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Good morning. It's Saturday, Dec. 30, and in this weekend edition, we're covering works from 1928 to soon enter the public domain, Russia's largest aerial attack against Ukraine, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.


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One Big Headline

Public Domain Day

Every year on Jan. 1, a new batch of copyrighted works and intellectual property enters the public domain. On Monday, the first versions of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, featured in the 1928 short “Steamboat Willie” (watch here), will become available for public use.

The "Steamboat" version of the iconic cartoon couple is nonspeaking and more rat-like. Their entrance into the public domain comes after Disney lobbied to extend US copyright laws several times during Mickey 1.0's life. Under current US law, copyright protection on original works is generally set to expire 70 years after a creator's death or 95 years after publication. See what you can and can't do with "Steamboat" Mickey and Minnie here

In 2024, all copyrighted works from 1928, as well as sound recordings from 1923 (under a 2018 federal law), will be available for public reuse. Among those works include AA Milne's "House at Pooh Corner," which introduced the springy-tailed Tigger to the Hundred Acre Wood, and JM Barrie's "Peter Pan; or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up." See all works set to enter the public domain in 2024 here.

Quick Hits

Russia launches 122 missiles, 36 drones against Ukraine.

At least 30 people were killed and 144 injured across Ukraine Friday from the attack. The Ukrainian military said it had intercepted most of the missiles and drones. The attack is considered the largest aerial barrage since the war between Russia and Ukraine began in February 2022. See war updates here

South Africa accuses Israel of genocide in case brought to top UN court.
South Africa, which has been a critic of Israel's military campaign in Gaza and has compared it to South Africa's past apartheid regime, seeks an order from the UN's International Court of Justice to halt Israel's attacks and declare Israel in violation of the Genocide Convention (see 101). Israel maintains it is abiding by international law. Separately, tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza moved south to Rafah, while a delegation met in Egypt Friday for cease-fire talks. See war updates here.


World population projected to top 8 billion on New Year's Day.

The world's population grew by more than 75 million people this year, up 0.95% from New Year's Day 2023, according to the US Census Bureau. On Jan. 1, the population is expected to reach a little over 8 billion, from 7.9 billion a year ago. Next year, 4.3 births and two deaths are expected worldwide every second. Track the Census Bureau's US and world population clocks here.


California keeps Trump on state's 2024 primary ballot.

Former President Donald Trump will appear on the Republican ballot in California's Super Tuesday (March 5) presidential primary after Secretary of State Shirley Weber (D) published a list of official candidates, including Trump, late Thursday. The news came hours after Maine's secretary of state nixed Trump due to a 14th Amendment clause (see previous write-up). See a state-by-state tracker of challenges here.

At least eight people injured after huge wave batters California coast (w/video).
The massive 20-foot-plus wave crashed onto Ventura, California, flooding surrounding areas and sweeping up a truck. California has been experiencing huge waves this week as a result of low-pressure storm systems in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Coastal flooding and waves in the range of 15 to 20 feet are expected along California's coast through this evening. 

Google settles $5B consumer privacy lawsuit over "Incognito" mode.

The class-action lawsuit was brought by users who accused the tech giant of tracking their data while using "Incognito" mode, a function of Google's Chrome browser that is supposed to allow users to browse privately. The lawsuit originally sought at least $5B; the settlement agreement terms have not been disclosed. 

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A compilation of 66 good news stories from around the world in 2023. (More)

Mom fulfills her 10-year-old son's dreams of becoming a published author. (More, w/video) 


Two strangers met on a Greyhound bus on Christmas Day in 1962; they have now been married for 60 years. (More


University of Iowa student creates Love for Red nonprofit to donate menstrual supplies to schools and organizations in need. (More)

Phoenix elementary school students start Secret Santa Club, raise $8K to give away to strangers in need. (More)

New Orleans landlord gives tenants one month of free rent for the holidays. (More)

From our partners: It's time to stop overpaying for audiobooks. There's a better way to listen more and spend less in the new year. Chirp offers thousands of audiobook deals for $5 or less (no subscription fees or commitments). Preview today's trending deals: "A Darker Shade of Magic" by VE Schwab for $2.99, "When the Wind Blows" by James Patterson for $4.99, and "Stiff" by Mary Roach for $2.99. Sign up to find your next favorite audiobook. To sweeten the deal, use code 1440 for 50% off your first purchase.


Today, we're sharing a story from reader Bob S. in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"In 1980, I was accompanying my boss on a VIP flight from Brussels to Washington on one of the Air Force’s plushed-out large jets—the ones with 'United States of America' emblazoned along the fuselage. My wife and I, along with two small sons, were at a round table with four captain's chairs across from an Army straphanger and his wife at a similar table. He saw that my wife was exhausted from having handled most of our move while I had concentrated on my boss and that my boss was buzzing me every few minutes with questions about our reception in Washington. An hour or so into the flight, the general motioned for my boys to come to his table. For the next five hours, he and his wife entertained my sons so that my wife could get some rest and I could take care of my boss. Those two life-savers were Colin and Alma Powell."


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


> L'Oréal heiress becomes first woman to amass a $100B fortune
The world's tallest wooden wind turbine at 492 feet tall installed in Sweden.
> Ghanian media personality sings for nearly 127 hours, aims to break world record.



> Who decided Jan. 1 is the New Year
Test your knowledge of 2023's big moments.

> New iguana species with orange tongue found in China.

Stunning shots of California in infrared
What causes bruising

> When a visit to the dentist's office goes wrong



> My Unsung Hero: a collection of stories about life-changing acts of kindness


> Recapping 2023, in seven minutes.

New York's 80-year-olds share their biggest life mistakes.

> The science behind laughter.
> Meet the brothers who invented Formula 1 for marbles


Long Read 

The 40-ounce cup that turned Stanley into a $750M per year business.

> How the Russian government punishes wartime dissent. (w/interactive) 
> Inside a deadly Texas farm fire that led to the deaths of nearly 18,000 cows.


Best of the Week: What does “Auld Lang Syne” actually mean?


Historybook: Author Rudyard Kipling born (1865); The Soviet Union formed (1922); Tiger Woods born (1975); LeBron James born (1984); Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein executed (2006); Oscar-winning actress Luise Rainer dies (2014)

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind."

- Rudyard Kipling

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.


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