Queen Elizabeth II Dies, NFL Kickoff, and the World's Most Unhappy People Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Friday, Sept. 9, and we're covering the passing of the UK's longest-serving monarch, the beginning of the NFL season, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].


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Queen Elizabeth II Dies

Queen Elizabeth II passed away yesterday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the age of 96, according to Buckingham Palace. 


The queen ascended the throne in 1952 and celebrated her platinum jubilee earlier this year, marking seven decades as the country's matriarch. She was the longest-reigning monarch in British history and had been a stable figurehead throughout many historic events. The queen was a patron to over 600 organizations ranging from education to wildlife preservation. An avid animal lover, her horses have won over 1,600 races, and she has owned over 30 corgis in her lifetime. Her husband, Prince Phillip, passed in April 2021.


King Charles III, automatically becoming the monarch, will lead the country through a mourning period. The funeral will be held 10 days after her death at Westminster Abbey, followed by a service held at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where the queen will be buried. See Operation London Bridge, the plan for what happens next, here.


The announcement came just days after the queen was photographed while appointing new Prime Minister Liz Truss at the Scottish estate. Truss is the 15th prime minister the queen had sworn in, with her first being Winston Churchill.


A double rainbow appeared over Buckingham palace just moments before her death was announced. See her life in photos.

NFL Kicks Off

The 2022-23 NFL season got underway last night with the Buffalo Bills beating the defending champion Los Angeles Rams 31-10. Bills QB Josh Allen tossed three touchdowns in the win.


The rest of the league gets underway beginning Sunday (see schedule), with notable games including QB Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers (1 pm ET, CBS), QB Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs traveling to face the Arizona Cardinals (4:25 pm ET, CBS), and the Dallas Cowboys hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8:20 pm ET, NBC). The latter game showcases one of the season's most intriguing questions—how 45-year-old QB Tom Brady will fare after unretiring over the offseason.


Monday night features Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson facing off against his former squad, the Seattle Seahawks. Wilson played 10 seasons for Seattle, a tenure that includes a 2014 Super Bowl victory over his current team.


See the top 15 storylines for the season here.

Memphis Shootings

Four people were killed and three others injured Wednesday in a string of shootings in Memphis, Tennessee, over the course of 20 hours. The suspect, 19-year-old Ezekiel Kelly, was released from prison in March on an aggravated assault conviction. Police arrested him late Wednesday after a high-speed chase.


Memphis police alerted the public to the shootings at 7 pm Wednesday, only later linking several earlier incidents to the same attacker (see timeline). Multiple victims were shot amid several carjackings, and one man was critically wounded inside an AutoZone while the shooter streamed it on Facebook. For hours, much of the city was on lockdown, with transit suspended and universities sheltering in place. Police did not release a motive or the names of the victims as of this writing.


The incidents occurred just days after Memphis teacher Eliza Fletcher's body was found dead after being abducted last Friday. The suspect in that case was ordered to be held without bond Wednesday. 

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Connecticut Sun eliminate defending champs Chicago Sky in Game 5 to advance to WNBA Finals; the Sun will face MVP A'ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces in Game 1 on Sunday (3 pm ET, ABC) (More)


> Toronto International Film Festival pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at its opening; festival returned in person last night after scaled back events the prior two years (More)


> The Dallas Cowboys ($8B) and the New England Patriots ($6.4B) top Forbes list of 50 most valuable sports franchises; 42 of 50 teams are based in the US (More)

Science & Technology

> Highly infectious bird flu strain found in a Florida dolphin, the first known observation of transmission to the species; strain has spread rapidly through the North American avian population and led to the culling of more than 43 million chickens (More)


> Fat sensors in the gut shown to trigger brain signaling that increases the desire for additional fatty food; findings may provide new interventions to facilitate healthier food choices (More)


> NASA considers Sept. 23 as the next possible launch date for the Artemis 1 moon mission, says it will attempt to fix a hydrogen leak on the launchpad; issue has led to two canceled launches in recent weeks (More)

Business & Markets

In partnership with Blendid

> US stock markets close higher (S&P 500 +0.7%, Dow +0.6%, Nasdaq +0.6%) for second consecutive day (More)


> European Central Bank increases interest rates by 0.75%, the largest rate increase in its 24-year history (More)


> General Motors reveals electric Equinox SUV with base model price around $30K, to be released next year (More)

From our partners: Jamba and Walmart are giving Blendid a shot—now's your chance. Along with Sodexo and Love's Travel Stops, these national companies have already started deploying Blendid’s autonomous robotic smoothie kiosks. On a mission to make much-desired fresh food options more accessible and affordable, Blendid has 500+ kiosks in contract, and has identified 70,000+ potential locations in high-traffic areas like malls, gas stations, airports, and many more. Check out the Blendid investment opportunity ahead of their planned nationwide expansion.


Politics & World Affairs

> Ukraine launches surprise counteroffensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region after Russia shifts troops to the southern part of the country (More) | US Secretary of State Antony Blinken makes surprise visit to Kyiv, pledges an additional $2.8B in aid (More)


> Boy Scouts of America to exit bankruptcy after court approves a nearly $2.5B sex abuse settlement; agreement provides support to more than 80,000 victims who suffered abuse as part of the group (More)


> Steve Bannon charged in New York on allegations of defrauding donors who supported a campaign to help build part of a US-Mexico border wall (More) | Justice Department appeals decision to appoint a special master to review documents recovered from Mar-a-Lago search warrant (More)



The Falling Man

The Ringer | Bryan Curtis. Behind the search for the identity of a man, whose final seconds—captured in a photograph—encapsulate the visceral horror of 9/11. (Read)


Editor's note: The original Esquire piece, found here, has been placed behind a paywall. See more background on the photo here.

Hating Highbrow 

Freakonomics | Stephen Dubner, Angela Duckworth. (Podcast) The hosts of No Stupid Questions discuss the difference between lowbrow and highbrow culture and ask whether one really matters more than the other. (Listen)

Mobile Gambling's Risk

Vice | Maxwell Strachan.  As more states legalize sports betting and license mobile apps to offer it, gambling addicts find there's less stopping them from spiraling. (Read)



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Clickbait: Vampire skeleton unearthed in Poland.


Historybook: United States of America officially gets its name (1776); Actor Hugh Grant born (1960); Actor Adam Sandler born (1966); People's Republic of China founding father Mao Zedong dies (1976); Queen Elizabeth II becomes longest-reigning monarch of the UK at more than 63 years with crown (2015).


"Let us not take ourselves too seriously. None of us has a monopoly on wisdom."

- Queen Elizabeth II

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