8.21.2023

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Good morning. It's Monday, Aug. 21, and we're covering a Southern California storm, a failed moon mission, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Hilary Arrives

Hurricane Hilary made landfall in Southern California over the weekend, bringing wind gusts of up to 80 miles per hour and dumping a half foot of rain in some spots across the region. The storm had intensified into a Category 3 system by the end of last week, losing steam as it approached the US before eventually arriving as a tropical storm (see trajectory). 

 

Landfall of tropical storms and hurricanes along the Southern Californian coast is exceedingly rare. The city of San Diego only saw one tropical storm during the 20th century—a system in 1939 that caught most of the population off guard and led to almost 100 deaths. Climate scientists attribute the storm in part to the current El Niño weather pattern, which warms waters in the eastern Pacific and fuels storm activity. 

 

California's desert resort town of Palm Springs, which typically sees a half-inch of precipitation per summer, logged multiple inches of rain over the course of a few hours. See photos from the storm's landfall here

 

Separately, as the rain was falling, Ventura County was hit with a 5.1-magnitude earthquake. No injuries were reported as of this writing. 

 

Spain Wins World Cup

Spain was crowned winner of the FIFA Women's World Cup yesterday morning after defeating England 1-0, becoming just the fifth nation to win after the US, Germany, Japan, and Norway. The victory also makes Spain just one of two countries—alongside Germany—with World Cup wins for both its women's and men's teams. Watch a recap here.

 

The lone goal came in the 29th minute off the foot of Spain's Olga Carmona, whose post-score celebration—where she lifted her jersey to reveal a message on her undershirt—piqued viewers' curiosity. Spain was blocked from padding their lead in the 69th minute after English goalkeeper Mary Earps deftly saved a penalty kick from Spain's Jennifer Hermoso. See game stats here.

 

The victory for Spain comes less than a year after 15 of the national team's players demanded Coach Jorge Vilda be removed, alleging a controlling atmosphere. Only three of those players played in this tournament, while Vilda remained as manager. See a timeline of the tensions here.

 

Lunar Dreams Dashed

Russia's Luna-25 lunar probe reportedly crashed while trying to land on the moon's south pole over the weekend, cutting short the country's first mission to the moon in almost five decades. The uncrewed spacecraft was said to have unspecified issues while entering the lunar orbit. 

 

The lunar south pole has long attracted the attention of scientists due to the presence of frozen water but has yet to be explored by an on-the-ground rover. Because the moon has a tidal lock—meaning it's effectively stuck in place as it orbits the Earth—almost all scientific studies of the south pole come from observations from orbiting spacecraft. 

 

India's Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft is the next to make an arrival, with a landing attempt scheduled for this week.  

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Drug dealer that sold actor Michael K. Williams fentanyl-laced heroin that led to his accidental drug overdose death is sentenced to 10 years in prison (More) | Ron Cephas Jones, two-time Emmy-winning actor, dies at 66 (More)

> US judge rules fully AI-generated artwork cannot be copyrighted (More) | Lawsuits by two men alleging Michael Jackson sexually abused them revived by US appeals court (More)

> Noah Lyles wins 100-meter gold at the world track and field championships, the fourth consecutive world title win for an American male in the event (More) | Seattle Mariners' Julio Rodriguez hauls in 17 hits in four games, breaking a nearly century-old record (More)

 

Science & Technology

> Self-driving car company Cruise cuts its fleet in San Francisco by 50% after a Thursday night accident involving a firetruck; city voted two weeks ago to allow Cruise and Waymo to operate autonomous cars around the clock (More)

> World Health Organization convenes its first global summit on the efficacy of traditional medicine (More) | Traditional medicine 101 (More)

> Study reveals oil-eating microbes are able to reshape oil droplets to optimize consumption; findings may advance new methods of removing oil pollution from oceans (More)

 

Business & Markets

In partnership with SmartAsset

> US stock markets close mixed Friday (S&P 500 -0.01%, Dow +0.1%, Nasdaq -0.2%); Nasdaq closes down for fourth consecutive session (More)

> Amazon restarts external shipping business unit it suspended during COVID-19 (More)

> Japanese investment giant SoftBank acquires 25% stake in chip designer Arm valuing company at $64B ahead of potential initial public offering (More)

From our partners: This Princeton grad's startup raised $161 million to help people plan for retirement — SmartAsset's free tool will match you with up to 3 vetted financial advisors serving your area who can help you work toward financial freedom. Get started today.

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Exit polls in Ecuador presidential election indicate October runoff likely as socialist Luisa Gonzalez garners largest vote; no violence reported two weeks after assassination of candidate Fernando Villavicencio (More) | Guatemalans elect new president in runoff Sunday, winner unclear at writing (More)

> Lahaina fire death toll rises to 114 Saturday with 85% of burned area searched, 10 bodies positively identified; roughly 1,000 people still missing (More) | One dead, nearly 200 structures destroyed by wildfires in eastern Washington state (More)

> The US deepens ties with South Korea, Japan after trilateral summit at Camp David Friday; nations plan to meet annually (More) | Former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson says he qualifies for first GOP debate (More) | See participants (More)

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Etcetera
 

Visualizing the highest-grossing concert tours of all time

 

A tool to track real-time bird migrations.

 

Ranking the 50 worst decisions in TV history

 

Tobacco smoking remains unpopular in the US

 

Inside Kansas City's stadium built solely for pro women's sports.

 

This Chicago suburb hosts the Midwest's most expensive real estate.

 

Antarctica is developing its own accent

 

The rise of the "wholesome romance" novel.

 

Clickbait: Black bear auditions as high school mascot.

 

Historybook: Nat Turner leads rebellion of enslaved persons (1831); "Mona Lisa" stolen from Louvre, is recovered two years later (1911); Basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain born (1936); Hawaii becomes 50th US state (1959); Usain Bolt born (1986).

"Everything is habit-forming, so make sure what you do is what you want to be doing."

- Wilt Chamberlain

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