No images? Click here


In partnership with

Good morning. It's Monday, Feb. 27, and we're covering another assessment of the potential origin of the pandemic, a West Coast snowstorm, and more. First time reading? Sign up here.


You share. We listen. As always, send us feedback at [email protected].

Need To Know

Lab Leak, Revisited

The US Department of Energy concluded the most likely origin of the COVID-19 pandemic was an unintentional lab leak in China, according to sources citing a classified report. The findings reverse a 2021 analysis from the department but were said to have included new intelligence; specific details were not provided. 


The report adds to the uncertainty around the pandemic's origins. The recent report was made with "low confidence," but agrees with an earlier FBI report made with "medium confidence." However, four other US government agencies, as well as the National Intelligence Council, concluded the virus probably spilled over from a natural source. An analysis from the CIA remained undecided. An on-the-ground follow-up probe by the World Health Organization was recently blocked by China. 


Proponents of a lab leak origin point to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, located where the first major outbreak was observed. Studies have pointed to wet markets as a point of origin, particularly the handling of animals that are known virus reservoirs. 


See a review of the first major outbreak here.


Blizzard in California

A reported 85,000 customers in the greater Los Angeles area were without power Saturday as a rare winter storm battered the region with rain and snow over multiple days. The system triggered the area's first blizzard warning since 1989. 


The storm flooded areas near sea level, with downtown Los Angeles seeing the most single-day rain (2.3 inches) in 20 years. It brought powder to the surrounding foothills, dropping the snowline from around 3,000 feet to 1,000 feet in elevation. Nearby mountain communities were blanketed with multiple feet of snow. Mountain High resort—about 50 miles from downtown Los Angeles, but around 7,000 feet elevation—recorded a whopping 7 feet of snow in total. See photos of the winter weather here.


Separately, almost 300,000 customers in Michigan entered a fourth day without power yesterday following a midweek ice storm. 


Migrant Shipwreck in Italy

At least 59 migrants drowned Sunday attempting to land on Italy's southeastern Calabrian coast several days after setting out from Izmir, Turkey. Reports suggest the wooden craft was carrying at least 170 migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Iran. Police arrested one survivor believed to be one of the boat's traffickers. See images here.


The volume of refugees traveling across the Mediterranean from the Middle East and Africa into Europe have dropped from a 2015 high of 1 million, with last year seeing 189,000 total. However, sea-borne migrations to Italy jumped 50% between 2021 and 2022. Of European countries, Italy receives the bulk of migrants, with roughly 12,000 recorded so far this year out of 17,000 total (see numbers). 


In recent months, the Italian government has attempted to stem the flow of refugees by limiting the operations of search-and-rescue ships run by aid groups. Italy regularly calls on the European Union for more assistance in processing refugees. 

In partnership with Chartr

Data Like You've Never Seen


If you like 1440, it's about time you check out Chartr. Chartr is the free visual newsletter packed with charts, facts, and data snacks, delivering you data-driven insights on business, tech, entertainment, and society.

Tackle topics like: "How Disney makes, and spends, its money," "The rapid rise of TikTok," "Why 'space junk' is a growing problem," and much, much more. It’s data like you’ve never seen before—which you have to see to fully appreciate. Chartr explores the numbers behind a story—the deeper context that you can't get from just reading—and then communicates them visually. Join 300,000+ visual learners and data-driven professionals with Chartr.

Oh, and it’s free (and always will be). Sign up today.

Please support our sponsors!

