4.11.2024

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Thursday, April 11, and we're covering a final case in an Italian legal drama, new regulations for a harmful class of chemicals, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

Ismail Haniyeh Sons Killed

Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh said yesterday that an Israeli airstrike killed three of his adult sons traveling to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr in central Gaza, calling the attack motivated by revenge. Israel confirmed the airstrike, characterizing the three as a cell commander and two militant operatives.

 

Hamas comprises a political and military branch. Haniyeh—based in Qatar—leads Hamas' political branch, while Mohammed Deif, who has not been seen publicly in years, leads Hamas' military arm. Yahya Sinwar, who oversees Hamas' political and military operations within Gaza, is considered Israel's most wanted target and is blamed for orchestrating the Oct. 7 attack.

 

The strike comes amid ongoing cease-fire talks in Egypt. Hamas yesterday said it cannot hand over the 40 hostages—including women, elderly, or sick—an Israeli proposal requires, raising concerns more hostages than previously known are dead. Hamas is calling for a permanent cease-fire and the return of Palestinians to their homes in the north; Israel has said it would allow 150,000 Palestinians to return to northern Gaza.

 

Amanda Knox's Slander Retrial

A retrial began in Italy yesterday over Amanda Knox, an American woman who was exonerated for a 2007 Italian homicide that gained national attention. The trial is the last open legal inquiry against Knox, who is seeking to reverse a 2009 slander conviction accusing her of falsely implicating a pub owner in the murder of her roommate.

 

In 2007, Knox—then a 20-year-old American student in Italy—was arrested in Perugia following the murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher. During 53 hours of questioning, Knox signed a confession implicating herself, her boyfriend, and pub owner Patrick Lumumba in the murder. Knox—the subject of extensive media coverage—was convicted in multiple high-profile trials before being exonerated by Italy’s highest court. DNA samples have tied another man, Rudy Guede, to the crime. 

 

Knox, who is being tried in absentia, is seeking to reverse the 2009 conviction on the basis that a 2019 European ruling found Italian police violated her rights during questioning, including by not providing her access to a translator or lawyer.

 

EPA Limits PFAS

The US Environmental Protection Agency released rules yesterday requiring public water utilities to remove six common "forever chemicals" from the water supply within five years. The mandate is the first nationwide regulation of the ubiquitous substances found in dental floss, athletic clothing, food wrappers, and more.

 

PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of thousands of heat-resistant and oil- and water-repellent synthetic chemicals first developed in the early 20th century for use in textiles and fire suppression (watch overview). Studies have indicated that nondegradable polymers build up in humans and wildlife (see map), where they are linked to health risks, including cancer, hormone disruption, and weakened immune systems. Researchers believe almost every American is likely to have some PFAS buildup in their body.

 

The EPA will distribute $1B to the estimated 10% of the nation's 66,000 utilities likely to be required to act on the regulations. PFAS polluters have paid billions to settle lawsuits in recent years, including 3M's $10B payout in June.

 

Learn how to reduce PFAS exposure here

In partnership with SmartAsset

7 Mistakes When Choosing A Financial Advisor

 

Working with a financial advisor can be a crucial part of any healthy retirement plan.

 

Research suggests that people who work with a financial advisor feel more at ease about their finances and could end up with about 15% more money to spend in retirement.¹ But choosing the wrong one could wreak havoc. Avoid these 7 mistakes when hiring an advisor so you can work to potentially save years of stress. See the list.

 

With thousands of options available, finding an advisor can seem daunting. That's why SmartAsset developed a free quiz to help match you with up to 3 vetted financial advisors serving your area, each legally bound to work in your best interest. It's never too late to work toward a comfortable retirement. Get your financial advisor matches today.

