3.9.2024

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Saturday, March 9, and in this weekend edition, we're covering a government funding deal, a review of the US government's UFO programs, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

PS—Remember to set your clocks ahead tonight for daylight saving time, which begins tomorrow (except in two states). 

 

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

One Big Headline
 

Partial Shutdown Averted 

The US Senate, by a vote of 75-22, passed a $460B package of six spending bills to fund a group of federal agencies through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, avoiding a partial government shutdown hours before a midnight deadline. The measure passed the House earlier this week by a vote of 339-85. 

 

The package provides funding for agriculture, energy, housing, transportation, veterans, and other programs while making cuts to other lines, including the FBI and the Environmental Protection Agency. Congress has another two weeks until March 22 to pass a second tranche of six spending bills to fund other parts of the federal government, including the military and homeland security, through Sept. 30. See a breakdown of 2024 federal spending so far here.

 

In other Capitol news, former US Rep. George Santos announced he is running in the GOP primary in New York’s 1st Congressional District. Santos, who was expelled from Congress last year, faces a September trial for 23 federal charges, including money laundering and identity theft.

Quick Hits
 

US economy adds 275,000 jobs in February, exceeding expectations.

The latest figure marks the third straight month of job gains above 200,000 and is the 39th consecutive month of gains overall. Economists had estimated roughly 200,000 jobs for the month. The unemployment rate in February rose to 3.9% from 3.7% in the previous month. Average hourly earnings rose 0.1% month-over-month and 4.3% year-over-year.

 

US jury convicts ex-Honduran president on drug trafficking charges.

Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, 55, was found guilty of conspiring with drug traffickers and using his military and national police to import more than 1 million pounds of cocaine into the US since 2004. He was also found guilty of possessing and conspiring to possess weapons, including machine guns. Hernández, who faces up to life in prison, was the first elected Latin American leader to be tried in the US.

 

Pentagon report finds no evidence of UFO visits, hidden spacecraft.

The Defense Department released findings from a congressionally ordered review of decades of classified government programs related to unidentified anomalous phenomena, commonly known as UFOs. The report concluded there was no verifiable evidence of any sightings representing extraterrestrial activity, no extraterrestrial craft or bodies were recovered, and no program was authorized to reverse-engineer extraterrestrial technology. Read the report here

 

FDA approves weight-loss drug Wegovy for reducing cardiovascular risks.

Adults with obesity and heart disease will now be able to use Novo Nordisk's Wegovy as a treatment for reducing cardiovascular risks. It is the first such approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a weight loss drug. The approval comes after a five-year study found Wegovy led to a 20% reduction in heart attacks, strokes, and cardiac arrest for obese patients over the age of 45 who have heart disease.

 

'Dragon Ball' creator and Japanese manga artist Akira Toriyama dies. 

Toriyama died March 1 of a blood clot in his brain, according to an announcement Friday. Toriyama created "Dragon Ball" in 1984, which follows main character Son Goku, a martial arts trainee who goes on a journey in search of magical dragon balls to protect Earth from aliens. It has been considered one of the greatest manga series ever made (manga are comics or graphic novels from Japan) and was turned into several animated series, films, and video games.

 

Former President Donald Trump posts $91.6M bond in defamation case.

The bond allows Trump to cover $83.3M in damages that a jury awarded to writer E. Jean Carroll last month as he seeks to appeal the case. Carroll had accused Trump of making comments damaging to her reputation after she alleged he sexually abused her in the 1990s. The bond, once approved, will prevent Carroll's attorneys from collecting the damages from Trump while the appeal process plays out.

In partnership with Pendulum

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Humankind
 

Florida sheriff's deputy becomes infant's honorary uncle after saving her life from a car accident. (More

 

"Dune: Part Two" filmmaker sends his laptop to a palliative care facility to fulfill dying man's wish to watch the sci-fi movie ahead of its official premiere. (More)

 

New program in Tucson, Arizona, offers free showers for the community's homeless population via traveling mobile trailer. (More

 

A 102-year-old Iowa woman asks community to donate 102 items to local food pantry for her birthday; community donates over 400 items. (More)

 

Canadian beer company shifts sponsorship on women's hockey jerseys to top of their jersey numbers to allow players' names to be visible on the bottom. (More)

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Humankind(ness)
 

Today, we're sharing a story from reader Natalie H. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

 

"Last week my 10-year-old daughter had set up a lemonade stand on our corner to catch folks coming home from work, doing their evening walk, etc. She was serving a lady and her kids when a couple came up and stood waiting. I was talking to the lady and her kids so my daughter started waiting on the other couple. They asked, 'how much?' My daughter said it was $1. The man then reached in his pocket and pulled out $100 bill and told her no change. We were so shocked. And they just kinda disappeared in the commotion that followed. She was so excited."

 

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

Etcetera
 

Bookkeeping

> US consumers and businesses lost record $12.5B to cybercrimes in 2023.

> Millennials expected to inherit $90T in assets over the next two decades, making millennials the richest generation in history

 

Browse 

> Alternative destinations for crowded vacation spots.

> Inside this year's six-figures-worth Oscars goodie bags.

> Fossil found of dinosaur-age "nightmarish" sea lizard.

> NASA unveils design for message headed to Jupiter's moon Europa.

> SATs are going fully digital for the first time this weekend.

> Las Vegas airport tests out self-service TSA screening.

 

Listen 

> Why a "good enough" relationship might be better than the "perfect partner.

 

Watch 

> Memorize 200 digits of pi with a short, catchy song

> Why US general elections only have two choices.

> A montage of adorable bunnies doing things.

 

Long Read 

> The inside story of how Apple spent $1B per year on a car it never built.

> Hustlers, grifters, and greed: How Run-DMC's Jam Master Jay met his fatal fate.

 

Most Read This Week: Inside a private ship's 165 luxury apartments.

 

Historybook: Cartographer and explorer Amerigo Vespucci born (1454); First person in space Yuri Gagarin born (1934); Barbie doll debuts at American Toy Fair (1959); Rapper Notorious BIG is shot and killed (1997).

"We didn't know how to run a business, but we had dreams and talent."

- Barbie inventor and businesswoman Ruth Handler

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