7.13.2023

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Good morning. It's Thursday, July 13, and we're covering astronomy's breakthrough year, HBO dominating the awards circuit, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Inflation Growth Slows

Annual inflation in the US rose 3% in June, marking the smallest year-over-year rate increase since March 2021, according to government data released yesterday. On a monthly basis, inflation grew 0.2% in June. Both figures are lower than analyst expectations of 3.1% growth year-over-year and 0.3% growth month-over-month. 

 

The consumer price index, which measures price changes for a basket of goods and services, rose 4.8% year-over-year when excluding volatile food and energy prices. The rise in inflation is partly due to high housing costs, which were offset by declines in the prices of used cars and trucks, airline fares, and food items such as bacon, milk, and eggs. See a detailed breakout of prices for various commodities here.

 

The consumer price index has cooled since peaking at a 9.1% year-over-year growth rate in June 2022 (see historical chart) but remains above the Federal Reserve's 2% annual target. Fed officials are expected to resume raising interest rates at their upcoming two-day meeting July 25-26. 

 

A Year of Discoveries

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the release of the first images produced by NASA's groundbreaking James Webb Space Telescope, an observatory that has drastically expanded humanity's knowledge of the early universe while inspiring the world with a continual stream of stunning deep-space images (see full gallery).

 

Launched in December 2021 in collaboration with the European and Canadian space agencies, the Webb orbits the sun at a point roughly 1 million miles beyond Earth (see visual), unlike its Earth-orbiting predecessor, Hubble. Its infrared cameras capture deep-space starlight invisible to the human eye or obscured by dust clouds, enabling it to effectively look backward in time into the early stages of the universe. 

 

To honor the anniversary, NASA released new images of 50 young sun-sized stars within the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex, the closest star-forming region to Earth—roughly 390 light-years away. Learn about the aesthetic choices behind the production of the Webb images here

 

HBO Leads Emmys

Nominations for the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced yesterday, with HBO dominating other outlets with 127 total nods. Three shows—"Succession" (27), "The Last of Us" (24), and "The White Lotus" (23)—combined for 74 nominations. "Ted Lasso," on Apple TV+, came in fourth with 21 nominations. 

 

"Succession," which follows the dynamics of the billionaire Roy family and their media mogul patriarch, wrapped its final season in May. All four main actors—Brian Cox (Logan Roy), Kieran Culkin (Roman), Jeremy Strong (Kendall), and Sarah Snook (Siobhan)—are up for best lead in a drama. The nominations haul comes despite notching only a third of average viewership compared to "The Last of Us" and another HBO hit, "House of the Dragon" (9 million versus 30 million per episode, respectively).

 

The announcement came against the backdrop of the ongoing writers strike, while the actors union held a vote late last night whether to also boycott over a pay dispute. 

 

The ceremony will be held live Sept. 18 (8 pm ET, FOX). See a list of all nominations here.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Disney taps Bob Iger to stay on as CEO through 2026; Iger returned as CEO last year after previously leading the company for nearly 15 years (More) | Craft beer pioneer Anchor Brewing going out of business after 127 years (More)

> Panama edges US in penalty kicks to advance to Gold Cup finals; will face off against Mexico in Sunday's championship game (More) | Legendary basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale reveals vocal cord cancer diagnosis (More)

> Huw Edwards named as BBC presenter who allegedly paid a 17-year-old $45K for explicit photos (More) | Milan Kundera, novelist best known for "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," dies at 94 (More)

 

Science & Technology

> Researchers identify first gene sequence linked to increased risk of long COVID-19 symptoms; the variant also plays a role in severe COVID-19 cases and lung cancer (More)

> NASA's Perseverance rover confirms the existence of numerous types of organic molecules in Mars' Jezero crater, a site considered to have potentially been suitable for ancient life (More) | Take a virtual flyover of the crater here (More)

> Study finds almost 60% of the world's oceans have shifted colors over the past two decades, reflecting the change in marine ecosystems as water temperatures rise (More)

 

Business & Markets

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> US stock markets close higher (S&P 500 +0.7%, Dow +0.3%, Nasdaq +1.2%) on cooling inflation; S&P 500 and Nasdaq close at highest levels since April 2022 (More)

> Domino’s Pizza shares up 11% after company announces partnerships with Uber Eats and Postmates for delivery (More)

> Elon Musk launches new AI company, xAI; Musk to hold Twitter Spaces session Friday with more details (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> Russian senior general, Sergei Surovikin, considered missing amid reports of being held for interrogation by Moscow over his alleged role in Wagner Group mutiny (More) | Russian commander killed during a missile strike in Ukraine, a day after another commander was killed during a jog (More) | See updates on the war (More)

> FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before House Judiciary Committee over the agency's handling of politically sensitive cases; hearing follows June indictment of former President Donald Trump and a separate plea deal with Hunter Biden (More) | Watch the hearing (More)

> Iowa Legislature passes six-week abortion ban, with Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) expected to sign bill into law; legislation comes after the state's Supreme Court last month did not reinstate a similar 2018 law previously blocked by a lower court (More)

 

In-Depth

> Redefining the End of Life 

Nature | Max Kozlov. A group of experts is working to resolve clashing definitions of death across the US—springing from ideological differences—to avert potential risks for clinicians and patients waiting for organ transplants. (Read)

 

> A Conversation with Megan Rapinoe 

Time | Sean Gregory. US soccer legend Megan Rapinoe, who plans to retire at the end of the 2023 National Women's Soccer League season, chats about advocating for equality, winning a third World Cup title, and more. (Read)

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Etcetera
 

Meet Maddie, the 2023 Gerber Baby.

 

Marking 100 years of the iconic Hollywood(land) sign.

 

Prehistoric aerial predator and aquatic reptile fossils to be auctioned.

 

Preview Timothée Chalamet as chocolate enthusiast Willy Wonka.

 

What it takes to be a good Superman.

 

Ranking Big Ten college football traditions.

 

Why everyone should read children’s books.

 

A third of US couples have opted for a “sleep divorce.”

 

Clickbait: Burger King redefines a cheeseburger.

 

Historybook: Julius Caesar born (100 BCE); First World Cup takes place in Uruguay (1930); Sir Patrick Stewart born (1940); Artist Frida Kahlo dies (1954); Live Aid concert raises more than $125M for Africa famine relief (1985).

"Nothing is worth more than laughter."

- Frida Kahlo

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