

Historybook: Meriwether Lewis and William Clark embark on their famous expedition (1804); HBD "Stars Wars" creator and filmmaker George Lucas (1944); HBD Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett (1969); Skylab, the first US space station, launched (1973); RIP singer and actor Frank Sinatra (1998); RIP Blues musician B.B. King (2015).


"We are here because there are things that need our help. Like the planet. Like each other. Like animals. The world is like a garden, and we are its protectors."

- B.B. King

How are you liking the 1440 Weekend Edition?

Why 1440? The printing press was invented in the year 1440, spreading knowledge to the masses and changing the course of history. Guess what else? There are 1,440 minutes in a day and every one is precious. That’s why we scour hundreds of sources every day to provide a concise, comprehensive, and objective view of what's happening in the world. Reader feedback is a gift—shoot us a note at [email protected].

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