 

1. "Journal of Retirement Study Winter" (2020). The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of your future results. Please follow the link to see the methodologies employed in the Journal of Retirement study.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with Public Rec

> The 2024 Masters—one of four major championships in men's golf—begins today (3 pm ET, ESPN) from Augusta, Georgia; 2022 winner Scottie Scheffler enters as favorite to win (More)

> "Monopoly" live-action film based on the board game in the works to be produced by Lionsgate and Margot Robbie's production company LuckyChap (More)

> Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers will kick off 2024 NFL season in the league's first-ever game in Brazil (More) | World track and field governing body will be the first international sports federation to award prize money at the Olympics (More)

From our partners: Not your dad’s dress pants. Odds are, a few of you are reading this in uncomfortable pants. But why can't dress clothes look sharp and be totally comfortable? Public Rec’s bestselling Dealmaker Pants do both, maximizing comfort for any occasion, like the office, driving range, or even the couch. Plus, they come in 40 different sizes, so you can wear perfect-fitting pants everywhere! Use code 1440 to score 15% off today.

 

Science & Technology

> AI startup Anthropic says its flagship chatbot, Claude 3 Opus, matches humans' ability to present persuasive arguments (More) | US regulators to require most internet service providers to publish information on its fees, speeds, and more, similar to nutrition labels on food (More)

> Mathematician Avi Wigderson wins the 2024 Turing Award for his work in randomness in computation; award is considered to be the Nobel Prize of computer science (More)

> Researchers demonstrate adding a protein found in stem cells to engineered immune cells used in some immunotherapies boosts and extends their ability to fight cancer (More) | How CAR-T works (More)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower (Dow -1.1%, S&P 500 -1.0%, Nasdaq -0.8%) on news inflation rose 3.5% year-over-year in March, and expectations that a rate cut will not come in June (More

> Fitch downgrades China's credit rating outlook from stable to negative amid concerns over local and national government's reliance on China's property industry but keeps sovereign debt rating at A+ (More)

> Auditor KPMG fined $25M by accounting oversight board over allegations it failed to prevent cheating on training exams; settlement marks the regulator's largest-ever penalty (More

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Arizona Legislature blocks effort to roll back 1864 law banning nearly all abortions, with lawmakers motioning for recess to avoid vote; state Supreme Court ruled the Civil War-era law enforceable Tuesday (More) | See overview of law (More)

> House blocks procedural vote on bill renewing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ahead of April 19 deadline (More) | What is FISA? (More) | Biden administration reportedly considering executive order to significantly restrict asylum applications at the US-Mexico border (More)

> Six Mississippi police officers sentenced to between 15 and 45 years in prison for the torture of two Black men during the course of a warrantless home search in 2023 (More

 

In-Depth

> The State of Professional Golf

The Ringer | Michael Weinreb. One year after the PGA Tour said it would merge with Saudi-backed LIV Golf, its trajectory is at a crossroads. (Read)

 

> Forgotten Stories in US History

Kite & Key Media | Staff. Some of the biggest stories in US history—from a steamboat explosion to a mysterious radio signal—that got buried in the news cycle. (Read)

In partnership with SmartAsset

What's the Best Way to Lower RMD Taxes?

 

If you have tax-deferred retirement accounts, you'll need to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) eventually. If not properly planned for, these distributions could take a tax toll on your retirement nest egg. Check out these 6 strategies to help reduce distributions and potentially lower your tax bill. Learn more.

 

Consulting a fiduciary financial advisor can help when factoring RMDs and the potential tax repercussions. Try SmartAsset's free quiz to get matched with up to 3 vetted financial advisors serving your area, who can help you plan to work toward a comfortable retirement. Get your financial advisor matches today.

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Etcetera
 

A meteorologist explains "April showers."

 

Identifying the 50 most defining moments of the Masters

 

... and concessions in Augusta are still ridiculously cheap.

 

"Joker: Folie à Deux" trailer shows Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn.

 

Photos of Eid al-Fitr celebrations around the world

 

An extremely rare blind, hairy mole spotted in Australian outback.

 

Who pays the most (and the least) in federal income taxes.

 

Art museum employee fired for secretly hanging his own art

 

Clickbait: Meet Roger, the failed drug-sniffing dog turned earthquake hero

 

Historybook: Ethel Kennedy, philanthropist and widow of Bobby Kennedy, born (1928); Civil Rights Act of 1968 is signed (1968); Apollo 13 launches (1970); American novelist Kurt Vonnegut dies (2007).

"You learn about life by the accidents you have, over and over again."

- Kurt Vonnegut

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