3.8.2024

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Good morning. It's Friday, March 8, and we're covering the reopening of fertility clinics in Alabama, a historic shift for Sweden, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

Alabama IVF Resumes

A number of fertility clinics in Alabama are expected to resume in vitro fertilization treatments after Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed a bill into law Wednesday meant to protect providers of the procedure and their employees.

 

The move comes in response to a recent state Supreme Court decision that said frozen embryos are extrauterine children, leaving providers vulnerable to wrongful death lawsuits if embryos are discarded or destroyed. The bipartisan legislation aims to safeguard IVF providers from lawsuits and criminal prosecution but does not directly address the legal status of frozen embryos.

 

The bill allows civil lawsuits against IVF equipment companies if the equipment damages or destroys an embryo. The provider at the center of the case in question said the bill does not provide enough protection and does not plan to immediately resume IVF services.

 

Roughly 1% of women aged 15 to 44 have used IVF or artificial insemination (42% of adults report having used the treatments or know someone who has). 

 

Sweden Joins NATO

Sweden officially became the 32nd member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization yesterday after its prime minister, Ulf Kristersson, deposited its document of accession with the US government, the treaty's caretaker. The Nordic country's admission to the mutual defense pact formally ends its over two centuries of military nonalignment.

 

Sweden adopted a neutral stance to European military affairs after losing significant territory—Finland—to Russia in 1812 during the Napoleonic Wars (see explainer). This approach—as well as its relatively isolated location in the north—allowed the Scandinavian country of 10 million to avoid involvement in major conflicts. Since it joined the European Union in 1995, the Nordic nation's neutrality has given way to increased military cooperation, and recent years have seen the return of conscription and expanded defense budgets. 

 

Sweden and Finland moved to join NATO (see map) after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The two countries began participating in NATO drills this week. 

 

MH370 Mystery Continues

Today marks 10 years since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 as Malaysian authorities say they may consider reopening an investigation into one of the most enduring aviation mysteries.

 

On March 8, 2014, less than 40 minutes after takeoff, the Boeing 777 aircraft from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing stopped transmitting location data. Upon exiting Malaysian airspace, it veered off course toward the Indian Ocean (see flight path), with satellite data indicating the aircraft continued flying for hours. The disappearance of 239 people led to multiple international search efforts.

 

Theories about the plane have ranged from hijacking and murder-suicide to plane failure. Several parts have washed ashore in Mozambique and Madagascar, though the plane and its black box (with recorded flight data) remain unrecovered.

 

Ocean Infinity—a Texas-based robotics company that conducted a failed search in 2018—has proposed a new search area. Another avenue for clues remains in the barnacles discovered on part of the wing.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> The 96th annual Academy Awards set for Sunday (7 pm ET, ABC); see preview and predictions for every major category (More)

> Team USA will take on Brazil in the women's CONCACAF Gold Cup championship Sunday (8:15 pm ET, Paramount+) after topping Canada in penalty kicks in the semifinal (More) | Mike Tyson, 57, to face YouTube star Jake Paul, 27, in boxing match July 20 (Netflix) from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (More)

> South by Southwest 2024 kicks off today from Austin, Texas; see full SXSW schedule of livestreamed panels, keynotes, interviews, and events (More) | Pop star Ariana Grande releases anticipated seventh album overnight (More)

 

Science & Technology

In partnership with Incogni

> James Webb Space Telescope spots the oldest "dead" galaxy observed to date; cosmic cluster appears to have stopped birthing new stars 13 billion years ago (More) | See the best images from the James Webb here (More)

> Satellite analysis suggests two dozen US coastal cities are sinking into the surrounding land by as much as 0.2 inches per year, exacerbating the effect of sea level rise; problem particularly acute near the Gulf of Mexico (More)

> Study finds stimulating gamma brain waves—fast electrical signals typically present during periods of intense focus—may help treat cognitive impairment associated with chemotherapy known as "chemo brain" (More)

From our partners: Your personal info is all over the internet. Your information can trade hands for just a few bucks and scammers are all over that—but they’re not the only ones. Data brokers sell everything from your address to your Social Security number, to anyone willing to pay. Enter Incogni. They scrub your personal info from the web. Get your data off 180+ data brokers' and people-search sites with Incogni. Get 55% off with code 1440DAILY.

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher (S&P 500 +1.0%, Dow +0.3%, Nasdaq +1.5%), with  S&P 500 at record high (More) | European Central Bank keeps interest rates steady as inflation nears 2% target; could reassess rate cuts in June (More

> Jobs report data released today expected to show slower job growth in February (More) | Layoffs last month rose to highest levels for the month of February since 2009, with tech sector accounting for one-third of layoffs (More)

> Rivian shares close up 13% after company reveals new electric vehicle models, including cheaper, midsize SUV, and announces over $2B in savings related to pausing plans to build Georgia plant (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> President Joe Biden delivers State of the Union address; key moments include plans to create a temporary port in Gaza for aid delivery and man escorted out for heckling (More) | Alabama Sen. Katie Britt (R) provides rebuttal; see highlights (More) | Centrist No Labels group expected today to vote to plan a third-party presidential bid; no candidates revealed as of yet (More)

> House panel unanimously advances bill barring TikTok (170 million US users) from app stores unless Chinese-based ByteDance divests; potential introduction on House floor (More) | Company sends pop-up messages to users, who flood House members with calls (More)

> More than 280 students kidnapped from northwest Nigeria, second mass kidnapping in the country in less than a week (More) | Haiti extends state of emergency amid ongoing gang attacks in capital (More)

 

In-Depth

> Fraud of the Century

Atavist |  Jessica Camille Aguirre. The dramatic story of betrayal between two of the chief architects of Europe's notorious carbon emissions scam, which saw France defrauded of nearly $1.8B amid its cap-and-trade program. (Read)

 

Hunting for the Fountain of Youth

Science Vs | Wendy Zukerman. (Podcast) Startups are pitching into the perennial quest for antiaging hacks, from young blood transfusions to the powers of French lilacs. Do they hold up under the critical light of science? (Listen)

> A Guaranteed Income

MIT Press | Karl Widerquist. The radical proposal of giving everyone a minimum, unconditional amount of money has a surprisingly deep history, with prototypes indicated among hunter-gatherers and ancient Athens. (Read)

 

> What Happened to Appendectomies?

History of Medicine | Patrick Kelly. A thorough history of the surgical removal of the worm-shaped appendix, and an explanation of why the incidence of the operation has jumped in recent decades. (Watch)

In partnership with Beam

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Etcetera
 

The history of International Women's Day.

 

Inside the twilight of Detroit's third-shift bars.

 

Americans' key priorities as campaign season heats up

 

Actress Dakota Johnson trashes her own movie.

 

Early 2000s Chilean beer commercial resurfaces as viral meme.

 

Chinese scientists claim to have invented an invisibility cloak for drones.

 

Long Islander becomes first US woman to sail the globe solo.

 

Kevin Bacon oinks his way through Wisconsin

 

Clickbait: A mother's love, legless amphibian style.

 

Historybook: First stock car race held in Daytona Beach (1936); International Women's Day becomes official United Nations holiday (1977); Baseball player Joe DiMaggio dies (1999); Sam Simon, director and codeveloper of "The Simpsons," dies (2015).

"A person always doing his or her best becomes a natural leader, just by example."

- Joe DiMaggio

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