Bill Russell, Kentucky, and the Most Read Stories from July Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Monday, Aug. 1, and we're covering the passing of an NBA great, the rising death toll from floods in Kentucky, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].


PS—Congratulations to the lone winner of Friday's $1.3B Mega Millions jackpot! The winning ticket was purchased in a Chicago suburb.

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Bill Russell Dies

NBA legend Bill Russell passed away yesterday at the age of 88, according to a family representative. The cause of death has not yet been reported. 


The NBA Hall-of-Famer was best known for his central role in the Boston Celtics dynasty, which stretched through the 1960s. During his 13-year-long career, beginning with his 1956 rookie season, Russell and the Celtics won 11 NBA championships, including eight straight between the 1958-59 and 1965-66 seasons. The under-recruited Russell led the University of San Francisco to back-to-back national championships before becoming a five-time NBA MVP and 12-time All-Star. Former President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Russell became the Celtics' head coach while he was still a player, coaching from 1966 to 1969.


Among his accomplishments, Russell was also known for his on-court rivalry with fellow superstar Wilt Chamberlain. Read more about their battles here.

Search and Rescue in Kentucky

The death toll arising from flash floods in Kentucky last week has risen to at least 26 people, including at least four children, state officials announced over the weekend. The news came as teams began robust search and rescue efforts, with Gov. Andy Beshear (D) warning the list of victims is likely to grow in the coming days. 


More than 10 inches of rain fell in some locations in the eastern part of the state, along the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Officials said the region's terrain, with a number of towns situated in deep valleys that funnel precipitation, exacerbated the flooding (see videos here and here). The area is expected to see additional rain throughout the week.


On the other side of the US, wildfires in California, Montana, and Idaho grew rapidly over the weekend. Most notably, California's McKinney Fire, in Klamath National Forest, jumped from 1 to over 60 square miles in breadth. Track the blaze here

Interested in climate science but don't know where to start? Check out 1440's expert-curated climate topic page. From fundamental data to fascinating visualizations, understand the state of the science here.

Retirement Rumors

Pope Francis indicated he may soon consider stepping down in comments to reporters last week. The 85-year-old pontiff has used a wheelchair for months as he deals with persistent knee pain.


After Pope Benedict XVI became the first pope to retire since the Middle Ages, then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina became the church's first Latin American leader in 2013. Francis is seen as a pastor with populist appeal and his papacy has focused attention on the poor and the environment, while furthering interreligious dialogue and initiating administrative reforms. As a result of continued revelations of clergy sex abuse, Francis has led efforts to reform church law to better target offenders. 


The pope's remarks came one month ahead of a rare August consistory to appoint 21 new members of the College of Cardinals, the group tasked with electing the pope. With the new slate of members, Francis will have picked 63% of the cardinals eligible to vote. See an overview of the process here

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with Chirp

> Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten wins first women's Tour de France in 33 years (More) | England tops Germany 2-1 to win soccer's 2022 Women's European Championship (More)


> Italian judge dismisses sexual assault case against Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis; Haggis faces separate civil suit in the US for allegedly raping publicist Haleigh Breest (More)


> Nichelle Nichols, actress known for role as Lieutenant Uhura on "Star Trek," dies at 89; Nichols was one of the first Black female leads on US television (More) | Pat Carroll, Emmy- and Grammy-winning actress who voiced Ursula in "The Little Mermaid," dies at 95 (More)

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Science & Technology

> The US and Japan to establish joint semiconductor research and development consortium, with the goal of mass producing chips at the 2-nanometer node by 2025 (More) | Read more about semiconductor node sizes (More)


> Kenya accuses Facebook of allowing ads calling for ethnic violence ahead of Aug. 9 elections; watchdog groups claim the company's algorithm fails at detecting hate speech in Swahili (More)


> New study suggests the gut microbiome may play a role in autism spectrum disorder; fecal transplants in ASD-like mice resulted in modified social behavior in recipient mice (More)

Calling all science enthusiasts—


Have you checked out 1440's knowledge hub? Our team of curators has brought together the best resources on the world's most fascinating topics from across the internet. From psychedelics to the big bang, CRISPR to cryptocurrency, and much more—take a deep dive here.


PSThis is a beta platform, so please leave us feedback at [email protected]!

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher Friday; three major indices post largest monthly gains (S&P 500 +9.1%, Dow +6.7%, Nasdaq +12.4%) since 2020 (More)


> US consumer spending up 1.1% in July, surpassing expectations, amid 40-year high inflation (More)


> Exxon Mobil and Chevron post record quarterly profits amid high energy prices; shares close up 5% and 9% respectively Friday (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> President Joe Biden tests positive for COVID-19 for the second time after consecutive negative tests in what doctors call a "rebound" case; Biden reports mild to no symptoms (More) | See US COVID-19 stats here (More)


> Explosive-laden drone strikes Russia's Black Sea fleet headquarters on the Crimean Peninsula (More) | The US has taken in 100,000 Ukrainian refugees over five months, report says (More) | See war updates (More)


> New York City declares public health emergency in the state over the spread of monkeypox (More) | More than 5,000 cases reported in the US; see breakdown by state here (More)



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Editor's note: More than 6 million monthly clicks can't be wrong. Here are the most popular stories we ran in July. Enjoy!


(7/27/22) Mountains, a double rainbow, and lightning—in one photo.


(7/21/22) The US states where you pay the most in taxes.


(7/25/22) Visualizing the teacher pay gap.


(7/26/22) The US states with the best (and worst) school systems.


(7/6/22) Make strong passwords with three random words.


(7/5/22) Two-year-old Kentucky girl becomes Mensa's youngest member.


(7/8/22) Vandals bomb Georgia's Stonehenge.


(7/7/22) What it takes to be wealthy in America.


(7/22/22) The biggest problems with mass media, in one chart.


(7/14/22) An optical illusion that messes with your head. (via Twitter)


(7/8/22) Keanu Reeves answers child’s rapid-fire questions at airport.


(7/12/22) Drought exhumes Lake Mead boat graveyards.


(7/28/22) The year's funniest pet photos.


(7/13/22) Clickbait: When a teenager designs the "I Voted" sticker


Historybook: "Moby-Dick" author Herman Melville born (1819); RIP American frontierswoman Calamity Jane (1903); Sniper kills 14, wounds 31 at University of Texas (1966); MTV launches with "Video Killed the Radio Star" as first video (1981).


"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation."

- Herman Melville

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