Mississippi Water Crisis, 'Teacher's Pet' Verdict, and the Hardest-Working States Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Wednesday, Aug. 31, and we're covering a water emergency in Jackson, Mississippi, a verdict in an Australian murder case featured in a true-crime podcast, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].


First time reading? Sign up here.



Jackson Without Water

Mississippi's governor declared a water emergency in the state Monday night after flooding in Jackson compromised the city's water system, warning the 150,000 residents they may be without reliable water indefinitely.


Although flooding was less than expected, pump motors failed at a water treatment plant after heavy rains raised the Pearl River and its reservoir last week, reducing water pressure across the city. Sinks, toilets, and even fire hydrants will not flow sufficiently for use. In light of the news, Jackson Public Schools opted to go virtual, and state emergency officials created an incident command center to get the plant back into operation and distribute bottled water.


The city's water system has long had issues and was cited by the Environmental Protection Agency in January for violating the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Further, the city had already been under a boil-water notice since July. See photos of the flooding here

Verdict in 'Teacher's Pet' Case

A 74-year-old former high school teacher in Australia has been found guilty of murdering his wife in 1982 after popular true-crime podcast "The Teacher's Pet" renewed an investigation. A judge found Christopher Dawson killed his then-33-year-old wife, Lynette, to pursue a relationship with a 16-year-old former student who babysat the couple's two daughters. Dawson faces a possible life sentence. 


Dawson was arrested in 2018 after the release of the podcast, which examined his relationship with Lynette and the events leading to her disappearance in January 1982. The judge hearing the case said the podcast may have impacted witness testimony but he was satisfied with the circumstantial evidence, dismissing Dawson's claim that Lynette left him and citing inconsistencies in his defense. It is still unclear what happened to Lynette; her body was never found. 


"The Teacher's Pet" has been downloaded 60 million times internationally and won an Australian journalism accolade. Listen to the series here

Princess Diana Remembered

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death at the age of 36. On Aug. 31, 1997, the British princess was killed in a high-speed car crash while being pursued by photographers, along with boyfriend Dodi al-Fayed and the car’s driver Henri Paul, in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris. A later investigation found the paparazzi and Paul—who had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit—equally at fault for the deaths.


Dubbed the people’s princess, Diana was known to champion humanitarian causes such as homelessness, domestic violence, and AIDS awareness—including shaking hands with an ill patient captured in a famous photo. Diana was 20 years old when she married Prince Charles in 1981, becoming the Princess of Wales, and went on to have two sons, Princes William and Harry.


Diana was an international style icon and is widely credited with modernizing the royal family. It is estimated a record 2.5 billion people watched her funeral worldwide. See her life in photos here.

In partnership with Beam



Want a cheat code for better sleep? You can find it in hot cocoa.


But not just any hot cocoa. Beam's Dream Powder is a delicious, smooth nighttime beverage chock-full of ingredients designed to make you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. With five natural sleep-promoting ingredients (CBD, reishi, magnesium, L-theanine, and melatonin), zero added sugar, and only 15 calories, it's got what you need to sip a half-hour before bed, then drift off into your deepest night's sleep. But don't just take our word for it: A recent survey revealed 98% of customers fall asleep faster when taking Dream Powder and 99% experience better sleep quality—waking up refreshed, and not groggy.


See what all the fuss is about today, and say goodbye to the effects of poor quality sleep like low energy and lack of focus. Check out Beam's limited edition Sea Salt Caramel flavor and use code BEAM1440 for 40% off the first month of your subscription.

Please support our sponsors!



Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> NFL franchises make final 53-player roster cuts ahead of next week's regular season kickoff; see roster moves for all 32 teams (More)


> Charlbi Dean, actress who recently starred in Palme d’Or-winning “Triangle of Sadness,” dies at 32 of a sudden illness (More) | Academy Award-winning Pixar animator Ralph Eggleston dies at 56 of pancreatic cancer (More)


> World No. 2 Cameron Smith among latest star to leave PGA Tour for Saudi-backed LIV Golf series; Smith reportedly received $100M to join the upstart league (More

From our partners: How many credit cards are in your wallet? Make your answer "one." The Ascent's credit card expert personally signed up for this card because of its perfect mix of benefits. Up to 5% cash back, a big bonus, no annual fee, the list goes on.

Science & Technology

> Texas officials report death of patient with monkeypox, possibly caused by the illness; would be the first reported US monkeypox death (More) | More than 18,000 reported cases across the country; see map (More)


> NASA to attempt launch of Artemis 1 mission Saturday; retry follows a last minute halt Monday following issues with engine cooling (More)


> Brazil's "Man of the Hole," the last living member of an isolated Indigenous Amazonian tribe, dies; the tribesman had lived alone in Brazil's Tanaru Indigenous Territory for 26 years (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -1.1%, Dow -1.0%, Nasdaq -1.1%) for third consecutive session (More)


> Social media giant Snap to lay off 20% of workforce; company recently withdrew financial guidance for the current quarter (More) | Elon Musk’s lawyers deliver second acquisition termination letter citing allegations from former Twitter security chief’s whistleblower complaint (More)


> US job openings of 11.2 million grew in July over June to level nearly double the total pool of available US workers, per the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev dies at 91; Gorbachev was known for his role in helping to end the Cold War, for which he received a Nobel Peace Prize (More) | Heavy fighting continues in Kherson as Ukraine tries to retake the Russian-held southern region (More) | Iran sends lethal drones to Russia (More)


> The UN seeks $160M in emergency aid for Pakistan's record-breaking floods that have caused an estimated $10B worth of damage; death toll surpasses 1,160 (More


> US Attorney General Merrick Garland bans political appointees at the Department of Justice from attending any campaign events, changing a longstanding policy (More) | Former President Donald Trump hires former Florida solicitor general in Mar-a-Lago search case (More)



In partnership with Beam


We all know the feeling after a bad night's sleep: achy, groggy, moody, and can't focus on anything.


It's time to say goodbye to that feeling, with a new nighttime ritual. Take one scoop of Beam's delicious Dream Powder, blend it into a mug of hot water or milk, and sip 30-45 minutes before bed. You'll be out like a light, and you'll wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated (thanks to sleep-promoting ingredients like CBD, reishi, magnesium, L-theanine, and melatonin). Check out their limited edition Dream Powder flavor, Sea Salt Caramel, and use code BEAM1440 for 40% off the first month of your subscription.


Please support our sponsors!



A look at the upward march of rental prices.


America's hardest-working states.


... and each state's wealthiest person.


How our brains crank up the temperature to fight illness


Get nostalgic with the '90s best food commercials.


What scientists think dinosaurs sounded like.


Glacier melt reveals ancient Viking weapons.


Zoom from Earth to the distant Cartwheel Galaxy. (w/video)


Clickbait: World Gravy Wrestling Championship returns from hiatus


Historybook: Richard Gere born (1949); Boxing legend Rocky Marciano dies (1969); Princess Diana dies in car crash in Paris (1997); 953 die in bridge stampede in Iraq (2005); Baseball great Tom Seaver dies (2020). 


"Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward."

- Princess Diana

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].

Interested in advertising to smart readers like you? Apply here!

Join a community of over 3.6 million intellectually curious individuals.

100% free. Unsubscribe anytime.

Don't miss out on the daily email read by over 3.6 million intellectually curious readers.