5.4.2023

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Thursday, May 4, and we're covering claims of an attempted drone strike on the Kremlin, a deadly shooting in Atlanta, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Drones Hit Kremlin

Russia accused Ukraine yesterday of attempting to assassinate President Vladimir Putin in Moscow after two drones crashed into the Kremlin's Senate Palace early that morning, promising retaliation. No injuries or major damage were reported, and officials said Putin was not at the Kremlin at the time. Ukrainian officials denied the accusations while noting the statement provided Russia with a pretext to escalate the conflict.

 

Several unverified videos show drones flying over the Kremlin before exploding and falling onto a domed structure below (watch recap). Russian leaders claimed its air defenses had intercepted the drones, though Western analysis could not confirm that solely from the footage. Ukraine—whose border is a few hundred miles from Moscow—insists it does not attack Russian territory, though long-range Ukrainian drones have been found in Russia recently.

 

The accusations come ahead of a likely Ukrainian counteroffensive, and as military analysts report total war casualties during the conflict have surpassed 360,000, with 20,000 Russians killed in action since December. See war updates here.

 

Atlanta Hospital Shooting

One person was killed and four others injured after a man opened fire inside a hospital in downtown Atlanta yesterday. The suspect, identified as 24-year-old Deion Patterson, fled the scene, sparking an intense search in the surrounding counties. He was captured yesterday evening after evading authorities for hours; a motive has not been publicly revealed. Few details had been released about the victims as of this writing, though officials noted all five were women. 

 

Separately, in Texas, the suspect accused of shooting five neighbors to death, including a 9-year-old boy, made his first appearance in court yesterday. The suspect—a Mexican national who officials said had been deported four times since 2009—was arrested Tuesday evening. Several additional arrests were made in connection with the search for the suspect yesterday, including his live-in partner. See our previous write-up here.

 

Explore a database of mass killings—defined as at least four deaths, excluding the offender, regardless of the type of attack—since 2006 here.

 

Tenth Rate Hike

The Federal Reserve yesterday approved a 0.25 percentage point interest rate hike, bringing its benchmark federal funds rate to a range between 5% and 5.25%—the highest since 2007. The rate sets what banks charge each other for overnight loans and affects borrowing costs for consumers, including for mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards (see 101).

 

The Fed also released a revised policy statement yesterday, which cut a phrase from a previous version in March that said the committee anticipated additional policy increases to achieve its 2% inflation goal. Observers say the omission signals the Fed may be mulling the last of its rate increases. 

 

The 10th rate hike comes amid pressure on the US banking industry following the historic collapse of three midsized banks since March. Analysts say the Fed's tightening over the last year may exacerbate banking issues after fueling losses at institutions heavily invested in bonds sensitive to interest rates.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Willie Nelson, Missy Elliott, and Sheryl Crow headline 2023 class of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (More) | Jamie Foxx makes first public statement since being hospitalized three weeks ago (More)

> Tori Bowie, former 100-meter world champ and three-time Olympic medalist, dies at 32; separately, World Athletics announced the death of Olympic medalist Calvin Davis at 51 (More)

> Cristiano Ronaldo ($136M) tops Lionel Messi ($130M) on Forbes 2023 highest-paid athletes list; LeBron James ($119M) is highest earning American (More) | Messi to depart Paris Saint-Germain at end of season (More)

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Science & Technology

> Food and Drug Administration approves first-ever vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus for those 60 and older; a similar vaccine for infants, the group most likely to be hospitalized by RSV, will be considered later this year (More)

> DNA recovered from a 20,000-year-old pendant reveals the owner or maker as a female of north Eurasian ancestry; results validate new approach to mapping ancient human cultures (More)

> Scientists identify one of the key final steps of photosynthesis, when plants release oxygen into the atmosphere; precise chemical reactions involved in the process have been a decadeslong mystery (More)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.7%, Dow -0.8%, Nasdaq -0.5%) as Federal Reserve increases rates (More)

> Darden Restaurants—owner of Olive Garden, Seasons 52, among other restaurants—to acquire Ruth’s Chris Steak House for $715M (More) | Jenny Craig to shut down after four decades in the weight loss business (More

> PacWest Bank shares fall over 50% in after-hours trading after reports the regional bank is evaluating a potential sale (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Eight students and one guard killed after 13-year-old classmate opens fire at a school in Serbia's capital of Belgrade; authorities say the shooter, who was arrested, had a list of targets and called the police himself (More

> Brazil's police search former President Jair Bolsonaro’s home as part of probe into alleged falsification of COVID-19 vaccine cards to comply with US vaccination requirements for entry (More) | At least 136 dead in Rwanda and Uganda from flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rain (More)

> Library of Congress publicly releases late Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens' files on thousands of cases, offering insights into major court decisions, including the 2000 presidential election, affirmative action, and abortion (More) | US history and civics scores hit all-time low among eighth graders (More)

 

In-Depth

> The Mystery of the Bell Witch

Atlas Obscura | Colin Dickey. How a 200-year-old unsettling and terrifying ghost story about the Bell family has persisted through time, offering a glimpse into much of American culture. (Read)

 

> How Menopause Reshapes the Brain

Nature | Heidi Ledford. Researchers are beginning to understand how menopause— and the transition leading up to it—can impact brain health later in life, potentially informing approaches to treating neurodegenerative diseases. (Read)

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Etcetera
 

How to watch the Eta Aquarid meteor shower this week.

 

Can you guess where in the USA these photos were taken?

 

What summer was like the year you were born.

 

Teens arrive at prom in army tank led by Darth Vader on the bagpipes.

 

The 10 most beautiful hikes in the world.

 

Photographer uses drones to show the beauty of ballet.

 

Archaeologists find underwater 19th-century hospital in the Florida Keys.

 

Winners of the 2023 World Changing Ideas Awards.

 

Clickbait: Florida police break up a baaad brawl.

 

Historybook: Actress Audrey Hepburn born (1929); First Grammy Awards held (1959); Four killed, nine injured after National Guard open fire at Kent State University (1970); Margaret Thatcher becomes first female prime minister of the UK (1979).

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