8.30.2022

Ukraine Counters, Scotland's Trash Strike, and Pumpkin Spice Lattes Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Tuesday, Aug. 30, and we're covering Ukraine's counterstrike in Russian-held regions, a weekslong garbage collection strike in Scotland, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

 

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Ukraine Pushes South

The Ukrainian army began a long-awaited counteroffensive in the southern region of the country yesterday, according to military officials. The area was one of the first to fall into Russian hands in the early weeks of the war. 

 

Hinted at for months and bolstered by Western military aid, the counteroffensive is focused along the contested areas near the Black Sea in the southeast, particularly the Kherson Oblast (see map). An unverified report claims a Russian military base was destroyed, while many bridges have been struck and at least 10 ammunition dumps reportedly leveled in recent weeks using precision artillery.

 

Russian officials say the reports are fabricated—though it shifted thousands of troops to the area from the east. US intelligence suggests Russia may soon try to annex Kherson, a key region near the Black Sea, a possible factor in Ukraine's announcement of the offensive.

 

Meanwhile, nuclear inspectors were said to arrive yesterday at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia power plant in Kherson, currently caught in the crossfire. 

NASA Launch Scrubbed

The highly anticipated launch of NASA's Artemis 1 mission was canceled at the last minute yesterday morning after tests revealed cooling issues with one of the rocket's four engines. The uncrewed vehicle launch is the first step toward returning Americans to the moon as well as the first live use of NASA's massive Space Launch System (see previous write-up).

 

The rocket relies on liquid hydrogen and oxygen for fuel, which must be stored at temperatures below -420 and -290 degrees, respectively. To hold the ultracold fuel, the storage tanks must be cooled to similar levels or risk fracturing from temperature shock. The failure reportedly occurred during tank cooling and was not linked to the engine itself.

 

Officials said they may target Friday for relaunch—though if the system needs to be rolled off the launch pad, the delay will last until at least October. An update is expected this afternoon.

Scotland Garbage Strike

Piles of trash have spilled onto Scotland's streets in the last two weeks as the country's garbage collectors refused to work over a pay dispute, causing the Scottish health authority to warn of public health and safety issues. Pay negotiations between local authorities and union leaders in dozens of cities, including Glasgow and Edinburgh, have been ongoing, with local authorities last rejecting a proposed 5% raise. The strikes are set to end today but may continue if no deal is reached. 

 

The strikes have coincided with Edinburgh's Festival Fringe, an annual three-week-long arts and music festival, which has drawn millions of people to the Scottish capital. The refuse workers' strike is one of many industrial sector protests this summer in the UK as the region's residents struggle with rising costs of living amid 40-year-high inflation of 10.1%.

 

Thousands of UK port, rail, and postal mail workers this month have also gone on strike, demanding higher wages

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Serena Williams cruises to 6-3, 6-3 first round victory at 2022 US Open; likely to be her final competitive tournament (More) | See full bracket (More)

 

> Britney Spears posts now-deleted 22-minute audio clip detailing the chronology of her conservatorship (More)

 

> Chris Rock reportedly declined invite to host 2023 Academy Awards (More) | Meghan Markle's "Archetypes" podcast guest list revealed, includes Mariah Carey, Constance Wu, and Issa Rae (More)

Science & Technology

> Federal Trade Commission sues data broker Kochava over allegations it sold sensitive geolocation data collected from smartphone users, including potential visits to reproductive health centers; company says it collects data on 125 million users per month (More)

 

> Study projects ice melt in Greenland will cause global sea levels to rise by at least 11 inches over the next century as the ice sheet adjusts to elevated temperatures in recent decades (More) | See paper (More)

 

> Research reveals bacterial meningitis causes the brain's waste clearance system, known as the glymphatic system, to malfunction during infection; findings may lead to new treatments for the potentially lethal disease (More)

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.7%, Dow -0.6%, Nasdaq -1.0%) for second consecutive session (More)

 

> Honda and LG plan to invest $4.4B in partnership to produce a new electric vehicle battery plant, likely in Ohio (More)

 

> Venture Capitalist Garry Tan to become CEO of leading startup accelerator and investor Y Combinator next year (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> Justice Department reportedly finds limited number of documents seized during search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate to be covered by attorney-client privilege (More) | Thursday hearing will examine need for independent review (More)

 

> Pakistan officials say an estimated one-third of the country is flooded; more than 1,130 people have died amid a historic monsoon season (More)

 

> At least 10 people killed and several injured after Iraqi protestors clash with security forces in Baghdad; demonstrations followed decision by influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to resign from politics (More)

IN-DEPTH

 

Mind Wandering

MIT Press Reader | Stefan Van der Stigchel. A cognitive psychologist unpacks the myths and truths behind daydreaming and how it impacts concentration. (Read)

Was It Really a Suicide? 

Politico | Michael Schaffer. Millionaire businessman Dan Rapoport, a critic of Vladimir Putin, fell to his death from a luxury Washington, DC, apartment this month. Police don't suspect foul play, but Rapoport's political allies aren't so sure. (Read)

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ETCETERA

 

Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back

 

Europe's largest dinosaur fossils may have been found.

 

Rescued dolphin nursed back to health in Thailand

 

India blows up two skyscrapers for violating laws (w/video).

 

Princess Diana's Ford Escort sells for $764K at auction

 

The 1983 cult classic "A Christmas Story" is getting a sequel.

 

... and enjoy a $3 movie ticket this weekend nationwide

 

Meet Wally, the emotional support alligator.  

 

Clickbait: Two Air France pilots suspended after cockpit fistfight

 

Historybook: Baseball great Ted Williams born (1918); Warren Buffett born (1930); Thurgood Marshall becomes first Black Supreme Court justice (1967); Cameron Diaz born (1972); Guion Bluford becomes first Black person in space (1983).

 

"Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful."

- Warren Buffett

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