8.15.2022

Rushdie Recovers, Anne Heche, and Hunger Stones in Europe Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Monday, Aug. 15, and we're covering the aftermath of an attack on a famous author, the death of actress Anne Heche, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

 

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Rushdie to Recover

Author Salman Rushdie will recover after being stabbed at a speaking event in New York state Friday, according to reports. The suspected assailant, 24-year-old Hadi Matar of New Jersey, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault Saturday. 

 

Though police have not commented on Matar's motive, Rushdie has been the subject of death threats since his 1988 publication of "The Satanic Verses," a novel some segments of Islam viewed as blasphemous for its satirical treatment of the prophet Muhammad. The backlash culminated in the 1989 issuance of a fatwa, or ruling (see 101), by the then-Supreme Leader of Iran calling for the death of the author. The fatwa led to assaults on several translators of the book as well as the bookshops selling it, while forcing Rushdie to go into hiding for years. 

 

The 75-year-old Indian-born British-American novelist suffered 10 stab wounds in his neck, chest, arm, thigh, and eye, which he is expected to lose.

 

See bystanders attend to Rushdie and apprehend the attacker here

Gridlock in Iraq

Iraq's high court yesterday ruled it had no authority to dissolve the country's parliament, the latest in a nearly yearlong political crisis that has gripped the county. The decision comes weeks after followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, one of the country's most influential Shiite clerics, stormed Iraq's legislative body to intervene over the course of multiple days. 

 

Iraq's political factions have been locked in battle since October elections, which saw al-Sadr's coalition take 167 of 329 seats in parliament. Despite gaining an absolute majority, the bloc fell short of the two-thirds needed to select a president. See background here. Officials worry the impasse will spill over into potentially violent protests in the coming weeks. 

 

Separately, yesterday marked 10 years since journalist Austin Tice was taken hostage in Syria—the longest-held journalist in US history. Reports suggest Tice is still alive, being held by a government-backed group. 

Anne Heche Dies

Actress Anne Heche was taken off life support yesterday, almost a week after a car crash in Los Angeles left her in a coma and ultimately resulted in her being declared by doctors as brain-dead. Heche was designated as an organ donor—the decision was made after a transplant recipient had been identified.

 

The 53-year-old actress was best known for her roles in "Six Days, Seven Nights," "Donnie Brasco," "I Know What You Did Last Summer," and more. Heche publicly dated comedian and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres from 1997 to 2000, during a time when high-profile same-sex relationships were relatively uncommon. City officials initially investigated Heche for driving under the influence and a hit-and-run immediately following the crash, but said over the weekend they would cease the probe. 

 

See reactions from around Hollywood here.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Police investigating death threats against author JK Rowling following a tweet she sent supporting Salman Rushdie (More)

 

> Denise Dowse, actress best known for roles in "Insecure" and "Beverly Hills, 90210," dies at 64 (More) | Actor and comedian Teddy Ray dies at 32 (More)

 

> San Diego Padres' Fernando Tatís Jr., 2021 National League home run leader, banned 80 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance (More)

Science & Technology

In partnership with PhoneSoap

> Federal data show July was the sixth hottest in 143 years of record keeping, with land and ocean surface temperatures almost 1.6 degrees above the 20th century average; the five warmest Julys have all occurred since 2016 (More)

 

> Bioengineers develop bionic 3D imaging system capable of replicating the multiview vision of flies (More)

 

> Research suggests the concentration of the hormone cortisol in human hair may act as a proxy for recent stress levels (More)

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Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher Friday (S&P 500 +1.7%, Dow +1.3%, Nasdaq +2.1%); S&P 500 posts fourth consecutive weekly gain (More) | US consumer sentiment index increases in August for second consecutive month after record low June reading (More)

 

> US housing affordability fell in June to its least affordable level since 1989 (More)

 

> Oil giant Saudi Aramco reports 90% net income growth to $48.4B for the second quarter, amid higher energy prices (More) | Peloton shares up 14% Friday after the connected fitness giant announces plan to reduce jobs, increase prices, and close stores (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Reports suggest lawyers for former President Donald Trump signed a statement in June stating there were no classified documents at Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence; news follows FBI search warrant last week searching for materials (More) | Read warrant (More)

 

> UN ship departs Ukraine with grain shipments for East Africa, the first chartered by the international body since the war began in February (More) | See updates on the war here (More)

 

> Delegation of US lawmakers visits Taiwan, roughly two weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D, CA-12) trip to the island; visit prompted a series of military drills by China, which views Taiwan as part of the country (More)

NEW PLACES, NEW LANGUAGES

 

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ETCETERA

 

Hunger stones emerge in Europe.

 

Visualizing Europe's natural gas shortage.

 

Who is collecting data from your car?

 

Australia's Museum Victoria gets up close with wildlife.

 

Watch a sea sponge sneeze

 

Treat ringing ears with your smartphone

 

The world's oldest practicing doctor turns 100 years old.

 

San Francisco's fancy trash cans

 

Clickbait: Don't worry about the "splooting" squirrels

 

Historybook: Napoleon Bonaparte is born (1769); Iconic chef and TV host Julia Child is born (1912); Panama Canal opens (1914); Woodstock music festival begins (1969); Civil rights activist Julian Bond dies (2015).

 

"The measure of achievement is not winning awards. It’s doing something that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile."

- Julia Child

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