3.23.2024

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Saturday, March 23, and in this weekend edition, we're covering the end of a government funding saga, a cancer diagnosis for another royal, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

You share, we listen. As always, send us feedback at [email protected].

One Big Headline
 

Funding Deal 

Congressional lawmakers have avoided a partial government shutdown after passing a $1.2T package of six spending bills to fund a group of federal agencies through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. The bipartisan measure passed the House by a vote of 286-134 Friday, with the Senate following suit by a vote of 74-24 early Saturday, just hours after funding had technically expired.

 

The package (see details) provides funding for departments including defense, homeland security, and state, with over 70% of the funding going toward defense. The passage comes two weeks after Congress passed a first tranche of six bills to fund a different group of federal agencies, including agriculture and transportation. Under the two packages, the discretionary spending for fiscal year 2024 totals $1.66T. 

 

Separately, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R, GA-14), who opposed the funding bill, introduced a motion Friday to remove House Speaker Mike Johnson (R, LA-4) from the speakership, but stopped short of calling for a vote. It is the same procedural move that led to the ousting of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-20) in October. 

Quick Hits
 

Catherine, Princess of Wales, being treated for cancer.

Catherine announced via video Friday she is in the early stages of preventative chemotherapy but did not specify for what type of cancer. The news comes two months after Kensington Palace revealed the 42-year-old future queen and wife of Prince William underwent abdominal surgery for what was a noncancerous condition at the time. King Charles, 75, was diagnosed with cancer last month. 

 

At least 60 killed in shooting at concert hall near Moscow.

Several people reportedly burst into the Crocus City Hall, a large music venue in a Moscow suburb, opening fire and causing explosions that set off a massive blaze Friday night. At least 100 people were rescued from the building's basement. Russian authorities reported at least 60 people were killed and over 100 wounded. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

 

Russia launches aerial attack on Ukrainian power sources.

Russian forces targeted energy infrastructure across Ukraine Friday with more than 150 missiles and drones, considered to be the largest strike of its kind since the war began two years ago. Ukraine said it was able to intercept 92 of the missiles and drones. At least five people were killed, 15 others wounded, and 1 million people left without power. See updates on the war here

 

Trump's Truth Social to go public after securing merger vote.

Shareholders of Digital World Acquisition, a publicly traded shell company, approved a long-pending merger with Trump Media and Technology Group, which owns former President Donald Trump's Truth Social platform. Trump will own roughly 60% of the combined entity and see a potential windfall of $3.5B. Shares of DWA closed down 14% following the news. See our previous write-up here

 

Separately, Trump claimed Friday he has roughly $500M in cash, but does not want to use it to cover the full bond of a $454M judgment in his New York civil business fraud case. He faces a Monday deadline to pay the bond.

 

US-led Gaza cease-fire resolution rejected by UN Security Council.

Russia and China, which are among the five permanent members of the security council, vetoed the resolution, while the US, France, and the UK voted in favor. Among the nine nonpermanent members of the council, Algeria voted against the resolution and Guyana abstained. The resolution had called for a six-week cease-fire. All 15 members must vote in favor for a resolution to be adopted. See updates on the Israel-Hamas war here.

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Humankind
 

College football player gives his scholarship to financially struggling teammate who donated his plasma to afford school. (More)

 

A grandpa is surprised by his family and restaurant patrons while at brunch for his 89th birthday. (More, w/video)

 

Oregon teacher organizes "bike bus" to help students safely ride their bikes to school. (More

 

Scottish mom runs hair workshops for dads to learn how to style their daughters' hair. (More, w/video) 

 

A 98-year-old "Meals on Wheels" volunteer delivers food to those in need. (More)

From our partners: Landmark pharma innovation. IntelGenx is working to apply the same patented oral film technology used in Listerine Strips to a variety of pharmaceutical markets – including Alzheimer’s. With 40% of adults struggling to swallow pills, it’s a $510B pharma market opportunity. You can invest as they try to share their innovation with the world and receive an 8% preferred stock quarterly dividend. Become an IntelGenx shareholder here.*

Humankind(ness)
 

Today, we're sharing a story from reader Kevict Y. in Gilroy, California

 

"This story is sort of a kindness sandwich. I was at the grocery store approaching a checkout counter with a full cart. There was an elderly gentleman who approached after me with only two items in his cart. I thought I was being kind by letting him go ahead of me since he had only two items. The real act of kindness happened when he gave the clerk a $20 bill to pay toward my groceries! I was surprised and touched; so when I checked out, I selected the option on the credit card reader to donate toward families with hunger and applied the $20 there. It was a great day."

 

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

Etcetera
 

Bookkeeping

> The world's most expensive drug is now a $4.25M gene-therapy treatment.

> The average bonus on Wall Street in 2023 was $176,500, down 2% from 2022

 

Browse 

See the winner of the European Tree of the Year contest.

Visualizing the largest corporate holders of bitcoin.

> Man finds golden nugget believed to be largest in England.

> A collection of photos capturing a sense of joy and well-being.

> Can you find the hidden bobcat in this photo

 

Listen 

> Ghost story: a journalist, who experienced paranormal activity in his attic room as a teen, investigates the prospects of a ghost—possibly his wife’s great-grandmother, who was coincidentally killed next door years earlier.

 

Watch 

The fish that hunts pigeons

> Breaking down the southern American dialect

> A kids' guide to the internet from 1997. (via Reddit) 

> First trailer of new sequel to the 1988 film "Beetlejuice."

 

Long Read 

> How a threat to bats means trouble for mezcal, rice, and avocado

> The inside story of the dismantling of General Electric, a 131-year-old American giant set to complete its spin-off next month

 

Most Read This Week: Tipping etiquette from around the world.

 

Historybook: Patrick Henry delivers "Give me liberty, or give me death!" speech (1775); Sir Roger Bannister, first person to run a sub-four-minute mile, born (1929); Elizabeth Taylor dies (2011); Suez Canal blocked for six days by container ship Ever Given (2021); Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright dies (2022). 

"I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I'm not afraid to look behind them."

- Elizabeth Taylor

Why 1440? The printing press was invented around the year 1440, spreading knowledge to the masses and changing the course of history. More facts: In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. We’re here to make each one count.

 

Send us your feedback at [email protected] and help us stay unbiased as humanly possible. We’re ready to listen.

 

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*Disclosure: This is a paid advertisement for IntelGenx’s Regulation A Offering. Please read the offering circular at investintelgenx.com/

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