1.12.2023

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Thursday, Jan. 12, and we're covering a cascading computer glitch, relief as a hospitalized NFL player returns home, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

US Flight Fiasco 

Thousands of flights across the US were delayed or canceled yesterday after the Federal Aviation Administration temporarily grounded all departing flights due to an overnight outage in a critical pilot-alerting system. The White House initially said the outage did not appear to stem from a cyberattack, though the Department of Transportation is conducting an investigation. 

 

Pilots check the Notice to Air Missions system, or NOTAM, (see overview) before flying for real-time information about flight operations, including closed runways, equipment outages, and safety issues about a flight route or location. The FAA first discovered the glitch in the decades-old system Tuesday night and resorted to using a backup telephone hotline that was later overwhelmed. A ground stop was issued Wednesday morning as the FAA worked to restore the system. Domestic flight operations gradually resumed starting at 9 am ET. 


The delays and cancellations are the latest in a series for US travelers who faced issues during the holidays and amid winter storms.

 

Space Rescue Mission

Russian space agency Roscosmos said yesterday it would launch an uncrewed Soyuz spacecraft to retrieve three astronauts who became stranded on the International Space Station after their transport vehicle was damaged in December.

 

One of Russia's standard Soyuz spacecraft, the vehicle successfully launched and docked at the space station in September, the first step of a six-month mission. The crew was forced to scratch a planned spacewalk in mid-December after a stream of white particles was observed ejecting from the docked spacecraft (see video). Preliminary evaluation suggests a micrometeoroid—tiny rocks, typically asteroid fragments traveling at high speeds—punched a quarter-inch hole in the vehicle's external cooling system. 

 

Officials said the crew is not in any immediate danger and will remain aboard the ISS, while the damaged vessel will return to Earth uncrewed. The rescue spacecraft is expected to launch Feb. 20. 

 

Read about the related issue of dangerous space debris here

 

Hamlin Heads Home

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was released yesterday from Buffalo General Medical Hospital after undergoing a series of evaluations. He returned home nine days after collapsing on the field from cardiac arrest during Monday Night Football. Hamlin has yet to make any announcements about a return to the sport

 

Early expert speculation suggested 24-year-old Hamlin's collapse stemmed from ultrarare commotio cordis, where blunt force to the heart disrupts its rhythm and forces it to stop, but cardiologists claim it likely indicates an underlying cardiac condition. At least 100 people are estimated to die from cardiac-related events during competitive sports per year in the US.

 

A toy charity Hamlin has sponsored since 2020 for his hometown of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, has received close to $9M since his collapse and is now managed by professional charity organization the Giving Back Fund. 

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Inkey List

> Jeff Beck, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and eight-time Grammy-winning guitarist, dies at 78 (More) | German supermodel Tatjana Patitz dies at 56 (More)

> Kendrick Lamar, Foo Fighters among headliners tapped for 2023 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee (June 15-18); see full lineup (More)

> Screen Actors Guild Award nominations announced with “The Banshees of Inisherin” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once” leading all films with five nods apiece (More) | Directors Guild of America Award nominations also announced (More)

From our partners: A retinol serum for your PM skincare routine. The Inkey List's $11 serum (which just won an Allure Best of Beauty award) reduces fine lines and wrinkles, boosts collagen, and leaves your skin glowing. Give improved skin clarity a shot for less, and enjoy a 1440-exclusive 15% off when you join myINKEY rewards today.

 

Science & Technology

> South Korean solar cell maker Qcells plans $2.5B expansion of Georgia manufacturing facility; plant projected to meet 30% of US solar demand by 2027 (More)

> Artificial pancreas shows success in clinical trials for managing Type 2 diabetes; the algorithm-driven device automatically delivers insulin to maintain blood sugar levels throughout the day (More)

> NASA's TESS mission finds second Earth-sized planet orbiting a red dwarf in the planet system known as TOI 700; newly discovered object sits in the habitable zone, or has conditions needed for liquid water to be present (More)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher (S&P 500 +1.3%, Dow +0.8%, Nasdaq +1.8%) ahead of today’s consumer price index inflation reading (More) | Bed Bath & Beyond shares surge 70%, lifting other “meme stocks” (More

> Lawyers of defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX state $5B of liquid assets have been recovered (More)

> Alphabet (Google) to reduce headcount of life sciences unit Verily by 15%, or over 200 employees (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Russian forces continue to bombard Soledar, a salt-mining town in eastern Ukraine, in one of the bloodiest battles since Russia's invasion (More) | Russian President Vladimir Putin replaces top military commander three months after handing him the job (More

> House Republicans launch probe into President Joe Biden and his family's finances (More) | Biden aides find new batch of classified information at a second location (More) | US Supreme Court allows New York to enforce July 1, 2022, law requiring people seeking gun licenses to show they have "good moral character," among other changes, while an appeals case proceeds (More)

> Northern California to see more rain this week, while Southern California is expected to see storms over the weekend; more than half of the state's 58 counties have been declared disaster areas (More)

 

In-Depth

> Vigilantes for Views

Rest of World | Andrew Deck, Raksha Kumar. Two men behind Los Angeles-based Trilogy Media have been taking part in online scambaiting—hacking, pranking, and harassing suspected scam callers in India. But have they taken things too far? (Read)

 

> The Misunderstood Roman Empress 

Smithsonian Mag | Tony Perrottet. A look at the life of Roman Princess Galla Placidia, who married twice, including once to her barbarian captor, and became a ruler when world power fell into chaos. (Read)

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Etcetera
 

The changing world population, visualized.

 

Analyzing curriculum to determine 1990s literary canon.

 

In-N-Out Burger heads east.

 

Science debunks “no pain, no gain.”

 

Authorities stop plot to steal 11-ton Egyptian pharaoh statue.

 

Can you guess the price of these homes?

 

NBA player uses wine to advocate for prison reform.

 

Ben Affleck serves up Dunkin’ Donuts at drive-thru window.

 

Clickbait: Montana finds a cure for cabin fever.

 

Historybook: Author Jack London born (1876); Hattie Caraway becomes first woman elected to US Senate (1932); Howard Stern born (1954); Mystery novelist Agatha Christie dies (1976); Earthquake in Haiti kills more than 100,000 (2010).

"We never know the whole man, though sometimes, in quick flashes, we know the true man."

- Agathe Christie

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