Russian Retreat, Las Vegas Murder, and a Chess Scandal Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Monday, Sept. 12, and we're covering momentum in Ukraine, a murder in Las Vegas, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].


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Ukraine Reclaims Territory

Ukrainian armed forces retook over a thousand square miles of territory in the northeastern Kharkiv region over the weekend, its largest gain since fighting off advances into the country's capital in April. While Russia officially framed the pullback as a strategic retreat, analysts say the advance weakens Russian supply lines and threatens its hold on the front in the northeast.


Several strategic cities in Kharkiv Oblast, a province adjacent to Russia's southwestern border, were liberated in the push. The crucial logistics hubs of Izyum and Kupiansk, both southeast of Kharkiv city, were taken, in addition to the town of Balakliya. Altogether, Russia has conquered close to 50,000 square miles of Ukraine—about 20% of its total area—since its annexation of Crimea in 2014.


Roughly 100 miles to the southwest, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant's six reactors have been shut down to reduce the threat of a nuclear accident. 

The Long Goodbye

Mourning continued in the United Kingdom yesterday as the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland, after being transported from Balmoral Castle. The queen passed away Thursday at the age of 96 of unspecified causes; she was the country's longest-serving monarch.


Upon entering, the casket was brought down the city's Royal Mile (see photos), with thousands of well-wishers in attendance. The queen's grandson, William, now the Prince of Wales, appeared with his wife Kate, and was joined by his brother Harry and his wife Meghan. It marked one of their highest profile public appearances since the latter couple stepped back from royal duties in 2020. 


King Charles III—formerly Prince Charles—formally assumed the throne Friday, giving his first speech and attending to royal duties over the weekend. The late queen's funeral has been set for next Monday—see a day-by-day guide to the ceremonies here 

Vegas Journalist Murder

A Las Vegas politician accused of murdering a local journalist was denied bail in his first court appearance late last week, with prosecutors expected to unveil further evidence tomorrow. 


In a case that has captured national attention, Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles is accused of killing investigative reporter Jeff German last Friday at German's home. According to reports, Telles was upset over a recent exposé by German exposing a hostile work environment under Telles' watch, while some sources indicated a larger piece on potential corruption was forthcoming. Las Vegas officials say DNA found under German's fingernails led them to Telles. 


Colleagues say German was a dogged journalist, having spent four decades working to uncover organized crime and political scandals in the city. Telles, a lame duck official after losing the Democratic primary election for his position, technically remains in office despite being imprisoned.

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Las Vegas Aces edge Connecticut Sun 67-64 to win Game 1 of WNBA Finals (More) | St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hits 697th home run, passing Alex Rodriguez for fourth most of all time (More)


> No. 1 seed Iga Swiatek tops No. 5 Ons Jabeur to win 2022 US Open, her third major title (More) | Carlos Alcaraz, 19, beats Casper Ruud to win US Open and become youngest ever men's No. 1 in the world (More)


> The 74th Primetime Emmy Awards return tonight (8 pm ET, NBC) from Los Angeles; see full preview and predicted winners (More)

Science & Technology

> Popular cryptocurrency Ethereum scheduled to complete long-awaited transition of its blockchain to "proof-of-stake" consensus this week; shift expected to reduce energy consumption of protocol by 99.95% (More) | The Merge explained (More, w/video)


> Researchers demonstrate prototype process converting waste carbon dioxide into ethylene, the chemical building block for common plastics, at near 100% efficiency (More)


> Astronomers spot an exoplanet roughly 100 light-years from Earth with suitable conditions for liquid water; researchers say it is the second-best candidate to host organic life of all known exoplanets (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher Friday (S&P 500 +1.5%, Dow +1.2%, Nasdaq +2.1%) to snap three-week losing streak (More)


> Thirty-year average mortgage rates up to 5.9% in the US, the highest since 2008 (More)


> US household net worth falls in the second quarter by highest rate on record to $144T (More)

Politics & World Affairs

In partnership with Wren

> Papua New Guinea hit by 7.6-magnitude earthquake in remote Eastern Highlands Sunday, killing four and causing power, communications disruptions (More)


> Canada's Conservative Party elects new leader, populist Pierre Poilievre, known for opposition to vaccine mandates and support for cryptocurrency (More) Rebel Tigrayan forces in northern Ethiopia agree to African Union-led cease-fire negotiations (More)


> US Navy opens investigation into Navy SEALs "Hell Week" selection course, after February death of sailor Kyle Mullen (More)

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Best coffee spots in the US and Canada


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Historybook: Henry Hudson begins exploration of what will become known as the Hudson River (1609); Iconic track and field athlete Jesse Owens born (1913); Singer Barry White born (1944); Mae Jemison becomes first Black woman in space (1992); Johnny Cash dies (2003).


"The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself ... that’s where it’s at."

- Jesse Owens

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