4.20.2024

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Saturday, April 20, and in this weekend edition, we're covering a House vote on long-delayed foreign aid, a study on China's subsiding cities, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

You share. We listen. As always, send us feedback at [email protected].

One Big Headline
 

Foreign Aid Package Vote

House lawmakers are poised to vote today on a $95B foreign aid package that consists of three funding bills for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan, as well as a fourth bill covering an array of measures, including banning TikTok and seizing Russian assets. The House yesterday voted 316-94 (with more Democrats than Republicans voting in favor) to pass a procedural rule teeing up today's final vote.

 

If passed, the four bills will be sent to the Senate as one measure. The package largely follows the contours of a similar bipartisan measure that passed the Democratic-led Senate earlier this year. President Joe Biden has signaled his support for the House package. See what's included here.

 

House Speaker Mike Johnson's (R, LA-4) decision to move forward with the bills comes as another Republican, Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-9), announced he would join Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's (R, GA-14) motion to oust the speaker. Johnson has received pushback from party members who oppose additional aid to Ukraine; the US has so far provided $44B in military assistance to Ukraine.

Quick Hits
 

Israel, Iran appear to downplay reported Israeli airstrike in central Iran.

Iranian air defenses intercepted at least three drones over the central city of Isfahan overnight Thursday after Israel appeared to launch a limited strike in the region, where a military air base and nuclear facilities are located. Analysts say Israel and Iran's muted responses signal they seek to prevent a wider Middle East conflict. 

 

At least nine people killed in Ukraine after Russian airstrike.

The Ukrainian military said it downed a Russian bomber for the first time since the war began after the aircraft launched a missile strike in Ukraine's eastern region of Dnipro. Three children were among those killed; more than a dozen others were wounded. Russia said the aircraft crashed after a technical malfunction.

 

Biden administration expands Title IX protections in revised rules.

Title IX is a federal civil rights law first enacted in 1972 and originally created to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in schools and other educational settings (see history). The new regulations codify protections for LGBTQ+ and pregnant students and update how schools respond to alleged sexual misconduct. 

 

Nearly half of China's major cities are sinking, researchers say.

The study, published in the journal Science, found 45% of China's urban areas are sinking over 3 millimeters per year, while 16% are sinking over 10 millimeters per year. The researchers used satellite data from 2015 to 2022 and said the cause of the sinking was partly due to the weight of buildings and groundwater extraction.

 

Tesla recalls all 3,878 Cybertrucks due to accelerator issue.

The federal safety regulator said the Cybertruck's accelerator pedal can dislodge and become trapped by interior trim, causing the vehicle to unintentionally accelerate. Tesla said it will replace or repair the faulty accelerator pedals. Deliveries of the Cybertruck—Tesla's first pickup truck—began last November.

 

Grammy-winning singer Mandisa Hundley dies at age 47.

Hundley was a contemporary Christian singer who gained attention after finishing ninth on "American Idol" in 2006. She released her debut album in 2007, receiving a Grammy nomination for best pop and contemporary gospel album. Hundley later won a Grammy in 2014 for best contemporary Christian music album.

In partnership with Pendulum

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Humankind
 

Taco Bell manager performs lifesaving CPR on 11-week-old baby in drive-thru. (More)

 

Ohio man honored for stopping flying puck from hitting 4-year-old boy at a Cleveland hockey game. (More)

 

Elderly couple, who eloped in 1964, remarries in proper wedding with friends and family 60 years later. (More)

 

Pennsylvania man climbs burning three-story home to save his neighbors. (More

 

Former New Orleans Saint with ALS unveils new AI-generated artwork after losing the ability to move his limbs. (More)

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Humankind(ness)
 

Today, we're sharing a story from reader Bryan W. in Smyrna, Delaware.

 

"At an amusement park, my son really wanted a giant stuffed banana prize from a carnival game. We spent an unreasonable amount of money trying to win the banana but to no avail. We gave up. A short time later a young man walked past my son with his friends, carrying a giant stuffed banana. He asked my son if he wanted a banana. 'Yes please,' my son said. The young man said, 'If you can beat me at rock-paper-scissors, it’s yours.' Well, my son won! And the young man told him that he won the prize just so he could give it to someone who didn’t have one. We promised to pay it forward and could not thank him enough. I don’t know who you are but thank you so much for making my son’s day special."

 

What act(s) of kindness did you experience this week? Tell us here.

Etcetera
 

Bookkeeping

> Indiana Fever rookie Caitlin Clark reportedly nears over $20M deal with Nike

> Tiny scribble from Michelangelo sells for 33 times its estimated value at auction

 

Browse 

> Newt feeding on frogspawn tops close-up photo awards.

Uber's 2024 Lost & Found Index reveals bizarre items left behind.

> Test your knowledge of Olympic sports that have come and gone.

> Artifact from sunken WWII ship found stashed in furniture

> Can you find the misspelled word in this brain teaser

 

Listen 

> Unraveling the mystery of an 1849 murder that rocked Harvard.

 

Watch 

> Couple teaches their pet rats to drive tiny custom cars.

> Examining the freaky underside of a fern leaf.

> What if the Milky Way was home to thousands of alien empires

 

Long Read 

> The science behind vitamin D supplements—and who needs them.

> The biologist who inspired a character in "Jaws" and who spent his life altering society's perception of sharks

 

Most Clicked This Week: "If gratitude had a face, it wouldn't be this kitty." 

 

Historybook: Thirteen people murdered in Columbine High School mass shooting (1999); Danica Patrick is first woman to win IndyCar race (2008); Dorothy Height, civil and women’s rights activist, dies (2010); Deepwater Horizon oil rig explodes, killing 11 and starting monthslong oil spill (2010).

"Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals."

- Dorothy Height

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