Donbas Strike, Will Smith, and an Albino Alligator 1440 Weekend Edition

Good morning. It's Saturday, July 30, and in this weekend edition, we're covering a strike on a prison in Ukraine's Donetsk province, Will Smith's latest apology for slapping Chris Rock, and much more. Have feedback? We'd love to hear it. Let us know at [email protected]

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Ukrainian POWs Hit

Dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war captured by Russia were killed yesterday after a missile hit a prison building in the separatist eastern region of Donetsk. Russia and Ukraine have both launched criminal investigations into the attack, accusing each other of shelling the prison. The prisoners of war had been captured after the fall of Mariupol, the besieged port city where Ukrainian forces had held out against Russia's three-month siege before surrendering.  


The Ukrainian military accused Russia of shelling the prison to hide the alleged torture of Ukrainians held there, while Russia claims Ukraine used US-supplied rocket launchers to strike the prison in Olenivka, a settlement controlled by the Moscow-backed city of Donetsk. Both parties deny involvement in the attack. Officials say at least 53 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed and 75 others injured.


Separately, an appeals court in Ukraine's capital of Kyiv reduced a Russian soldier's life sentence to 15 years for war crimes committed during Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 


See updates on the invasion here.



Death toll in Appalachian flooding rises as rescue teams are deployed.

At least 16 people have died in eastern Kentucky, while more than 300 people have sought shelter from flash flooding caused by torrential rains. President Joe Biden issued a disaster declaration for the area Friday, ordering federal aid to supplement recovery efforts. 


Will Smith posts apology video for slapping Chris Rock.

Smith said he is remorseful for walking onstage during the Academy Awards in March and smacking Rock, following a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.


Inflation figure followed by the Fed reaches highest level in 40 years.

The US personal consumption expenditures index—a key inflation metric monitored by the Federal Reserve—rose 6.8% year-over-year in June, up from the 6.3% annual rate in May. The latest figure is the highest since January 1982. The index measures costs consumers pay across a wide swath of items. 


US government to buy 66 million doses of Moderna's omicron booster.

The Moderna vaccine targets the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron variants, the latter of which has become the dominant strain in the US. The deal comes a month after the government secured 105 million doses of variant-specific vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech. Both boosters are still pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 


Debris from Chinese booster rocket expected to crash into Earth.

The uncontrolled reentry of the 27.6-ton spacecraft is expected this weekend. Officials say the probability of the rocket landing in a populated area is extremely low, though some agencies have called on China to design their rockets to disintegrate upon reentry. The rocket had been carrying a module for China's unfinished space station. 


Spain seeks eight-year jail term for Shakira in tax fraud case.

Prosecutors are asking a court to sentence the Colombian pop star to eight years and two months in prison, if she is convicted in a trial over allegedly failing to pay about $15M in taxes to the Spanish government between 2012-14. The singer rejected a settlement deal earlier this week, opting for a trial. A date hasn't been set.

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An 11-year-old golfer with autism receives a full ride to college. (More


Triathlete with Down syndrome becomes a Guinness World Record holder. (More)


All-female team makes history after rowing from California to Hawaii. (More)


Junior lifeguards help rescue a pilot after small plane crash in California. (More)


Military service member surprises his mom after two years away. (More, w/video) 


Arizona man grows out hair to make a wig for his mom who has cancer. (More)

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Today, we're sharing a story from reader Linda R. in Rye, Colorado.


"My husband and I were visiting Scotland. Our suitcases got lost in the mess of canceled flights and re-booking. Nearing the end of our trip, I received a text message from a good Samaritan with a photo of our bags showing my bag tag. This total stranger let me know that our bags were sitting in the corner near baggage carousel 3 in the Edinburgh airport. We were able to show this to a baggage worker at the airport and she retrieved our bags. Huge blessing and learning there are still really wonderful people in the world."


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



> Pay and benefits for civilian workers rose 1.6% in the second quarter of this year

> A 76-million-year-old Gorgosaurus fossil sells for $6.1M at auction—the first of its kind sold for private ownership.



> America's best ice cream shops.

Upcoming sales tax holidays in US states.

Albino alligator hatches at a Florida reptile park

> Meteor showers will light up the night sky this weekend.

> Japanese village transforms rice fields into works of art



The fascinating history of ketchup, involving the fall of the Roman empire, 18th century fish sauce knockoffs, and the marketing genius of Henry J. Heinz.


The evolution of dinosaur effects in the "Jurassic Park" films.

> How one woman teeters above massive canyons on two-inch wide surfaces.

> A look at 500 years of hairstyles


Long Read 

The controversial plan to unleash the Mississippi River.

One person's journey into finding out they're allergic to frigid temperatures.
> New DNA evidence has solved a 1974 murder, but it wasn't the killer's first—or last.


Best of the Week: Mountains, a double rainbow, and lightning—in one photo.

Historybook: British author Emily Brontë born (1818); Automobile pioneer Henry Ford born (1863); Uruguay wins first World Cup (1930); HBD Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947); HBD British singer Kate Bush (1958); Medicare and Medicaid established in the US (1965).


"Help others and give something back. I guarantee you will discover that while public service improves the lives and the world around you, its greatest reward is the enrichment and new meaning it will bring your own life."

- Arnold Schwarzenegger

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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