3.11.2024

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Good morning. It's Monday, March 11, and we're covering the US plan to deliver aid to Gaza, a dominant night for "Oppenheimer," and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

Gaza Port Plans

The first US military vessel carrying construction supplies to build a temporary dock along the Gazan coast set off from Virginia Saturday, headed toward the Middle East. It marks the first step of a plan to directly deliver humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza, announced by President Joe Biden during Thursday's State of the Union. 

 

Reports suggest it may take as long as two months and involve as many as 1,000 troops to get to operational status. The territory currently has no functioning port, making ocean delivery of aid nearly impossible, and ground-based deliveries have become increasingly dangerous. Western nations have resorted to airdropping aid into high-population areas. The structure is expected to be a floating pier capable of unloading 2 million meals per day.

 

International groups have said large swaths of the nearly 2.3 million people in Gaza face starvation. The effort comes as many Muslims begin observing the holy month of Ramadan (see overview). 

 

See updates on the war here

 

'Oppenheimer's' Big Night

"Oppenheimer" was the big winner at the 2024 Academy Awards (also known as the Oscars, see overview here) last night, taking home the ceremony's top prize of best picture. The film also nabbed six other awards, including best actor (Cillian Murphy), best supporting actor (Robert Downey Jr.), and best director (Christopher Nolan). "Oppenheimer" (see overview and backstory) had been up for 13 Oscars in all.

 

The other big winner of the night was "Poor Things," which took home four Oscars, including best actress (Emma Stone). Da’Vine Joy Randolph won best supporting actress for "The Holdovers." Meanwhile, Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” was shutout after entering the night with 10 nominations. See the full list of winners here

 

See also the biggest moments of the night here, including John Cena's minimal attire while presenting best costume design. For those who opted into wardrobe, see best fashion from the red carpet

 

Altman Cements Control

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman formally rejoined the company's board of directors four months after he was temporarily booted from the company during a chaotic five-day period that stunned Silicon Valley. A third-party probe concluded Friday found no wrongdoing on Altman's part that would have justified his removal. 

 

Altman helped launch OpenAI—now considered one of the most powerful forces in AI—in 2015 as a nonprofit (see history). A for-profit arm was established in 2019, with the company becoming a household name with the 2022 release of ChatGPT. Technically still under the direction of its nonprofit board, OpenAI is now valued at around $80B. 

 

Altman was pushed from his board seat and CEO position in November, with the board generally alluding to behaviors clashing with its nonprofit mission (while offering few specifics). Observers say Altman emerged from the drama with significantly more control over the company.

 

Separately, OpenAI responded to a lawsuit by now-departed cofounder Elon Musk over its departure from open-source research. See an overview here.

In partnership with Babbel

The 10-Minute-Trick to a New Language

 

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The key points? It all comes down to personal guidance, flexible plans, and practicality. Rather than throwing random words at you (Cat! Dog! Milk!), Babbel’s lesson plans prioritize the terms and phrases you need to have real-world conversations. Combine that with quick, digestible lessons that take only 10 minutes and the ability to do it all on your phone, and suddenly learning a new language has become not just fun, but easy.

 

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> The Czech Republic's Krystyna Pyszková crowned Miss World 2024; Yasmina Zaytoun of Lebanon named runner-up (More)

> US women's national soccer team tops Brazil 1-0 to win 2024 CONCACAF Gold Cup (More)

> Last week's State of the Union address pulls in 32 million viewers, up 18% from 2023 (More) | "Kung Fu Panda 4" leads weekend box office with $58M as "Dune: Part Two" crosses $157M in total box office receipts in its second week (More)

From our partners: 0% interest just got way more interesting. These four leading credit cards offer 0% intro APR for up to 18 months—meaning that when life happens and you need to hit pause, you could have almost two years to avoid interest charges.

 

Science & Technology

> US health regulators delay approval for closely watched Alzheimer's treatment donanemab; clinical trials showed 35% slowing of cognitive decline, more than double the incidence of brain swelling versus a placebo (More)

> Restored coral reefs—where new coral is transplanted into damaged reefs—can grow as quickly as healthy reefs within four years of planting, new study shows (More)

> Computer scientists discover new method to multiply large matrices (data sets with many rows and columns); approach likely to lead to efficiency gains and lower power usage for applications like ChatGPT (More)

 

Business & Markets

> Markets close down Friday (Dow -0.2%, S&P 500 -0.7%, Nasdaq -1.2%); tech-heavy Nasdaq driven down by Nvidia drop (-5.5%), Dow finishes worst week since October (More) | HelloFresh shares drop 42% on worse-than-expected decline in revenue (More)

> Justice Department opens criminal probe into January door blowout incident aboard a Boeing 737 Max (More) | Boeing says documents related to removal of key bolts during assembly either were lost or never filed (More) | See previous write-up (More)

> India to lift tariffs on imports from the European Free Trade Association—made up of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein—in exchange for $100B from the four nations over the next 15 years (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> US military evacuates nonessential embassy personnel from Haiti (More) | The US, the UK, and France shoot down 28 Houthi drones in the Red Sea (More) | Pope calls for Ukrainians to wave "white flag" and end war with Russia (More)

> French President Emmanuel Macron endorses bill that would allow France to engage in medically assisted deaths, joining Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands; bill will go to parliament in May (More)

> Irish voters reject government-proposed referendums to redefine parts of the constitution; first proposal was to redefine families to include nonmarried partners, second would have scrapped phrase on women's "life within the home" (More)

In partnership with Babbel

Our Top Tip for Summer Travel?

 

Learn the language! Of course, this is easier said than done—but with 60% off a Babbel Lifetime subscription, you can pick up enough Italian (or French … or Spanish …) to stroll into that café and confidently order “un caffé de crema e un cornetto.

 

Babbel makes learning a new language easy thanks to personalized plans, addictively simple (and quick) lessons, and a focus on learning real, useful phrases. Try it for yourself with 60% off a Babbel subscription right here.

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Etcetera
 

The robots helping to improve recycling.

 

A 100-year-old WWII veteran who found love.

 

Bacteria in your gut may drive addictive behaviors

 

Mapping which crops will thrive in a changing climate.

 

Lucky zookeepers narrowly survive a silverback gorilla encounter.

 

Edited post-op photo of Princess of Wales causes a stir.

 

Blood-thirsty Pooh dominates the Razzie Awards.

 

More than 50% of Americans would buy a home with friends.

 

Clickbait: Rodeo and skiing make ... skijoring.

 

Historybook: Civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy born (1926); Sir Alexander Fleming, scientist who discovered penicillin, dies (1955); Janet Reno confirmed as first female attorney general in the US (1993); Coordinated bombings kill 191 people aboard trains in Madrid (2004); COVID-19 declared a pandemic by World Health Organization (2020).

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