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Good morning. It's Saturday, May 20, and in this weekend edition, we're covering court documents unveiling FBI surveillance data violations, the death of a legendary NFL running back, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.


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One Big Headline

Foreign Spy Database Misused

Heavily redacted court documents unsealed Friday revealed the FBI improperly used a digital surveillance tool more than 278,000 times to search for information on individuals, including in connection to racial justice protests in 2020 and the Jan. 6,  2021, storming of the US Capitol.


At issue is Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows spy agencies to collect information from a trove of electronic communications on foreign nationals outside of the US. Section 702, first added in 2008 and renewed for six years in 2018, expires at the end of the year unless Congress renews it again. The Biden administration has pushed for its renewal, while critics have urged for change due to how data belonging to Americans have inadvertently been a part of some searches.


The FBI said it had completed internal reforms after the incidents mentioned in the court documents, including more oversight and written justifications for conducting searches. The revelations were detailed in an April 2022 court order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (see overview), which has legal oversight of Justice Department surveillance requests. The court largely operates in secret.

Quick Hits

Legendary running back Jim Brown dies at 87.

Brown, regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time, died Thursday. He was selected in the first round of the 1957 draft, playing with the Cleveland Browns for nine seasons and leading them to the NFL championship three times, which they won in 1964. Brown retired at age 30 and was a three-time MVP. More than a football player, Brown was elected to the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1983. He also was a social and civil rights activist and actor. 


Federal debt ceiling negotiations at standstill.

The White House and Republican negotiators broke off talks Friday after an impasse on spending issues and with no additional meeting set. Federal lawmakers face a deadline as soon as June 1 to pass legislation raising the government's borrowing limit and to avert a government default on its $31.4T debt. See how the national debt grew to a record high here.


Zelenskyy to attend G-7 Summit in Japan Sunday. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to Hiroshima will be the farthest he has traveled since Russia invaded Ukraine. The trip follows his visit to Saudi Arabia Friday to attend a summit of Arab leaders. Separately, President Joe Biden endorsed plans to train Ukrainian pilots on US-made F-16 fighter jets, a precursor to Western allies sending the jets to Ukraine. The US has not committed to sending the jets directly.


Death toll rises in contaminated eye drops outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the fourth death linked to bacteria traced back to contaminated eye drops. At least 81 cases have now been identified across 18 states, including 14 cases of vision loss and four cases of surgical removal of an eyeball. Read our previous write-up here.


Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman to step down within a year.

Gorman, who led Morgan Stanley for 13 years, was seen as instrumental in helping the bank during the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. He will transition to executive chairman for an undefined period. Three potential successors have been identified within the company; the new CEO will be selected in the next 12 months.  


Blue Origin-led team tapped to build NASA moon lander.

NASA awarded the $3.4B contract to Jeff Bezo's Blue Origin-led team, which includes Lockheed Martin and Boeing, to create a human landing system for its Artemis V mission, expected to launch after September 2029. NASA plans to use Blue Origin's landing system and Elon Musk's SpaceX Starship to ferry astronauts between the lunar surface and a space station called the Gateway. 


Sen. Tim Scott files paperwork for 2024 presidential run.

Scott (R-SC), who won reelection in November, becomes the latest Republican to enter the presidential race and the second South Carolinian after former Gov. Nikki Haley. He is expected to officially launch his campaign Monday. The first GOP presidential debate is set for August in Milwaukee. See all candidates so far here.


The Smiths bassist Andy Rourke dies at 59.

Rourke died in New York Friday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. The British alt-rock group is regarded as one of the most influential bands of the 1980s, with hits such as “There is a Light that Never Goes Out" (listen here). Rourke played with the band from its inception in 1982 through 1987, when the group broke up. 

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A 102-year-old doctor who still works offers advice for living a long life. (More)


Seven-year-old boy who says he was Gucci in a past life impresses the internet with clothing designs and even commissions outfits for celebrities. (More


Aerial wildlife rescue team saves truck driver trapped from overflowing Kenyan river. (More)


Navy dad stationed in Middle East surprises daughter at college graduation. (More


Detroit traffic controller, and mother of two kids, receives $50K in donations after viral TikTok. (More)


Abducted Illinois girl featured in Netflix series found in North Carolina. (More)

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Today, we're sharing a story from reader Janet D. in San Diego, California.


"Last Saturday I was walking my dog on a sidewalk near my home, when I fell on my hip and, unbeknownst to me, fractured my pelvis in two places. Almost immediately, a young couple stopped their car and tried for a long time to help me to stand up. That failing, the gentleman carried me to his car, and they drove my dog and I to my home. We left the dog there, and they drove me to urgent care. The gentleman carried me to the wheelchair and wheeled me in. Their kindness and generosity made me very happy in a situation that was very painful. I am so grateful to them."


What act(s) of kindness did you experience this week? Tell us here.



> AAA estimates 42.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this Memorial Day weekend, up 7% from 2022
> Target recalls nearly 5 million candles after reports of burns and lacerations

> The world's most expensive ice cream costs $6,696 per scoop



> This year's best food photography.

> Get up close with some fishies

> Ranking the most expensive US cities to raise a child.

> An AI-wearable that aims to make smartphones obsolete.

> Why pineapples used to cost up to $8K

The Wienermobile has a new name after 87 years.



> Do you have a scarcity mindset or an abundance mindset


> Why snakes have forked tongues.

Is it normal to talk to yourself?

> A puppy falls asleep in a news anchor's arms. (via Reddit)

> It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a flying sofa.


Long Read 

> Why birds and their songs are good for our mental health.

> Three lessons from Aristotle on friendship.


Most Read of the Week: A rising number of Americans are switching religions.


Historybook: Christopher Columbus dies (1506); Charles Lindbergh makes first nonstop flight across the Atlantic (1927); Singer-songwriter Cher born (1946); First photograph sent from Hubble Space Telescope (1990).

"Until you're ready to look foolish, you'll never have the possibility of being great."

- Cherilyn "Cher" Sarkisian

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