Good morning. It's Friday, Sept. 24, and we're covering a shooting in Tennessee, the return of one of the world's oldest pieces of writing, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at email@example.com.
At least one person was killed and 14 others were injured after a gunman opened fire inside a Collierville, Tennessee, Kroger grocery store. Nine of the victims were taken to the hospital, with at least four in critical conditions. The gunman also reportedly died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
According to reports, the shooter was an employee of a third-party vendor that served the store, located about 30 miles outside the city of Memphis. At least 44 employees, along
with an unspecified number of shoppers, were in the store as the attack unfolded; a number of workers were found in the store's freezer, while officials found at least one hiding on the roof. Police are still searching for a motive.
Separately, preliminary data from the FBI show the homicide rate rose by almost 30% in 2020, the largest single-year spike on record. Total homicides are still below levels seen between 1970 and
Top Haiti Official Resigns
The US special envoy to Haiti resigned yesterday, citing an "inhumane" response to a migrant surge that saw nearly 14,000 Haitian migrants amass outside the border town of Del Rio, Texas. Special Envoy Daniel Foote accused the Biden administration of ignoring his recommendations—a claim dismissed by the State Department. Foote was appointed as envoy to the country in July, following the assassination of former President Jovenel Moïse.
Foote's resignation comes as US
officials attempt to deport thousands of the migrants—at least 12 flights have returned migrants to Haiti—though thousands have reportedly been released into the US pending adjudication of asylum cases. The surge was said to be primarily Haitians previously living in South America, motivated by social media reports of an easy entry port into the US.
Separately, federal officials suspended horse patrols in the area
after images of Border Patrol agents appearing to use their reins as whips against the migrants drew backlash. See video here (warning: sensitive content).
Gilgamesh Returns Home
A rare tablet containing a 3,500-year-old partial account of the "Epic of Gilgamesh" was returned to Iraq by US officials yesterday. The artifact was looted from an Iraqi museum during the first Gulf War in 1991 and smuggled into the US art market in 2007. US retail company Hobby Lobby purchased the tablet, placing it in the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. The Justice Department seized the artifact in 2019.
Regarded as one of the earliest known works of
literature, the poem itself revolves around the travails of a mythic Sumerian demigod (breakdown here). Many themes of the poem are believed to be mirrored in the Hebrew Bible. Originally discovered in the ruins of an Assyrian library and written in Akkadian cuneiform script, the tablet itself recounts Gilgamesh describing dreams to his mother.
>Ancient footprintsfound in New Mexico believed to be the earliest evidence of human presence in the Americas; dating between 21,000 and 23,000 years ago, the find resets the timeline of human migration from Siberia during the ice age (More)
>Industry group representing Facebook, Google, and Twitter sues
over Texas law banning social media companies for blocking users over political views (More)
>New fuel reactor converts carbon dioxide to methane at high efficiencies; applications include creating rocket fuel on Mars for interplanetary trips (More)
Business & Markets
>US stock markets rally (S&P 500 +1.2%, Dow +1.5%, Nasdaq +1.0%) as investor confidence grows that the global economy can withstand troubles from potential Evergrande fallout in China (More) | See our previous write-up on Evergrande here (More)
> US household wealth increases to record $142T in the second quarter, driven by recent stock market and real estate booms (More)
>Costco beats quarterly estimates; sales increase 17% as consumer spending continues to improve (More) | Shares of Nike fall 3% as supply chain issues lead to lower 2022 revenue guidance (More)
Politics & World Affairs
>Taliban officials say the government will reinstate strict punishments, including amputations and executions, for violating a variety of laws (More) | News comes one day after the Taliban requested a seat at the United Nations General Assembly (More)
>House and Senate Democrats say they've reached agreement on a tax framework to pay for a $3.5T social spending budget; legislation is in limbo, with pushback from moderates (More)
>Arizona audit of the 2020 election results in Maricopa County matches the initial tabulation, finds President Joe Biden won by 45,469 votes; results of GOP-led recount to be presented today (More)
Reuters | Staff. A visual tribute to photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, killed on assignment in Afghanistan in the waning days of the American withdrawal. (Read)
The Year of the Freedom Riders
USA Today | Mabinty Quarshie. In 1961, waves of freedom riders played a pivotal role in the US civil rights movement. Five decades later, take a look back at their stories. (Read)
MIT Press Reader | Stanisław Lem. (Fiction) The tale of a scientist, locked in an insane asylum, theorizing the sun is sentient. Written in 1964, published here in English for the first time. (Read)
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The Verge | Monica Chin. Students raised entirely in the digital era are having problems understanding the concept of directories, forcing teachers to rethink lesson plans. (Read)
But as it so happens, the preorders are
actually for Piestro's kiosk-pizza-making-robot-extraordinaires, which have achieved $580M in preorders via commercial contracts with incredible brands that are taking Piestro global. 800 Degrees Pizza and Carbone Restaurant Group see Piestro's massive market and competitive profit margins, and are looking to grow alongside each other. If you're interested in the Piestro technology or investment opportunity, check it out before their round closes in less than a week.
Clickbait: Could this be the world's largest dog wedding? (Our invitation probably got lost in the mail)
Historybook: Author F. Scott Fitzgerald born (1896); American astronomer Charlotte Moore Sitterly born (1898); Devils Tower is proclaimed the first American national monument (1906); "Muppets" creator Jim Henson born (1936); RIP Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel (1991).
"In any case, you mustn't confuse a single failure with a final defeat."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Tender is the Night"
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