8.19.2023

 

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Good morning. It's Saturday, Aug. 19, and in this weekend edition, we're covering a verdict in the murders of British newborns, photos from India's lunar mission, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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

One Big Headline
 

'I Am Evil. I Did This' 

A British nurse was found guilty yesterday of murdering seven newborn babies and attempting to murder six others in the neonatal unit of a hospital in northwestern England between 2015 and 2016. The verdict comes after a 10-month trial and makes the 33-year-old Lucy Letby Britain's most prolific serial killer of children in recent history. 

 

Letby's actions came to light in 2016 after doctors at the Countess of Chester Hospital became concerned about the rising number of neonatal deaths. Unable to find medical causes, doctors called in police to investigate in 2017, who eventually found Letby had been involved in the care of the affected babies. Letby was arrested and charged in 2020 after being arrested and released in 2018 and 2019. See how the police caught Letby here.

 

At trial, prosecutors accused Letby of injecting the babies—one as young as a day old—with air and insulin and overfeeding them milk, among other forms of harm. Prosecutors also found a note in Letby's home that said, "I am evil. I did this." Letby has denied the accusations. She will be sentenced Monday. 

Quick Hits
 

Trump to skip first Republican primary debate next week.

Former President Donald Trump is reportedly choosing to skip Wednesday's debate (9 pm ET, Fox News) in Milwaukee, hosted by the Republican National Committee, to instead sit for an online interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. The details of the platform and timing of the interview have not been released.

 

First-ever tropical storm watch issued for Southern California.

Hurricane Hilary, which reached Category 4 status in the Pacific Friday, is moving on a path toward the west coast of the Baja California peninsula, with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph, as of this writing. Hilary is expected to weaken to a Category 3 by today and diminish to a tropical storm by tomorrow. Heavy rainfall is expected for the Southwest. See previous write-up here

 

Wildfires force 20,000 to evacuate Yellowknife, Canada.

More than 200 fires have been raging in Canada's Northwest Territories this week, prompting evacuations in a number of communities, including the capital city of Yellowknife. Canada has seen a record number of wildfires this year, with more than 5,700 fires having burned nearly 14 million hectares of land. See data here.

 

Maui emergency chief quits amid criticism over wildfire response.

The head of the Maui Emergency Management Agency, Herman Andaya, submitted his resignation a day after defending the agency's decision to not activate Maui's alert system during last week's fatal wildfires. Andaya said the agency feared the alert system—created to respond to tsunamis—might have caused people to move inland and inadvertently run into flames. 

 

India's lunar lander sends close-up photos of the moon.

India's space agency released the new images taken from its Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft as it approached the moon's south pole. The spacecraft, which launched last month, is expected to attempt a landing on the moon's south surface Aug. 23. Russia launched its own lunar mission last week and is expected to attempt a landing two days before India. 

 

WeWork plans for 1-for-40 reverse stock split to retain NYSE listing.

WeWork is moving forward with its planned reverse stock split, in which every 40 shares held by an investor will become a single share. The split, effective Sept. 1, will bring WeWork's share price above the $1 threshold for the company to remain listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares fell to 12 cents—the company's lowest intraday level on record—following the announcement and closed at 14 cents per share Friday.

 

American referees selected for Women's World Cup final.

Referee Tori Penso and assistant referees Brooke Mayo, Kathryn Nesbitt, and Armando Villarreal have been chosen to officiate Sunday's World Cup final between England and Spain (6 am ET, Fox). Their selection marks the first time US soccer referees lead the officiating crew in a senior FIFA World Cup final. US referees have officiated 28 of the 64 matches at the Women's World Cup this year. 

In partnership with Levels

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Humankind
 

Canadian TikTok star spreads kindness by cleaning homes for free for people experiencing health issues. (More)

 

Pilot vacationing in Maui volunteers to fly 330 people off the island during wildfires. (More)

 

Deputy officer responding to domestic dispute ends up buying groceries for hungry family in need. (More

 

Oregon mom sets world record for donated breast milk to help parents. (More)

 

Mexico City resident turns apartment into a clinic for nursing ailing and baby hummingbirds back to health. (More, w/video) 

 

Texas woman celebrates her 114th birthday with five generations of her family. (More)

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Humankind(ness)
 

Today, we're sharing a story from reader Elliot C. in Portland, Oregon

 

"During a recent grocery trip (my first since moving to Portland), I made the mistake of leaving my reusable bags at home. I was therefore forced to use paper bags instead .... a torrential downpour of rain began just as I walked home. Slowly but surely, my bags ripped until all of their contents eventually spilled out into the middle of the street. As I quickly picked up as much of my groceries as I could (while trying to avoid oncoming traffic), a man ran out with a plastic trash bag for me to put my groceries in while another woman stepped out of her car to cover me with an umbrella to keep me as dry as possible. These kind people prevented me from losing all of my groceries and made me fall in love with the city of Portland! I will truly never forget their kindness!"

 

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

Etcetera
 

Bookkeeping

> At least 30 million Americans estimated to have had ancestors on the Mayflower.
> Canned meat company donates 264,000 cans of product to Maui wildfire victims.

> Fashion designer Tom Ford pays $52M for Jackie Kennedy's childhood home in the Hamptons.

 

Browse 

> Ranking the dirtiest cities in the US—by number of complaints.

> The world's most impressive fall destinations.

> The best foods on and off college campuses around the US.

> Sixteen animals with obvious names.

 

Listen 

> How to become closer to the people you care about.


Watch 

> How the 9/11 Memorial reflecting pools are deep cleaned.

> Learn these eight visual coin tricks.

The ice cream cone monopoly you never knew existed.

> What happens if you destroy a black hole

 

Long Read 

> America's bee crisis and what it means for what ends up on our plates.

> Tips for talking to children

> The lifelong effects of "the favorite child."

 

Most Read of the Week: What is the best position to sleep in

 

Historybook: Fashion designer Coco Chanel born (1883); Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indianapolis 500, hosts first race (1909); Former President Bill Clinton born (1946); Comedian Groucho Marx dies (1977); Final US combat brigade leaves Iraq (2010).

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