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Good morning. It's Monday, April 29, and we're covering deadly storms in the middle of the country, campus protests, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

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Need To Know

Campus Arrests Continue

Arrests of campus protesters demonstrating against the ongoing war in Gaza continued over the weekend, including more than 100 people at Boston's Northeastern University early Saturday. Dozens more were arrested at Washington University in St. Louis, Arizona State University, and Indiana University, adding to more than 600 people detained at colleges across the US in recent weeks (see map). 


Organizers have called on universities to condemn Israel's operations in Gaza and divest from financial ties to the country (others have also called for an end to academic and research relationships). Northeastern officials echoed other universities in saying a number of nonstudents had joined the protests and cited instances of extreme anti-Semitic messages. See photos of the protests from around the country.


Some observers have drawn parallels with the larger anti-war protests in 1968, which culminated in clashes at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago (this year's convention is also in Chicago).


Separately, pro-Palestinian protesters picketed outside of the White House correspondents' dinner this weekend (see photos). 


A Weekend of Tornadoes 

Two separate storm systems traveled across several states over the weekend, leaving at least five people dead and several others injured. Tornadoes struck Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri, with warnings extending across parts of Texas, Louisiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Tens of millions of Americans were under a severe weather watch, and more than 100,000 people were left without power. See photos of the damage here.


While peak tornado season in the Plains extends from April to June, meteorologists say it’s unusual to have tornadoes emerge simultaneously from two independent storm systems. The conditions made for one of the most severe outbreaks in recent memory, with officials registering close to 80 tornadoes Friday alone and crediting advance warning systems for preventing additional injuries and deaths. Learn more about the factors underlying tornado outbreaks (w/video). 


The storms are expected to continue eastward today (see updates).


Russia Advances in Ukraine

Russian troops captured two villages in eastern Ukraine over the weekend. The news marks Russia’s biggest gains since capturing the industrial city of Avdiivka in February. 


Russia’s advances in the eastern Donetsk region (see map) come days after the US passed a $61B aid package to Ukraine, including bullets, missiles, anti-aircraft weaponry, and tank parts. Much of the weaponry is expected to take up to two months to reach the front lines, with ammunition expected in the coming days.


In the meantime, Ukraine is reportedly rationing manpower and bullets, with one-sixth of the ammunition Russian troops have available. Soviet-era anti-aircraft missiles were said to have run out months ago, leaving Ukraine without defense against Russian warplanes operating along the front lines. Russian airstrikes have increasingly targeted Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, where 1.3 million people live.


Analysts say Russia’s advances point to an effort to ramp up offensives before Ukraine is restocked. See war updates here.

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In The Know

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> The 2024 NFL Draft wrapped over the weekend; see draft grades for all 32 teams (More) | See complete list of all 257 picks (More)

> Harvey Weinstein hospitalized following his 2020 rape conviction being overturned by appeals court last week (More) | Taylor Swift scores her 14th Billboard No. 1 album with "The Tortured Poets Department," tying Jay-Z for most ever for a solo act (More)

> Two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker announces retirement (More) | NBA postseason continues; see latest bracket (More)


Science & Technology

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> Newly unveiled humanoid robot powered by generative AI learns new tasks in less than one day; previous generation from startup Sanctuary took two weeks (More, w/video) | Apple resumes talks with OpenAI to incorporate ChatGPT into its next mobile operating system (More)

> One in five samples of retail milk analyzed revealed traces of bird flu, likely from current outbreak among dairy cows; officials say products are safe to consume, no recalls issued (More) | See outbreak stats (More)

> Researchers find link between Laron syndrome, which causes a rare form of dwarfism, and cardiovascular benefits; findings challenge conventional theory of the condition, point to potential treatments for other diseases (More)

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Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher Friday (S&P 500 +1.0%, Dow +0.4%, Nasdaq +2.0%); gains driven in part by Alphabet and Microsoft earnings, and Alphabet's announcement of first-ever dividend as well as $70B stock buyback (More)

> Paramount board to reportedly fire CEO Bob Bakish; announcement expected as Paramount works toward merger with Skydance Media in coming weeks, including expected appointment of Skydance CEO David Ellison to lead Paramount (More)

> The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation closes Pennsylvania-based Republic First Bank Friday, the first lender to fail this year following Citizens Bank in November 2023; an estimated four to five regional banks close each year in strong economy (More)


Politics & World Affairs

> Hamas delegation to visit Egypt today; Israel's latest proposal reportedly offers cease-fire in exchange for the release of hostages (More) | World Central Kitchen to restart operations in Gaza weeks after Israel's deadly April 1 strike (More)

> Iraq's parliament passes law imposing a 10- to 15-year prison sentence for same-sex relations and one- to three-year sentence for gender-transition surgery (More) | More than 60 countries have laws criminalizing homosexuality (More)

> US health officials document the first known cases of HIV transmission via cosmetic needles; case occurred at an unlicensed medical spa in New Mexico (More)


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NASA's best photos of the year.


Tokyo, with 37 million people, tops the world's most populous cities


... and explaining Japan's historic love affair with ghosts.


The "Mona Lisa" could move underground.


Engineers develop a stealthy manta ray-inspired submarine.


Climb stairs, live longer (scientists say).


Dumbphones are making a comeback.


Teen recovers a rare 1990s Lego octopus.


Clickbait: The 101-year-old woman often mistaken for a baby.


Historybook: Jazz legend Duke Ellington born (1899); Singer-songwriter Willie Nelson born (1933); Film director Alfred Hitchcock dies (1980); Los Angeles riots begin following acquittal of police officers in the beating of Rodney King (1992); Prince William and Kate Middleton get married (2011).

"No matter what you call it, music is as good as it sounds. Music is an oral art. Until you hear it, it is not music, and if it sounds good, it is good."

- Duke Ellington

Why 1440? The printing press was invented around the year 1440, spreading knowledge to the masses and changing the course of history. More facts: In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. We’re here to make each one count.


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