Twitter Trial Scheduled, London Fires, and the Year's Best Memes (So Far) Everything you need to know for the day in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Wednesday, July 20, and we're covering the highly anticipated Twitter legal showdown, a London broil, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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Putin Visits Tehran

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Tehran yesterday for talks with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with Russia garnering support from Iran for its war with Ukraine.


During the meeting, the three countries discussed Syria as part of the so-called Astana peace process, which aims to restore peace to the country. Iran and Russia support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey has historically backed rebel forces. The leaders pledged to meet on Syria again in Russia before the end of the year. Other topics for discussion included cooperation on oil and gas prices, and a deal that would allow Ukraine to resume grain exports through the Black Sea. 


In Ukraine, long-range rockets supplied by the US are helping to stabilize Ukrainian defenses in the Donbas region. The US has also alleged Iran is preparing to supply Russia with weapons-capable drones. See updates on the war here.

Twitter Trial Scheduled

The trial to determine whether Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk must follow through on his $44B bid to buy Twitter will come during an expedited trial in October. The development comes after a Delaware court yesterday approved Twitter's ask for an early court date, denying Musk's request to delay the trial to February. Twitter had asked for a September trial, contending delays would harm its business. 


Musk said he intended to withdraw from the agreement this month, claiming the social media network breached its obligations by making false and misleading statements about the percentage of fake accounts on its platform. Twitter, which sued Musk last week, has said spam accounts make up fewer than 5% of its 229 million daily active users each quarter—a claim for which Musk has demanded independent confirmation. See a timeline of events here.


Twitter's stock price was up 2.65% at close yesterday, landing above $39 per share. 

London Fires

Fires broke out around the southern UK yesterday, engulfing fields and villages as the country endured another record-breaking day of heat. At least 29 separate locations reported a temperature surpassing the previous record of 101.7 degrees Fahrenheit set in 2019, with the highest reaching 104.5 in eastern England.


Hundreds of firefighters fought at least 10 separate major blazes across London Tuesday. Most of the country remained under its first-ever "red" warning, signaling conditions posed risks even to healthy people. Travel disruptions continued as the heat damaged roads, railroads, and at least one runway. Temperatures are expected to fall Wednesday, providing relief to a population where fewer than 5% of households have a cooling unit and most homes are designed to keep heat in. See pictures here


The heat wave has covered much of southwestern Europe as well, with Spain and Portugal reporting at least 1,700 heat-related deaths. 

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

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> New York Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton wins MVP to lead American League to 9th straight victory over National League in MLB All-Star Game (More)


> Award-winning film director Jafar Panahi ordered to serve six years in Iranian prison after inquiring about the arrest of fellow filmmakers (More)


> "Law & Order: Organized Crime" crew member Johnny Pizarro shot and killed while holding parking spots for the show's production (More) | Nolan Neal, contestant on both "America's Got Talent" and "The Voice," dies at 41 (More)

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Science & Technology

> Researchers sequence the genome of all living and recently extinct penguin species; combined with the fossil record, study finds climate change drove major evolutionary changes over the course of 60 million years (More)


> Amazon sues the administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups for coordinating fake reviews in exchange for money and free products (More)


> Study reveals underdeveloped neurons capable of changing over time are present throughout the life span of the human brain; findings shed light on the theory of adult neurogenesis, where new neurons are produced later in life (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher (S&P 500 +2.8%, Dow +2.4%, Nasdaq 3.1%) as earnings season continues; indices see largest daily gains since June (More)


> French government offers to purchase remaining shares of French energy giant Electricite de France to nationalize company in deal worth $9.8B (More)


> Netflix loses 970,000 subscribers in Q2, fewer than the 2 million the company projected last quarter; company plans to roll out ad-supported tier in 2023, shares up 6% (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Secret Service says it has no new texts from or around the Jan. 6 storming of the US Capitol to provide Congress; National Archives and Records Administration asks the agency to investigate potential unauthorized deletion of messages (More


> Maryland holds statewide primary elections, including for candidates to replace outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan (R) (More) | Seventeen House Democrats are arrested at a rally protesting the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade (More) | House passes legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriage; 47 GOP members vote in support of bill (More)


> South African officials say the toxic chemical methanol was found in the bodies of the 21 teenagers who mysteriously died last month in a bar near the city of East London (More) | What is methanol? (More)



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The best memes of 2022 (so far).


Exploring new versions of the famous "Trolley Problem."


Mapping the most common dream in each country.


America's healthiest communities.


How beams of light may help restore hearing.


Japanese companies install standing-up nap boxes.


Ocean photographer snaps a rare white Risso's dolphin.


Iran is considering banning pets.


Clickbait: An interview with Emmanuel, the TikTok-famous emu.


Historybook: Mount Everest explorer Sir Edmund Hillary born (1919); Neil Armstrong becomes first person to walk on the moon (1969); RIP Bruce Lee (1973); Viking 1 is first spacecraft to successfully land on Mars (1976); HBD Gisele Bündchen (1980).


"You don't have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things — to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals."

- Sir Edmund Hillary

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