2.20.2023

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Good morning. It's Monday, Feb. 20, and we're covering health concerns for a former US president, a formal accusation in the Russia-Ukraine war, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Carter in Hospice Care

Former President Jimmy Carter will receive hospice care at his Plains, Georgia, home as his health deteriorates, according to a Saturday announcement from the Carter Center. At 98 years old, Carter is the longest-living former US executive. The cause of Carter's current health issues was not announced.

 

Electing hospice care signals a person is nearing the end of life, where care focuses on comfort rather than continued treatment. One study found 93% of hospice patients pass away within six months.

 

The former peanut farmer, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Gerald Ford in 1976 on his way to a single term marked by an energy crisis, a historic agreement between Israel and Egypt, and the normalization of relations with China (see timeline). Since losing reelection in 1980, Carter has worked as a humanitarian advocate alongside his wife, Rosalynn. He recovered in 2015 from a melanoma diagnosis that spread to his brain and liver.

 

See his life in photos here.

 

Crimes Against Humanity

The US has formally concluded Russia has committed what legally constitutes as crimes against humanity during its ongoing war in Ukraine, according to Vice President Kamala Harris. The statement, the most explicit and public-facing condemnation by the US government of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, came as Harris gave remarks in Munich, Germany. 

 

Harris pointed to reported atrocities in the towns of Bucha, where the bodies of more than 300 civilians were found in April, and Mariupol, where a Russian airstrike hit a theater where civilians had sought shelter. Russia has previously denied being responsible for the killings. 

 

On the ground, Russian forces—reportedly led by the private military contractor Wagner Group—are close to controlling the eastern city of Bakhmut. See updates on the war here.

 

The remarks come as Russia appears to be preparing for a redoubled push in Ukraine, nearing the one-year mark of the war this week. 

 

Jovine Auroras 

Astronomers have detected auroras on at least four moons of Jupiter that would be visible to the human eye, according to recently published results. The phenomena, commonly referred to on Earth as the Northern Lights, occurs when electrically charged particles traveling through space interact with a planet's or moon's atmosphere. 

 

The findings were observed on Jupiter's four largest moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Astronomers said the display would be visible while standing on the moons' surfaces. While not observable from the Earth with the naked eye, the results provide insight into the bodies' lunar atmospheres, suggesting the moons have a thin layer of oxygen and sulfur on at least some of the bodies. 

  

Explore the solar system with NASA's interactive map here

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. edges Joey Logano in double overtime to win the longest Daytona 500 race ever (More)

> "All Quiet on the Western Front" wins Best Film at BAFTA Film Awards (More) | "Everything Everywhere All at Once" wins top prize at Directors Guild Awards (More) | "Saving Private Ryan" actor Tom Sizemore in critical condition following brain aneurysm (More)

> Jayson Tatum hauls in record 55 points to lead Team Giannis to 184-175 win over Team LeBron in 2023 NBA All-Star Game (More) | Brittney Griner signs one-year deal with Phoenix Mercury following 10-month imprisonment in Russia (More)

 

Science & Technology

In partnership with Brilliant

> Human player beats AI platform in 14 out of 15 matches of the Chinese game Go after using a separate AI to identify weaknesses in the algorithmic competitor (More) | See overview here (More

> NASA releases images of asteroid that passed within 1.1 million miles of Earth Feb. 3; the visit provided one of the most up-close observations of the type of asteroid that could make potential impact (More)

> Astronaut brain study reveals structural changes affecting communication processing lasting up to eight months after returning home; experts say analysis points to the unknown effects of long-term weightlessness on human development (More)

From our partners: Bite-sized math and CS lessons to sharpen your analytical thinking. Learning a little every day is one of the best habits you can develop. Brilliant’s interactive lessons make it easy to master concepts in everything from foundational math to AI, data science, and beyond. Join 10M+ people and start learning with a free 30-day trial today.

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close mixed Friday (S&P 500 -0.3%, Dow +0.4%, Nasdaq -0.6%); Dow closes down for third consecutive week (More)

> Meta (Facebook) to roll out verification subscription service for $11.99 per month, or $14.99 per month on Apple iOS (More)

> Deere & Co shares up 8% after beating expectations, profits more than double in latest quarter (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Top Chinese and US officials meet Saturday on sidelines of Munich Security Conference, first since US shot down a Chinese spy balloon Feb. 4 (More) | US warns China may provide lethal support to Russia in Ukraine (More) | North Korea fires intercontinental ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan Saturday ahead of joint US-South Korea military exercises (More

> Gunman kills six, including ex-wife, in series of shootings in rural town in northern Mississippi Friday (More) | Half Moon Bay shooting suspect pleads not guilty to seven counts of murder Thursday (More

> Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles David G. O'Connell shot and killed at his home Saturday; no suspect or motive announced (More)

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Etcetera
 

Footage from Iwo Jima through the eyes of Marines.

 

... and on the 78th anniversary of the fight, the story behind the Iwo Jima flag raising

 

The weirdness of Presidents Day

 

Ranking the most affordable wine regions in the US

 

Japan identifies 7,000 more islands.

 

Scientists make a case for high-altitude balloons

 

... while an art collector shatters a $42,000 balloon dog.

 

Meet the 11-year-old artist making millions

 

Clickbait: The quietest place on Earth

 

Historybook: Frederick Douglass dies (1895); Sidney Poitier born (1927); John Glenn becomes first American to orbit Earth (1962); Kurt Cobain born (1967); Rihanna born (1988).

"We are more fulfilled when we are involved in something bigger than ourselves."

- John Glenn

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