4.1.2024

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Monday, April 1, and we're covering maritime aid shipments to Gaza, the last four men's teams standing in March, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

Gaza Aid Ramps Up

The second in a series of aid ships departed from Cyprus over the weekend, carrying almost 400 tons of food and supplies en route to the Gaza Strip. The shipments have been coordinated by World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit led by celebrity chef José Andrés. 

 

The delivery will provide an estimated 1 million meals and follows a 200-ton shipment earlier last week. Aid imports before the war typically accounted for roughly two-thirds of food supplies in Gaza; see a breakdown of the aid gap since the current fighting began.

 

International groups have warned parts of Gaza may begin experiencing famine by early summer (see definition). Meanwhile, US-led construction of a temporary floating pier, which can reportedly handle up to 2 million meals per day, could be ready by early May. 

 

Separately, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a deadline today to submit a new law exempting ultra-Orthodox Jewish citizens from compulsory military service. The highly contentious issue has split both Netanyahu's governing coalition and the broader public. 

 

See updates on the war here.

 

Huskies, Boilermakers, Tide, Wolfpack

The men's NCAA basketball tournament narrowed its field down to the Final Four yesterday, with No. 1 Purdue set to take on No. 11 NC State Saturday (6 pm ET, TBS), followed by No. 1 Connecticut facing No. 4 Alabama (8:50 pm ET, TBS). 

 

Defending champion Connecticut enters the final weekend having dominated their postseason path, outscoring their four opponents by a combined 111 points. Meanwhile, Alabama will enjoy the first Final Four in school history, having upset No. 1 North Carolina and beating No. 6 Clemson. Purdue looks to complete the ultimate rebound from its shocking first-round loss last year, while NC State has drawn parallels with its historic Cinderella run in 1983. See the full bracket here.

 

On the women's side, No. 1 South Carolina and No. 3 NC State punched their tickets to the Final Four yesterday. Two games remain today, including a highly anticipated rematch between Caitlin Clark and No. 1 Iowa and Angel Reese and No. 3 LSU (7 pm ET, ESPN). The two met in the title game last year, with LSU winning 102-85.

 

Gmail Celebrates Two Decades

Google's email provider, Gmail, turns 20 years old today, with an estimated 1.2 billion people worldwide using the free service, which has since become part of a suite of other products.

 

Gmail was launched as an invitation-only beta offering on April Fools' Day in 2004 before being widely released in 2007. Gmail was created by Google developer Paul Buchheit after a Google user lamented over existing email services at the time, particularly about their speed, limited storage space, and inability to properly search through information. The press release for the service was initially met with skepticism as Google was known for cracking April Fools' jokes (see list), including announcing the fake intelligence-boosting drink Google Gulp.

 

Gmail became the world's most popular email provider by 2012, overtaking Outlook, Yahoo Mail, and more (see animated chart). As of last year, Gmail accounts for roughly 30% of the global market share for email clients, behind Apple's 58% share. 

 

Read about Gmail's history here

In partnership with Upway

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Chance Perdomo, actor known for starring roles in "Gen V" and "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," dies following a motorcycle crash at age 27 (More) | Tim McGovern, Oscar-winning visual effects innovator, dies at age 68 (More)

> Beyoncé's "Cowboy Carter" album becomes most-streamed album in a single day in 2024 on Spotify, most first-day streams for country album by a female artist on Amazon Music (More)

> "Godzilla x Kong: New Empire" hauls in $194M at the global box office in its opening weekend (More) | Singer Lizzo suggests via social media she's departing the music industry amid sexual harassment lawsuit (More)

From our partners: The best-kept secret for managing credit card debt. This card charges 0% interest on balance transfers until well into 2025. Aka, it gives you almost two years to pay off your balance, sans interest. Plus, you’ll earn 2% cash back on purchases. Learn more today and apply.

 

Science & Technology

> NASA's Curiosity rover begins exploring Mars' Gediz Vallis channel, a surface feature of the planet believed to have been an ancient river (More) | What happened to all the water on Mars? (More)

> Researchers demonstrate optical fiber with data transfer rates above 300 terabits, or roughly 1 million times faster than average household broadband (More)

> Engineers develop four-legged robot with basic climbing and hopping skills; advance may find applications for search and rescue applications in dangerous and unstable terrain (More)

 

Business & Markets

> Fast-fashion firm Shein reports $2B in profit in 2023, more than double year-over-year; numbers come ahead of planned initial public offering later this year (More) | $20 per hour minimum wage for California fast food workers begins today (More)

> AT&T confirms data leak of an estimated 7.6 million active accounts, more than 65 million former accounts to the dark web; company initiates mass passcode reset (More)

> California public employee pension fund to back activist investors Nelson Peltz and Jay Rasulo in upcoming Disney board vote; CalPERS, the largest public pension fund in the US, owns 6.6 million Disney shares (More) | Disney's proxy battle explained (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Crews begin removing first steel section of Baltimore's collapsed Key Bridge following last week's collision by a cargo ship; what caused ship to lose power before crash still under investigation (More) | Minute-by-minute breakdown of the accident (More)

> King Charles makes first major public appearance since cancer diagnosis, attending Easter services in Windsor (More) | Pope Francis skips Good Friday processional, presides over Easter mass; appearance comes amid increasing concerns over the 87-year-old pontiff's health (More)

> India's minority parties unite to protest arrest of prominent opposition leader, accuse Prime Minister Narendra Modi of silencing critics ahead of April 19 kickoff of national elections (More)

In partnership with Upway

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If there’s one thing we love more than a sale, it’s a sale on a sale—so when Upway hooked us up with an additional discount code to use during their Spring Sale, we could barely contain ourselves. 

 

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Etcetera
 

The many possible origins of April Fools' Day.

 

Zoo animals go on their own Easter egg hunt. (w/video)

 

... while Florida's spinning sawfish leave officials baffled.

 

The economics behind thieves' love of razors

 

Mapping which states put the highest premium on college grads.

 

The research paper that surfaced the viral "Shrimp Jesus."

 

Charting Instagram's most-followed celebrities

 

Scientists create six-legged mice embryos

 

Clickbait: Cracking open 100-year-old milk.

 

Historybook: Actress Debbie Reynolds born (1932); Apple Computer founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak ... and don't forget Ronald Wayne (1976); Iran officially becomes an Islamic republic after the Shah is overthrown (1979); Singer Marvin Gaye shot and killed by his father (1984).

"If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else."

- Marvin Gaye

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