6.6.2024

 

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Good morning. It's Thursday, June 6, and we're covering the anniversary of D-Day, Boeing's trip to outer space, and much more. First time reading? Join over 3.5 million readers. Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

80th Anniversary of D-Day

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France during World War II, the largest amphibious assault in history. President Joe Biden and dozens of heads of state are slated to attend commemorations along a 50-mile stretch of northern France. Nearly 200 veterans, whose average age is 100, will be present.

 

Operation Overlord was the Allies' bid to open up a second front in the war against Nazi Germany. Early on June 6, 1944, roughly 13,000 paratroopers parachuted behind entrenched enemy lines ahead of the 135,000 US, British, and Canadian soldiers who later landed on the beaches of Normandy. Over 4,400 troops were killed that day—including 2,501 Americans—with over 73,000 lost in the ensuing monthlong Battle of Normandy. The invasion, alongside the Soviet Union's push from the East, helped seal the defeat of Nazi Germany a year later.

 

French President Emmanuel Macron will also commemorate the roughly 20,000 French civilians killed during the Allied bombardment and battle. 

 

Starliner in Space

Boeing’s Starliner astronauts are set to dock at the International Space Station today at 12:15 pm ET, after yesterday marked the company’s first successful launch to outer space.

 

Aboard the Starliner capsule are two veteran NASA astronauts: Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams. For the next eight days, Wilmore and Williams will join seven others at the ISS and deliver a replacement pump to fix the station’s urine processor. That processor is a critical part of NASA’s water recovery system, enabling the station to recycle 98% of its water (more, w/video). 

 

With yesterday's mission, Starliner is now the sixth unique spacecraft to transport crew in US history, following a series of mechanical and software issues costing $1.4B. The launch comes as NASA has outsourced transportation to the ISS to SpaceX and Boeing. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon—four years ahead of Boeing—has launched 13 crewed flights to space to date. See previous write-up.

 

NBA Finals Tip Off

The Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks face off in Game 1 of the NBA Finals tonight (8:30 pm ET, ABC), the first-ever postseason matchup between the two franchises. Both teams easily won their conference championships, with Dallas dropping the Minnesota Timberwolves in five games and Boston sweeping the Indiana Pacers.

 

Both are led by a pair of star players: Dallas' Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving combined for nearly 60 points per game in the conference finals, while Boston's Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown look to avenge their 2022 Finals loss to the Golden State Warriors. Irving, in particular, is experiencing a renaissance with the Mavericks after developing a reputation as a mercurial teammate during four seasons (2019-23) with the Brooklyn Nets. 

 

Boston enters as the favorites—seeking a record 18th championship—while Dallas is chasing its second title, and first since 2011. Read how Dallas' disappointing season last year set them up for this year's run. 

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> No. 3 seed American Coco Gauff takes on No. 1 seed Iga Świątek in French Open semifinals today (More) | See complete women's bracket (More) | ... and men's bracket (More)

> Parnelli Jones, legendary race car driver and winner of 1963 Indianapolis 500, dies at 90 (More

> Reigning English Premier League champions Manchester City sue the league over "financial fair play" regulations (More

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Science & Technology

> Neuroscientists identify molecular process in the brain that promotes opioid addiction; same process, which adds fat cells around neurons to help signals move faster, is involved in learning new skills (More

> Researchers discover major cause of inflammatory bowel disease; 95% of patients with the condition shared genetic mutation causing white blood cells to release excess inflammation-causing chemicals (More

> Microsoft unveils AI platform capable of modeling global weather and air pollution, while providing predictions in minutes; model is comparable to Google's GraphCast platform (More

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher (S&P 500 +1.2%, Dow +0.3%, Nasdaq +2.0%) with S&P 500 and Nasdaq reaching record highs amid Nvidia stock rally and economic data fueling interest rate cut hopes (More) | Nvidia overtakes Apple as world's second most valuable company as market capitalization passes $3T (More

> Canada becomes first G7 country to cut interest rates, reducing rates from 5% to 4.75%; European Central Bank expected to cut interest rates today (More) | Hiring for private US companies slows to four-month low in May, per ADP report (More)

> BlackRock, Citadel Securities, and roughly two dozen other investors raise $120M to launch Dallas-based Texas Stock Exchange later this year to compete with the New York Stock Exchange; exchange plans to be apolitical, CEO-friendly (More

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Amanda Knox loses appeal to toss 2009 slander conviction; Knox—ultimately cleared in the 2007 murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher—had been charged with slander for falsely implicating a Congolese bar owner in the murder (More) | See previous write-up (More)

> Gunman and five others arrested after shootout near the US Embassy in Beirut; suspect wore ISIS insignia, per US official (More) | More than a dozen pro-Palestinian protesters arrested while barricading the Stanford University president's office (More) | Israel launches operation in central Gaza; dozens reported killed (More)

> Ukraine has deployed US-made weapons to strike inside Russia, a US senator confirms, days after Biden administration partially lifts weapons restrictions (More) | See updates on the war (More)

 

In-Depth

> The Forgotten Hero of D-Day

Politico | Garrett Graff. Three hours after Allied forces reached the shores of Omaha Beach, Army medic Waverly Woodson began a marathon, 30-hour stretch treating the wounded and dying. Woodson aided more than 200 soldiers and saved dozens of lives—all before treating his own shrapnel wounds. (Read)

 

> The Black Market for Taco Bell Art

SF Gate | Ariana Bindman. In the early 2000s, three Basquiat-style canvas prints began appearing in Taco Bells around the country. Today, many of the prints have been stolen—and resold for as much as $700 online. (Read)

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Etcetera
 

D-Day shipwrecks have become a home for ocean life.

 

Gangster film "Peaky Blinders" has been officially announced.

 

Qatar Airways tops list of the best airlines in the world.

 

... and why you shouldn’t order coffee or tea on a plane.

 

Ranking the most beautiful ballparks in Major League Baseball.

 

McDonald’s loses its Big Mac trademark in the EU.

 

Virginia Beach 1990s “no cursing” signs to be auctioned off.

 

Experts pick 25 photos representing the last 70 years.

 

Clickbait: Meet Brazil's multimillion-dollar cow.

 

Historybook: American founding father Patrick Henry dies (1799); Securities and Exchange Commission established (1934); D-Day: Allies begin Normandy invasions (1944); Bobby Kennedy dies (1968); Actress Anne Bancroft dies (2005).

"Slowing down reminds you that the journey is supposed to be fun."

- Anne Bancroft

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