12.12.2022

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Monday, Dec. 12, and we're covering a surprise extradition, incoming winter storms, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Lockerbie Bombmaker in US Custody

Libyan intelligence agent Abu Agila Masud, the suspected bombmaker in the 1988 explosion of Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, has been extradited to the US from Libya to appear in District Court. The terrorist act—the deadliest ever on British soil—killed 270 people, including all passengers and crew as well as 11 residents on the ground.

 

On the evening of Dec. 21, 1988, the Boeing 747 plane en route from London to New York exploded into pieces as it traveled at 31,000 feet above sea level. The wreckage spread out across roughly 800 square miles of Scotland as the plane nosedived and broke apart, with one portion destroying an entire block and leaving behind a crater 40 feet deep. Over 100 Americans were on board, including 35 students from Syracuse University's travel abroad program (see photos of crash).

 

The initial investigation led to the conviction of one Libyan agent in 2001. Masud reportedly confessed to a Libyan official in 2012 when he was in prison for a separate attack. See background on historical US-Libya tensions here.

 

Morocco Makes History

The Moroccan men's soccer team made history Saturday, upsetting heavyweight Portugal in the World Cup quarterfinals by a score of 1-0. The victory, which came on a goal by striker Youssef En-Nesyri in minute 42 (watch), makes Morocco both the first African and first Arab nation to advance to the World Cup semifinals. It also marks what is likely the final appearance in the tournament for Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, who left the field in an emotional state after time expired.

 

Morocco will take on France, who topped England 2-1, Wednesday (2 pm ET, Fox). On the other side of the bracket, underdog Croatia will take on star Lionel Messi and Argentina tomorrow (2 pm ET, Fox). Croatia upset cup favorite Brazil on penalty kicks in a thrilling ending Friday (watch).  

 

Separately, US sports journalist Grant Wahl collapsed and died while covering the Argentina-Netherlands match. A cause of death has not been confirmed, though the 49-year-old had complained of respiratory issues in recent days. 

 

Winter Storms Roll In

The year's first major nationwide winter storm is likely to begin crawling across the US today, according to weather forecasters. The system is expected to bring significant snowfall to the Great Plains and Upper Midwest, along with multiple inches of rain and possible tornadoes in the South throughout the week. 

 

The culprit is a phenomenon known as an atmospheric river (see 101)—narrow bands transporting water vapor from the Pacific tropics to the US. The precipitation arrived along the West Coast over the weekend, dropping up to two feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada, with another two feet possible as the storm fully moves through. The system is expected to meet cold air as it moves through the Great Plains and into the Great Lakes region, and is likely to reach the Northeast by week's end.

 

Outside mountain regions, parts of North and South Dakota are expected to see the most snow, with up to 2 feet projected around the city of Bismarck, North Dakota, by Wednesday.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> University of Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams wins 2022 Heisman Trophy as college football’s most outstanding player (More) | See full list of award winners (More)

> Dorothy Pitman Hughes, feminist and cofounder of Ms. Magazine, dies at 84 (More) | Paul Silas, former NBA head coach and All-Star, dies at 79 (More)

> Billionaire and pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai sentenced to five years in prison in Hong Kong over fraud charges (More)

 

Science & Technology

> NASA's Orion spacecraft splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, successfully completing the first phase of the Artemis moon mission (More) | Explore the full Artemis program, which aims to build permanent lunar bases (More)

> New immunotherapy technique shows effectiveness in treating bone marrow cancer in more than 70% of patients enrolled in phase II clinical trial (More)

> James Webb Space Telescope identifies most distant galaxy observed to date; objects lie roughly 13.4 billion light-years away, meaning the light detected is believed to have originated just 325 million years after the Big Bang (More)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower Friday (S&P 500 -0.7%, Dow -0.9%, Nasdaq -0.7%); Dow delivers worst week since September (More)

> E-cigarette maker Juul Labs agrees to pay $1.7B to settle over 5,000 lawsuits, many accusing the company of marketing to teenagers (More)

> CEO of cryptocurrency news site The Block resigns after revelations FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried secretly funded the company (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

In partnership with Tangle

> Twitter releases more internal documentation in so-called "Twitter Files" series; third batch includes deliberations around content moderation around the 2020 election (More) | Fourth release focuses on the banning of former President Donald Trump following Jan. 6 events (More) | What are the "Twitter Files?" (More)

> Greek politician Eva Kaili removed as one of 14 vice presidents of European Parliament amid Belgian corruption probe reportedly tying her, others to Qatari bribery (More) | How the European Parliament works (More)

> Outgoing Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) has installed hundreds of double-stacked shipping containers along Mexico border since August; effort to build makeshift border wall comes amid ongoing surge in border encounters (More) | Keystone pipeline leaks 14,000 barrels of oil in rural Kansas creek, leading to systemwide shutdown (More)

From our partners: Tired of one-sided political news? We have the solution. Tangle is an independent, non-partisan politics newsletter that summarizes the best arguments from the right, left, and center on one big debate every day. Sign up for free to get a 360-degree political read.

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Etcetera
 

This year's funniest wildlife photos.

 

The US share of religious "nones" stable at 20%.

 

The greatest engineering innovations of 2022

 

Every song with 1 billion streams on Spotify

 

Could your public photos be used in an AI deepfake?

 

Scientists confirm: No two snowflakes are alike.

 

A 10,000-pound guacamole breaks the record.

 

If you see him in Hampshire, give Thor the Walrus a wide berth.

 

Clickbait: These Canadian parents have had it with "Fortnite." 

 

Historybook: US Founding Father John Jay born (1745); First transatlantic radio signal sent by Guglielmo Marconi (1901); Frank Sinatra born (1915); Singer Dionne Warwick born (1940); Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore certifies George W. Bush as president (2000).

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