7.15.2023

 

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Good morning. It's Saturday, July 15, and in this weekend edition, we're covering charges tied to a string of murders, India's second lunar mission attempt, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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

One Big Headline
 

Gilgo Beach Murders Suspect

A man has been charged in connection with a series of unsolved murders on Long Island's South Shore after more than a decade. Rex Heuermann, a 59-year-old licensed architect, was charged with first-degree murder yesterday in the deaths of three women—Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Costello—whose bodies were found in burlap in 2010 along an oceanfront highway in Gilgo Beach. Heuermann is also a prime suspect in the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes but has not been charged with her murder. 

 

At least 11 sets of human remains—nine women, one man, and a toddler—were found in the area of Gilgo Beach between 2010 to 2011 (see timeline and map). The case arose when 23-year-old Shannan Gilbert from New Jersey was reported missing in Long Island in May 2010 while on an escort job in Oak Beach, a community about 3 miles from Gilgo Beach. While searching for Gilbert, police found the remains of others, including four young women who also were escorts. Gilbert's body was found in December 2011. Investigators for years questioned whether the murders were committed by one person or multiple suspects. 

 

The killings have been the subject of a 2020 Netflix film, "Lost Girls." Read more about the murders here, or listen to a podcast here

Quick Hits
 

Biden administration to forgive $39B in student loan debt. 

The federal government announced Friday it will automatically discharge the loans of 804,000 student borrowers who have been enrolled in income-driven repayment plans and have accumulated the equivalent of 20 or 25 years of qualifying monthly payments. 

 

India launches historic rover to explore moon's south pole.

The uncrewed Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, consisting of a lander and a rover, blasted off Friday afternoon local time. If successful, the rocket is estimated to land on the moon between Aug. 23-24 and would make India the first country to reach the moon's south pole. Overall, only three other countries have landed on the moon: the US, the former Soviet Union, and China.

 

US House approves annual defense bill with changes on social issues.  

The House, on a 219-210 vote, passed its version of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act. It authorizes $886B in spending for the Pentagon and a 5.2% pay raise for service members. It also reverses a policy of reimbursing members for travel to abortion services, among other amendments. The bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, where lawmakers are expected to take up their own version of the bill.  

 

Eli Lilly to buy obesity drugmaker Versanis Bio for $1.9B.

The acquisition is the pharmaceutical giant's latest push into the growing market for weight loss treatments, which is expected to be valued at up to $100B within the next 10 years. Privately held Versanis was founded in 2021. Its lead experimental weight loss drug is bimagrumab, which targets fat cells without reducing appetite. 

 

American Airlines, JetBlue to end partnership after antitrust ruling.

The airlines will stop selling tickets for each other's flights, known as codesharing, as well as reciprocal frequent-flyer benefits starting July 21. The news comes two months after a federal judge ruled the companies must dissolve their Northeast Alliance deal—which allowed them to share revenue and coordinate schedules to New York and Boston—because it limited competition and drove up prices.

 

Novak Djokovic to take on Carlos Alcaraz in Wimbledon men's final.

Djokovic, 36, seeks his 24th Grand Slam singles title, while Alcaraz, 20, seeks his second after winning the US Open in September. Djokovic, who is currently ranked second among world tennis players, has been undefeated at Wimbledon since 2018. Alcaraz is currently ranked No. 1. The match takes place Sunday (9 am ET, ESPN). 

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Humankind
 

A 10-year-old track star and amputee defies obstacles, breaks records. (More)

 

Formerly conjoined twins return home after successful six-hour surgery to separate them. (More

 

A 7-year-old who loves trucks is surprised with a 64-truck convoy for his birthday. (More)

 

... and neighbors raise $37K to help bullied Texas boy who knocked on their door, looking for friends. (More)

 

Young boy becomes emotional reading a heartfelt letter to his football coach. (More, w/video) 

 

Injured army veteran and his family are gifted a mortgage-free home. (More)

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Humankind(ness)
 

Today, we're sharing a story from reader Denali S. in New Zealand.

 

"After a canceled flight and very long, exhausting and frustrating travel day, I made it to my destination city after dark. It was so late, my accommodation’s office was closed so they couldn’t come pick me up like they were supposed to, so I started walking. A few minutes later the wind picked up and it started pouring rain! I hurried into the entry way of a hotel to see about finding a different ride when the hotel’s shuttle driver approached and, realizing I was only a 5 min drive away from my place (45 min walk though) he drove me there. I wasn’t staying at the hotel and he didn’t have to, but it felt like a weight was lifted by his kindness and a few minutes of conversation about Alaska."

 

What act(s) of kindness did you experience this week? Tell us here.

Etcetera
 

Bookkeeping

> Survey finds 34% of student loan borrowers spent money they thought was going to be forgiven under the debt relief program blocked by the US Supreme Court
> Rare first edition of "The Hobbit" sells for $13K on eBay after being found by a thrift store manager who was organizing stock

 

Browse 

Introducing the world's first salmon ATM

> Travel + Leisure readers' 25 favorite cities in the world

> Photos of ridiculous real estate listings

> Tropical bird spotted in Pennsylvania for the first time.

> Scared of flying? You can now dial a pilot

 

Listen 

> Are you a people pleaser? Plus, seven tips to break the habit


Watch 

> Tornado forms over Chicago's O'Hare airport.

> The two questions to ask to repair a relationship.

> Why Barcelona's beaches are disappearing

> Inside an abandoned Gilded Age mansion.

 

Long Read 

> How France's last sustainable fishermen bring the country's illustrious blue Breton lobster to restaurants and homes.

> How an unfortunate picnic led an engineer to invent the first pop-top tab for canned beverages.

 

Best of the Week: The 100 best books of all time

 

Historybook: Rosetta Stone is found in Egypt (1799); Businesswoman and journalist Arianna Huffington born (1950); Fashion designer Gianni Versace is murdered (1997); Twitter is launched (2006).

"I am not interested in the past, except as the road to the future."

- Gianni Versace

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