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Good morning. It's Thursday, June 13, and we're covering new inflation data, a discovery from the golden age of Antarctic exploration, and much more. First time reading? Join over 3.5 million intellectually curious readers. Sign up here.

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Need To Know

Inflation Cools, Fed Chills

Federal Reserve officials yesterday kept interest rates steady at a 23-year high and signaled they expect to reduce rates only once this year—fewer than the previous forecast of three cuts.


The central bank's announcement came as fresh government data showed the consumer price index, which measures changes in the cost of a basket of goods and services, remained flat month-over-month in May and rose 3.3% year-over-year, slightly better than expectations. While the latest annual inflation figure remains above the Fed's 2% target, it has fallen from a 9.1% peak in 2022, hovering between 3.1% and 3.5% since October 2023 (see chart). 


The Fed has maintained the benchmark federal funds rate at 5.25%-5.5% for seven consecutive meetings after raising it 11 times since March 2022. Officials expect four rate cuts next year and four more in 2026—more than previously anticipated—to bring inflation to 3.1% by the end of 2026.


Learn how inflation works here (w/video). 


Port of Baltimore Reopens

Two-way shipping traffic resumed in Baltimore Harbor's deep federal channel yesterday, the culmination of an 11-week, $100M cleanup of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge and removal of the 900-foot Dali container ship. Port officials expect trade to return to normal levels by next year. The disaster has cost the region an estimated $1.2B in disrupted trade.


Early on March 26, the Dali lost power as it left port and drifted into the steel bridge, plunging its 1.6-mile span into the Patapsco River and killing six construction workers (see timeline). Over 100 million pounds of debris was removed from the river to open the port, requiring the region's largest floating cranes (see process). The 300-year-old Helen Delich Bentley Port moves the most farming equipment and cars in the nation and is the closest deep-water harbor to the nation's capital. 


Federal officials have pledged to fund the replacement of the 50-year-old bridge at an expected cost of $2B. Current estimates peg its opening for 2028. 


Shackleton's Last Ship

The final ship sailed by famed explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton has been discovered, officials announced yesterday, located about a quarter-mile off Canada's eastern coast in the Labrador Sea. Shackleton suffered a fatal heart attack aboard the ship in 1922, with the vessel falling far short of its goal of reaching Antarctica and mapping thousands of miles of unexplored coastline.


One of the most famous explorers of the early 20th century, Shackleton became the first person to reach the magnetic South Pole. Among his adventures, he is best known for leading the “Endurance” expedition, where he carried out a monthslong rescue effort after the ship became stuck in ice and sank. 


The ship itself, named the "Quest," far outlived Shackleton. Following the ill-fated expedition—regarded by historians as the end of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration—the boat served as a seal-hunting vessel, sinking in 1962 after hitting ice. 


See archival photos from the expedition here.

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In The Know

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Jerry West, Basketball Hall of Famer and 14-time NBA All-Star who was the inspiration for the NBA logo, dies at 86 (More) | Sports world reacts to West's death (More)

> Sony Pictures acquires Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, becoming first major production company to own a movie theater in 75 years (More) | Françoise Hardy, iconic French singer-songwriter and actress, dies at 80 (More)

> The 2024 US Open men's golf tournament kicks off today from Pinehurst, North Carolina; see full preview and schedule (More) | World Cup 2026 reveals knockout stage schedule for hosts the US, Canada, and Mexico (More)

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Science & Technology

> Child sacrifices in ancient Mayan city of Chichén Itzá focused exclusively on males, often involving twins or close relatives, new DNA analysis reveals (More) | Findings suggest potential link to the Popul Vuh, which includes the Mayan creation myth; learn more here (More, w/video)

> Key brain signal in long-term memory formation shown to deteriorate during poor sleep; discovery helps explain link between sleep quality and memory retention (More

> Researchers map the 5,500-year history of the evolution and spread of the two deadliest malaria-causing parasites; study tracks the disease's transmission through wars, trade routes, and European colonialism (More


Business & Markets

> US stock markets end mixed (S&P 500 +0.9%, Dow -0.1%, Nasdaq +1.5%), with the S&P 500 closing above 5,400 for the first time (More) | Cryptocurrency payment platform Terraform Labs agrees to $4.5B fine in US civil fraud case (More)

> European Union to impose tariffs of up to 38% on Chinese electric vehicle imports, citing "excessive" Chinese subsidies; the US imposed 100% tariffs on Chinese EVs last month (More) | International Energy Agency forecasts an oil supply glut by 2030, with outlook projecting supply to outpace demand by 8 million gallons per day (More)

> Tesla shareholder meeting begins today, with vote on $56B compensation package for Elon Musk scheduled; the package was previously voided by a Delaware court (More)


Politics & World Affairs

> House votes 216-207, mostly along party lines, to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt for withholding audio of President Joe Biden's interview in classified documents case; Biden has asserted executive privilege over audio (More)

> Hezbollah launches rockets targeting northern Israel in retaliation for an Israeli airstrike that killed a senior commander of the Iran-backed militant group; no casualties were reported in Israel (More) | Russian warships arrive in Cuba ahead of military exercises in the Caribbean; Cuba is a longtime ally of Russia (More

> Southern Baptists vote down formal ban on churches with female pastors; official guidelines still restrict pastor roles to men (More) | US court finds banana company Chiquita liable for eight deaths resulting from its financing of paramilitary groups in Colombia from 1997-2004 (More)



> How Schrödinger’s Cat Got Famous

Nautilus | Robert Crease. Physics' most famous thought experiment asks whether a living being can be both simultaneously dead and alive. But to become ingrained in public consciousness, the idea needed a boost from science fiction. (Read)


> Spreadsheet Superstars

The Verge | David Pierce. In Las Vegas, some of the world's top competitors recently gathered to answer a burning question—Who is the world's master at Microsoft Excel? (Read)

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Rare white buffalo calf fulfills a Lakota prophecy


The high school biology teacher playing in the US Open.


What you need to earn to live comfortably in every state


A plane missing for 53 years found in a Vermont lake.


Fifty places in the US to set up camp this summer.


Dr. Evil teaches us how to manage rising costs


Researchers discover the oldest written account of Jesus' childhood.


The best way to cut an onion, according to math.


Clickbait: Courteney Cox revives iconic 1984 Bruce Springsteen dance.


Historybook: Miranda rights are established (1966); Thurgood Marshall becomes first African American nominated to Supreme Court (1967); Pioneer 10 is first human-made object to exit our solar system (1983); Actresses Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen born (1986).

"We will only attain freedom if we learn to appreciate what is different, and muster the courage to discover what is fundamentally the same."

- Thurgood Marshall

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