In The Know

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> "Everything Everywhere All at Once" wins top honor of Best Motion Picture Cast at Screen Actors Guild Awards (More) | ... and takes the top prize at the Producers Guild Awards (More)

> Gordon Pinsent, iconic Canadian actor known for voicing Babar the Elephant, dies at 92 (More) | Walter Mirisch, former Film Academy president, dies at 101 (More)

> The 2023 MLS regular season kicks off; see preview for all 29 teams (More) | Pro boxer Tommy Fury edges YouTube star Jake Paul in split decision in Saudi Arabia (More)


Science & Technology

> US health regulators authorize first at-home test kit for influenza A and B, and COVID-19; results detect and differentiate between both viruses (More)

> Genetic analysis of wheat reveals certain gene groups responsible for longer root systems; findings point way to engineering more drought-resistant, higher yield varieties of the staple crop (More)

> Astronomers detect new type of rapidly growing supermassive black hole in the center of a galaxy created just 5% into the age of the current universe; system appears to be creating new stars at 1,000 times the rate of the Milky Way (More)


Business & Markets

In partnership with LiquidPiston

> US stock markets close lower Friday (S&P 500 -1.0%, Dow -1.0%, Nasdaq -1.7%); indexes post worst week of 2023 (More)

> Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sees operating income fall 8% in Q4 over previous year, cash on hand up to $129B (More)

> University of Michigan consumer sentiment index up to 13-month high in February (More)

From our partners: Transforming the way we power our world. Combustion engines (think: cars, planes, generators) haven't advanced significantly in over 150 years. LiquidPiston is changing that. Their X-EngineTM delivers up to 10X the power-to-weight ratio of legacy engines while achieving up to 30% more fuel efficiency. This earned LiquidPiston $30M in contracts with the US Department of Defense to improve everything from drones to generators. Learn how LiquidPiston is taking on a $400B market and check out the investment offering today.

Disclosure: This is a paid advertisement for LiquidPiston’s Regulation A+ Offering. Please read the offering circular at invest.liquidpiston.com


Politics & World Affairs

> Leaders from Israel, Palestinian Authority commit to de-escalate tensions Sunday alongside reps from the US, Egypt, and Jordan; highest-level international meeting in decade (More) | Palestinian gunman kills two Israelis in West Bank Sunday; Israelis set multiple buildings, cars on fire in response (More

> Turkey's justice minister announces arrests of over 600 suspects in relation to Feb. 6 earthquake disaster; death toll rises past 50,000 (More) | New Zealand archaeologist and two team members rescued after being kidnapped by armed group in Papua New Guinea (More)

> Republican National Committee to require presidential candidate debate participants to sign a pledge of loyalty to party's eventual nominee; first GOP debate to be held in August in Wisconsin (More) | Norfolk Southern train car derails in Lexington, North Carolina, Saturday; no injuries reported (More

In partnership with Chartr

Data Storytelling (and Illustrating)


Our friends at Chartr write one of our favorite newsletters. Actually, they don’t just write it—they make stunning charts for it too.

This visual newsletter is packed with facts on business, tech, entertainment, and society, in a 3-5 minute read. Over 300,000 professionals receive these charts to help them fully understand our world. Sign up in 10 seconds and take your office small talk to the next level. It’s free, and always will be. Subscribe now.

Please support our sponsors!


Why marriage is on the decline in the US


Ranking the best luxury hotels in the US, Europe, and the Caribbean


A century of women's fashion. (via Twitter)


Mapping the cost of Starbucks across the world.


Pistachio is having a moment


Rivalry game ends on a half-court heave. (via YouTube)


A chunk of two-century old shipwreck found in New York


Twin baby elephants take first bath


Clickbait: This state is formalizing its official aroma


Historybook: Author John Steinbeck born (1902); Actress Elizabeth Taylor born (1932); Nobel Prize-winning physiologist Ivan Pavlov dies (1936); 22nd Amendment is ratified, limiting US presidents to only being elected to two terms (1951); Mister Rogers dies (2003).

"Look for the helpers."

- Fred "Mister" Rogers (quoting his mother)

Why 1440? The printing press was invented around the year 1440, spreading knowledge to the masses and changing the course of history. More facts: In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. We’re here to make each one count.


Send us your feedback at [email protected] and help us stay unbiased as humanly possible. We’re ready to listen.


Interested in reaching smart readers like you? To become a 1440 partner, apply here.


Join a community of over 3.6 million intellectually curious individuals.

100% free. Unsubscribe anytime.

Don't miss out on the daily email read by over 3.6 million intellectually curious readers.