2.5.2024

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Monday, Feb. 5, and we're covering flood risks up and down California, Taylor Swift making award show history, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

California Storms

Roughly 37 million Californians were under flood watches or warnings across the state yesterday as an intense storm system began pushing inland while moving southward from the greater San Francisco region. As of this writing, wind gusts reaching up to 85 mph had knocked out power to at least 860,000 customers up and down the coast, while more than one hundred flights out of San Francisco were canceled. 

 

Forecasts suggest Southern California may see a month's worth of rain over the course of three days, with officials issuing targeted evacuation orders in areas near recent wildfires (which makes hills more susceptible to landslides and debris flow). The storm is expected to drop between 4 and 8 feet of snow in the upper Sierra Nevada (see forecasts). 

 

California faced a historic string of nine consecutive atmospheric river systems over the course of three weeks at the beginning of 2023, which helped restore depleted water supplies but left more than 20 people dead. Learn more about the weather phenomenon here

 

Swift's Big (Mid-)Night

The 66th annual Grammys were held last night, with Taylor Swift taking home the show's top prize of album of the year for "Midnights." The win was Swift's fourth in the category, pushing her past Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, and Stevie Wonder for the most in Grammy history. She announced her next album, "Tortured Poets Society," during her acceptance speech (out April 19). 

 

Other big winners included Miley Cyrus, who won her first-ever Grammy for "Flowers" (best pop solo performance); Billie Eilish, who won song of the year for the "Barbie" soundtrack's "What Was I Made For?"; and R&B songwriter-turned-singer Victoria Monét, who won best new artist. See the full list of winners.

 

During the pre-televised segment, rapper Killer Mike was escorted from the venue in handcuffs after winning three awards. A reason had not been made public as of this writing; see updates here.

 

The awards were hosted by former "The Daily Show" comedian Trevor Noah for the fourth year in a row. See photos from the red carpet here, along with a list of the biggest snubs and surprises

 

Northern Ireland's Government Reopens

Michelle O'Neill became Northern Ireland's first minister Saturday, the first Irish nationalist to hold the position in the nearly 26-year history of the institution. Due to an extended government boycott from the opposition, she assumes power two years after her Sinn Fein party won elections and the right to name the first minister.

 

Northern Ireland and its six historically Protestant counties remained a part of the United Kingdom when the rest of the island—roughly 80%—became the independent, majority-Catholic Irish Free State (later renamed Republic of Ireland) in 1921. Tensions in the north between British unionists and nationalists seeking Irish unification gave rise to a decadeslong period of violence known as the Troubles, where roughly 3,600 people were killed.

 

The 1998 Good Friday Agreement established a power-sharing structure requiring members of both sides to hold coequal executive roles of first minister and deputy first minister. Learn more about Northern Ireland here.

 

O'Neill will share power with the Democratic Unionist Party's Emma Little-Pengelly, the first time women will hold both positions. 

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with It's Skinny

> Spotify signs Joe Rogan to new multiyear deal worth a reported $250M; partnership will include YouTube distribution rights (More

> Toronto Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews wins NHL All-Star Game MVP after leading Team Matthews to 7-4 victory over Team McDavid (More) | NFC tops AFC for second straight NFL Pro Bowl Games victory (More)

> Former WWE CEO Vince McMahon under federal criminal investigation amid sexual assault and trafficking allegations brought by a former employee (More)

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Science & Technology

> Fully autonomous vehicles logged an estimated 3.3 million miles in California in 2023; GM's Cruise (63%) and Google's Waymo (36%) accounted for the vast majority of driverless trips (More)

> Biodegradable sensors allow monitoring of pesticide levels in individual fruits and vegetables; expected to enhance food safety along complex supply chains (More)

> Paleontologists uncover 350-million-year-old plant fossil; discovery sheds light on how shrubs and trees evolved prior to the arrival of dinosaurs and reptiles (More)

 

Business & Markets

> Markets close up on strong tech earnings reports (S&P 500 +1.1%, Dow +0.4%, Nasdaq +1.7%); S&P 500 caps fourth straight week of gains, hits new record high (More)

> Meta stock jumps more than 20% Friday following 25% quarter-over-quarter revenue gains, announcement of company's first-ever dividend scheduled for March 26 (More) | $197B market capitalization surge was the biggest single-day increase in market history (More)

> Canadian government extends ban on foreign nationals and companies purchasing residential property through 2026; foreign ownership accounts for between 2% and 6% of market (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> US and UK forces carry out weekend strikes against Houthi militia camps across Yemen; follows Friday airstrikes against separate Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria (More) | See updates on the Israel-Hamas war (More)

> Senate negotiators unveil border security bill, packaged with funding for Ukraine and Israel; $118B bill sets aside $20B for the border, vote possible this week (More) | President Joe Biden wins Democratic primary in South Carolina with 96% of the vote Saturday, the party's first official primary of the campaign (More)

> El Salvador President Nayib Bukele, known for his tough-on-crime policies, wins reelection Sunday (More) | At least 99 people killed in wildfires on Chile's densely populated coast since Friday, toll expected to grow; officials investigating whether fires were intentionally set (More)

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Become Conversational—Quickly

 

As a 1440 reader, you probably like to learn new things (you’re reading this email, after all). If you’ve set a goal to learn a new language but haven’t followed through… meet our friends, Babbel.

 

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Etcetera
 

Free soloer Alex Honnold documents an Arctic ascent. (via YouTube)

 

How to stop catastrophizing.

 

See the winners of the world's best portrait photos

 

Possibility journalism and the power of asking "why not?"

 

The sensational story of Patty Hearst turns 50 years old

 

Experts lay out the 16 rules of modern dining.

 

... and America's 100 most romantic restaurants.

 

Shifting trends in this year's Super Bowl ads

 

Clickbait: Father retrieves toddler from toy claw machine

 

Historybook: Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island, arrives in Boston (1631); Baseball legend Hank Aaron born (1934); English actress Charlotte Rampling born (1946); Medgar Evers’ murderer convicted after 30 years (1994); President Donald Trump acquitted in his first impeachment trial (2020). 

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