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Good morning. It's Monday, Jan. 22, and we're covering a narrowing GOP primary, seesawing weather in the US, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.


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Need To Know

DeSantis Exits Race

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ended his Republican presidential campaign Sunday, two days before the New Hampshire primary. DeSantis, who came in second behind former President Donald Trump in last week's Iowa caucuses by 30 percentage points, announced his exit on X (formerly Twitter) while endorsing Trump. 


DeSantis—once considered an alternative to Trump—was projected to fall behind the former president as well as former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in New Hampshire. The latest polling data before DeSantis dropped out showed Trump with 49.8% of the votes, Haley with 36.1%, and DeSantis with 5.8%. In Iowa, Haley and DeSantis were two percentage points apart.


Observers say the support DeSantis would have garnered from New Hampshire is likely to go to Trump, widening Trump's lead in the state. Haley, who was endorsed by New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, is turning to independent voters for support.  


New Hampshire is also holding a Democratic primary Tuesday, though President Joe Biden won't appear on the ballot. The Democratic National Committee, at Biden's request, had instead selected South Carolina as its first primary of 2024, set for Feb. 3. 


Middle East on Edge

The fallout from the ongoing Israel-Hamas war continued to roil the Middle East over the weekend. Israeli airstrikes near a Lebanese army checkpoint in south Lebanon killed a Hezbollah member Sunday, while five senior members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps were killed Saturday in Syria. Iran vowed to retaliate against Israel, which it claims was behind the attack in Syria; Israel hasn't confirmed or denied involvement. In western Iraq, US and Iraqi troops were wounded after Iranian-backed militants known as the Islamic Resistance fired at an air base.


In Gaza, fighting continued in the southern city of Khan Younis, with the total death toll surpassing 25,000 people, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry. Israel has reportedly killed 20% to 30% of Hamas' militants, US intelligence officials said. Hamas was estimated to have about 25,000 to 30,000 total fighters before the war.


Separately, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he rejected a hostage-release plan from Hamas that included Israel fully withdrawing from Gaza and leaving Hamas in power. At least 136 hostages remain in Hamas captivity. Hostage talks with the US, Qatar, and Egypt are expected to continue this week


See updates on the war here.


Fatal Nationwide Freeze

Over 80 people died amid a nationwide cold snap over the past week as arctic air pushed south as far as Texas and Florida. Frigid temperatures and ice storms are expected in much of the eastern two-thirds of the country today before a rapid rise in temperatures later in the week, a weather seesaw likely to prompt flooding. 


Ice storms left nearly 50,000 households without power over the weekend in Oregon, where a state of emergency was declared. Memphis, Tennessee, set a daily record low last week as several water mains burst and prompted a citywide boil advisory. LaPorte County in Indiana saw a record 2 feet of lake-effect snow Friday, while football fans in Buffalo, New York, were once again tasked with shoveling snow from the Bills' Highmark Stadium ahead of last night's NFL playoff game. 


Seventy percent of winter weather-related deaths occur in vehicle accidents, and the majority of victims are men over the age of 40. Learn more here

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In The Know

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

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> Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers, and Detroit Lions 

advance to NFL conference championships; Lions reach NFC Championship for first time since 1991 season (More

> Mary Weiss, the Shangri-Las lead singer best known for hit song "Leader of the Pack," dies at 75 (More)

> Stanford women's coach Tara VanDerveer wins 1,203rd game, passing Duke's Mike Krzyzewski for most coaching wins in NCAA basketball history (More) | Novak Djokovic advances to Australian Open quarterfinals, matching Roger Federer's record in reaching 58 Grand Slam quarterfinals (More)

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Science & Technology

> OpenAI suspends maker of a ChatGPT-based bot mimicking Democratic presidential nominee Dean Phillips, its first action against politically oriented applications on its platform (More)

> Engineers fold DNA into the equivalent of a tiny electrical motor; first-of-its-kind structure is powered by liquid flowing through pores roughly one-billionth of a meter in size (More)

> Researchers discover molecular sensor telling tardigrades—also known as "water bears"—to enter a nearly indestructible dormant state (More) | What are water bears, the world's toughest known organisms? (More)


Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher Friday (S&P 500 +1.2%, Dow +1.1%, Nasdaq +1.7%); S&P 500 closes at all-time high (More) | US consumer sentiment index increases in January to the highest reading since July 2021 (More)

> Wayfair to lay off 1,650 employees, or 13% of its workforce; job cuts are part of Wayfair's third restructuring since summer 2022 and are expected to save the online goods retailer roughly $280M annually (More

> JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines appeal federal court ruling blocking their $3.8B merger (More)


Politics & World Affairs

> At least 27 killed, 25 wounded after missile strikes a market in Russian-held Donetsk city in Ukraine Sunday, according to local authorities; source of strike unclear, Russia blames Ukraine (More) | See war updates (More

> Hundreds of thousands protest across Germany in response to reports members of far-right party Alternative for Germany participated in event where mass deportation plans were discussed (More) | Germans debate ban of Alternative for Germany (More

> Indian officials to inaugurate Hindu Ram Mandir temple today in northern city of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh; 5-acre, $217M "Hindu Vatican" built on contested holy site significant to both Muslims and Hindus (More) | See photos (More

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The economics of ski resorts


Women now own the majority of US homes


Mapping the world's most screen-addicted countries.  


Checking in on the self-checkout craze.  


Strongly correlated: black bear populations and bigfoot sightings


Bills-Chiefs game features Taylor Swift-themed food menu.


Giant pandas roll in the snow. (via Instagram)


Chicago's "rat hole" filled in with plaster, restored by ardent fans


Clickbait: Robots to decide who lives, who dies


Historybook: English polymath Francis Bacon born (1561); President Lyndon B. Johnson dies (1973); Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision (1973); Heath Ledger dies (2008); Hank Aaron dies (2021). 

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper."

- Francis Bacon

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