12.23.2023

 

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Good morning. It's Saturday, Dec. 23, and in this weekend edition, we're covering the UN's push for more aid into Gaza, the first monthly decline in a key inflation gauge since 2020, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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

 

Editor's note: The 1440 team will be off until Wednesday enjoying time with friends and family—have a great and safe holiday break!

One Big Headline
 

UN Votes on Gaza Aid

The UN Security Council yesterday adopted a resolution for more humanitarian aid in Gaza, stopping short of calling for a full pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas. The legally binding resolution passed by a 13-0 vote; the US and Russia abstained.

 

The resolution directs the UN secretary-general to appoint someone to coordinate, monitor, and verify deliveries of aid into Gaza as well as establish a mechanism for faster deliveries. About 90% of Gaza's 2.2 million people are regularly without adequate food, according to the UN World Food Program. Roughly 5,000 aid trucks have entered Gaza since Oct. 7, according to Israel. In contrast, roughly 500 aid trucks per day entered Gaza before the war began.

 

The resolution's passage culminated weeklong diplomatic negotiations over the language, intended to make sure the US wouldn't block the measure. The US had previously vetoed resolutions from the UN Security Council that had called for a cease-fire. The US and Israel (which is not part of the Security Council; see members) oppose a cease-fire, believing it would only benefit Hamas. 

 

Separately, Israeli forces instructed residents to evacuate Gaza's central city of Al Bureij and move farther south. See updates on the war here.

Quick Hits
 

Supreme Court declines to fast-track Trump's immunity dispute.

Special Counsel Jack Smith had previously requested the high court to immediately weigh in on whether former President Donald Trump is immune from prosecution in his federal election interference case. The issue will first be decided by an appeals court. The case is set to go to trial March 4 in federal court, but the case has been stayed while Trump pursues his immunity claim.

 

Key US inflation measure sees first monthly decline since April 2020.

The personal consumption expenditures price index—the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge—fell 0.1% month-over-month in November. The figure is the first monthly decline in more than three years. The index was up 2.6% from a year ago, down from 2.9% in October and below economist expectations. The Federal Reserve targets 2% annual inflation. The index measures costs consumers pay across a wide swath of items.

 

President Joe Biden issues federal pardon for marijuana use.

Biden pardoned US citizens convicted of using or possessing marijuana on federal lands and in the District of Columbia Friday. The pardoning is meant to alleviate barriers to employment and housing for those with criminal records for marijuana use and possession. Biden also commuted the sentences of 11 people who were serving decadeslong or life sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

 

Japan eases weapons export policy, prepares to sell missiles to the US.

Japan said it will sell American-designed Patriot air defense missiles to the US after it revised its arms export guidelines this week. The decision marks the first time since post-World War II in which Japan is selling complete lethal weapons to its allies. Patriot missiles (see overview) are one of the most advanced in the world. Observers say the shipment could help the US aid Ukraine in its war against Russia. 

 

Simone Biles named AP Female Athlete of the Year for third time.

The 26-year-old seven-time Olympic medalist becomes the sixth woman to receive the honor for a third time. Biles previously won the honor in 2016 and 2019. Before returning to the mat this season, Biles took a two-year break from gymnastics to focus on her mental health. Her comeback included winning her record eighth US national championship and a sixth world all-around gold medal.

 

Lionsgate to spin off studio business in $4.6B SPAC deal.

The entertainment company's studio business, comprising Lionsgate’s TV production and motion picture group divisions and a 20,000-title film and TV library, will be combined with Screaming Eagle Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company. The newly merged entity will be publicly traded and known as Lionsgate Studios Corp. See how SPACs work here.

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Humankind
 

Explore good news from 2023 through an interactive news generator. (More)

 

Stranger reunites woman with engagement ring after it was accidentally left in a rest stop bathroom. (More

 

An 8-year-old girl is crowned the best female player at a European chess tournament. (More)

 

Homeless shelter raises $50K from auctioning a pair of rare gold Nikes found in a donation box. (More)

 

Michigan mom graduates college with 10-day-old baby tucked in her gown. (More

 

A 10-year-old boy in the UK receives an "Iron Man"-themed prosthetic arm. (More)

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Humankind(ness)
 

Today, we're sharing a story from reader Walt M. in Austin, Texas.

 

"This is a story of double kindness. My wife was in a terrible automobile collision just outside of town. She had been on her way to buy pecans for holiday treats. A woman named Marisa helped her at the scene until the ambulance arrived to take my wife to the hospital. Marisa noticed a to-do list in the damaged car, and figured out that my wife was headed to a nearby pecan store. Marisa then decided to go to the store and buy some pecans to take to my wife in the hospital. She went to the nearby store, mentioned to the 'Pecan Lady' who ran the store what she was doing, and tendered the money to pay for the pecans. The Pecan Lady told her to keep her money, and just take the pecans to the injured woman. Marisa then personally delivered the gift from the two complete strangers to my wife in the hospital later that afternoon."

 

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

Etcetera
 

Bookkeeping

Since 2005, 21 million Elf on the Shelf dolls have been sold globally; read more about the empire.

> Hermès billionaire Nicolas Puech, 80, to leave roughly $6.5B of his fortune to his 51-year-old gardener, who he plans to adopt

 

Browse 

> US military's annual Santa tracker.

> 2023's most scathing book reviews.

The most searched word definition in every country.

> The McCallisters in "Home Alone" would be in the 1% if they were real

> Photographer captures majestic scenes from a Nordic winter

 

Listen 

> Eight hours of vintage department store holiday music.

> Part-comedy, part-tragedy, part-love story: How a family invented a board game, not just to impart life lessons, but to save their own lives from a 1970s farm crisis.

 

Watch 

> Comparing the smallest to the largest things in the universe.

What happens when you check a bag at an airport

> What your credit score actually means

How baby jellyfish are born

 

Long Read 

> How Washington, DC, which was built on water, struggles to keep from drowning (w/interactive maps).  

 

Best of the Week: Photos of what winter used to look like

 

Historybook: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints founder Joseph Smith born (1805); Businesswoman Madam CJ Walker born (1867); Vincent van Gogh cuts off his ear (1888); Voyager aircraft is first to fly around the world without refueling (1986).

"Don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them."

- Madam CJ Walker

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