3.6.2023

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Good morning. It's Monday, March 6, and we're covering deadly weekend storms in the US, China's annual congress, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Deadly Southern Storms

At least 12 people have been killed after powerful storms hit the southern US late last week, damaging homes and businesses across seven states. Kentucky was hit particularly hard, leaving at least five people dead and 370,000 customers without power. Close to 40 million people in the US were under a winter or wind alert over the weekend, with more heavy snow expected in the northern parts of both coasts. See forecast map here

 

The storms left many areas at risk from downed power lines and fallen trees, with some areas seeing wind gusts reaching up to 75 miles per hour. Some power outages reportedly affected water systems, leading to more than 1,800 residents in Kentucky being placed under a boil-water advisory. 

 

The same system had previously dumped 10 feet of snow in parts of California, trapping dozens in their homes and leading state officials to declare a state of emergency in 13 counties. See photos here.

 

China Charts Course

The top Chinese legislature began its annual session yesterday, with President Xi Jinping looking to restore public and economic confidence as the country fully reopens from strict COVID-19 measures over the past three years. 

 

China's aggressive zero-COVID approach–which included lockdowns of entire cities, travel restrictions, and more–became increasingly unpopular, culminating in rare public protests in December. A surge in COVID-19-related deaths followed an abrupt pivot to end the restrictions by January. Separately, analysts say the measures were largely responsible for the country's 3% GDP growth in 2022, its second-lowest in more than four decades. Officials have set a goal of 5% growth for 2023. 

 

The 3,000-person strong legislature is composed of hand-picked candidates and largely serves to promote the policies of Xi and the ruling Communist Party. See a simple overview of how China's government works here.

 

Iran School Poisonings Accelerate

The number of girls' schools across Iran suspected to have been targeted by a series of mysterious poisonings has surpassed at least 50, officials acknowledged yesterday. The figure, up from around 30 in the middle of last week, reflects the growing scope of the attacks–potential cases have been reported in two-thirds of the country's provinces. 

 

Hundreds of individual cases have been reported–the vast majority of which were in female students. In some cases, witnesses have reported canisters containing some type of harmful gas being left at or around schools, and subsequently being opened by students. Blood samples from victims have been inconclusive, and some have suggested a psychological component to the reports. 

 

The attacks have raised fears Iranian school girls are being specifically targeted for their support of antigovernment protests, which have roiled Iran since September.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Mixed martial arts legend Jon Jones wins UFC heavyweight championship in first fight in three years (More) | American teenager Jordan Stolz becomes first male to win three individual gold medals at speedskating world championships (More)

> David Lindley, influential guitarist and string instrumentalist, dies at 78 (More) | Gary Rossington, founding guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd, dies at 71 (More)

> "Creed III" hauls in $58M at domestic box office, the biggest ever debut for a sports film (More) | "Everything Everywhere All at Once" and "Severance" among top winners at Writers Guild Awards (More)

 

Science & Technology

> United Nations members reach agreement on treaty protecting marine biodiversity in ocean areas lying outside each country's boundary waters; language had been negotiated for almost two decades (More)

> Earliest known evidence of human horse-riding discovered near the Black Sea, in burial mounds linked to the ancient Yamnaya culture dating to 4,500 to 5,000 years ago (More)

> New machine-learning algorithm detects signs of Alzheimer's in patients using commonly collected brain images; technique may provide a route to earlier diagnosis, before symptom onset (More)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher Friday (S&P 500 +1.6%, Dow +1.2%, Nasdaq +2.0%); all three indexes close the week higher, first time for Dow in four weeks (More)

> British chip giant ARM selects New York Stock Exchange to pursue its planned listing later this year (More)

> Gwyneth Paltrow to launch $75M VC fund focused on consumer goods and tech companies (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

In partnership with Tangle

> President Joe Biden visits Selma, Alabama, on 58th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," where demonstrators were assaulted by police as they marched, a key moment in civil rights movement (More) | See history (More

> Former President Donald Trump wins annual straw poll at Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend with 62% of the vote; Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) received 20% (More) | Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announces he won't run for president (More)

> At least 35 people arrested after protestors clash with police at a police training center under development outside Atlanta; footage shows demonstrators throwing rocks and firecrackers (More

From our partners: Tired of one-sided political news? We have the solution. Tangle is an independent, non-partisan politics newsletter that summarizes the best arguments from the right, left, and center on one big debate every day. Sign up for free to get a 360-degree political read.

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Historybook: Michelangelo born (1475); Davy Crockett and 186 others are killed at the Battle of the Alamo (1836); Aspirin is patented (1899); Shaquille O’Neal born (1972); Artist Georgia O’Keeffe dies (1986).

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