4.20.2023

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Good morning. It's Thursday, April 20, and we're covering murder charges connected to an Alabama birthday party, the completion of North Korea's first military spy satellite, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Alabama Shooting Charges

Two teenage brothers and a 20-year-old man were charged yesterday with reckless murder in connection with a weekend mass shooting at a Sweet 16 birthday party in the town of Dadeville, Alabama, about 57 miles northeast of Montgomery. The shooting broke out Saturday night after an altercation at a dance studio, leaving at least four people dead and another 32 injured. 

 

The brothers, aged 16 and 17, will be charged as adults. Reckless murder is a Class A felony (see 101), carrying a punishment of 10 to 99 years in prison. Juveniles in Alabama who are 16 years and older are automatically charged as adults for such felonies. The victims of the shooting were all under the age of 24 and included the birthday girl's older brother. See more on the victims here.

 

The incident is the latest in a string of mass shootings, where four or more people, other than the suspect, are shot and killed. See a database of all mass killings by year here.

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North Korea Spy Satellite 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced yesterday the country had completed assembly of its first military spy satellite and plans to launch it at an undisclosed date. The announcement came just days after the US, Japan, and South Korea agreed to conduct regular defense drills in the region. 

 

A spy satellite—the first of several planned in the country—would enhance the East Asian country's nuclear weapons program, enabling it to gather intelligence on targets and antimissile systems. A test launch of the satellite in December produced low-resolution photographs of South Korean cities, which analysts said would be ineffective for reconnaissance purposes. Putting a spy satellite into orbit requires a long-range ballistic missile, which the United Nations currently bans North Korea from using.

 

The satellite is the country's latest move in its burgeoning weapons program. Last week, the country tested its Hwasong-18 missile—believed to be its arsenal's most powerful weapon and the latest in a string of over 100 missile tests since the start of 2022.

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Canada Federal Workers Strike

More than 100,000 public-sector workers in Canada went on strike yesterday after failing to reach an agreement with the federal government over contract issues that include higher wages and work-from-home guarantees. The strike, the third of its kind in Canada in more than 30 years, disrupted a range of federal services, including tax filings and passport renewals. 

 

The Public Service Alliance of Canada, which represents about 40% of the total Canadian government workforce, seeks wage gains of 13.5% over a three-year period, equivalent to roughly 4.5% per year, for most of its members. A segment of the union that includes workers at the Canada Revenue Agency initially sought about a 30% increase in wages over three years. In contrast, the government's counteroffer includes a wage increase of 9% over a three-year period. See a breakdown of the issues here.

 

Canada's last public-sector strikes of similar scale took place in 1991, lasting 13 days, and in 2004, lasting under a week

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Moonbin, actor and member of K-pop group Astro, dies by suspected suicide at age 25 (More) | Frank Ocean pulls out of Coachella's second weekend, citing leg injury; Blink-182 reportedly to take Ocean's spot (More)

> Former child star Aaron Carter's death in November ruled to be an accidental drowning in a bathtub after Carter had taken sedatives and an inhalant (More)

> Inter Milan and Manchester City advance to semifinals of UEFA Champions League (More) | First leg of the semifinals begins May 9 (More) | USA and Mexico submit bid to co-host 2027 Women's World Cup (More

 

Science & Technology

> SpaceX readies second launch attempt of its massive Starship spacecraft this morning, a key step toward the company's efforts to bring humans to Mars (More) | Catch the livestream at 9 am ET (More) | See inside SpaceX's Starship (More)

> Scientists redraw "homunculus" brain diagram, depicting how the brain controls individual body parts; revamped map reveals primary motor cortex is more complex than previously suggested and could improve treatments for brain injury (More)

> New study shows how hair begins to gray as melanocyte stem cells, which constantly move between two compartments in hair follicles to produce pigment proteins, become "stuck" and lose ability to regenerate into pigment cells (More)

 

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 -0.01%, Dow -0.2%, Nasdaq +0.03%) amid busy earnings season week (More)

> Tesla Q1 revenues of $23B up 24% over last year, but net income drops 24% as company lowered prices on select models; shares down 4% in after-hours trading (More)

> Shares of regional banks including Western Alliance and First Republic Bank close higher on deposit increases (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> US Supreme Court temporarily extends full access to abortion pill mifepristone for second time, giving justices until Friday to decide whether to allow lower court ruling that limited access to the medication while retaining FDA approval (More

>  House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-20) unveils package to raise the debt ceiling by $1.5T; floor vote expected next week (More) | Oklahoma lawmaker resigns after leaked recording of alleged racist remarks, threats against reporters (More)

> Twelve people arrested after Beijing hospital fire kills at least 29; initial probe points to welding sparks from renovations igniting flammable paint (More) | Poland, Germany, and Israel leaders commemorate 80th anniversary of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising—the largest Jewish revolt against Nazi Germany during World War II (More)

 

In-Depth

> The Search for Gold

LA Times | Daniel Miller. The story of modern-day gold seekers in the Mojave Desert, whose adventure begins with a decades-old treasure map, the hunt for its mapmaker, and the mythical bonanza beneath a 6,038-foot California peak. (Read)

 

> Argentina's Celebrity Crypto Pastor

Rest of World | Facundo Iglesia. Generación Zoe, whose founder came from rags to riches, offered investors large returns through market-predicting robots and a gold-backed cryptocurrency. Turns out, its promises were too good to be true. (Read)

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Etcetera
 

Oklahoma math teacher named 2023 National Teacher of the Year

 

Historic submarine wreckage found in Long Island Sound.

 

Pizzeria offers free pizza for a year in exchange for Taylor Swift tickets.

 

Thirsty bear makes its way through 69 cans of pop.

 

Turn your tax refund into a vacation.

 

A map showing the price of a Big Mac across the US.

 

The most pedestrian-friendly cities in America.

 

How volunteer firefighters built a series of hidden firehouse bars.

 

Clickbait: Who can help sweet-toothed senators? The candy man can.

 

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).

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