1.3.2023

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Tuesday, Jan. 3, and we're covering a chilling scene on the football field, the start of the 118th Congress, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Breaking news: The NFL postponed last night's Monday Night Football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills after Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest after making a tackle. Hamlin received CPR on the field and was taken to a local hospital, where he remains in critical condition. This is a developing story, read more here.

A New Congress

Members of the 118th Congress will be sworn in on Capitol Hill today, kicking off a new government with a Republican-controlled House and Democratic-controlled Senate. Of the 535 seats, a record 149 will be filled by women and 82 will be held by freshman members, including 25-year-old Rep. Maxwell Frost (D, FL-10), the first member from Gen Z. See more about the freshman class here.

 

The Senate and House will begin the new session at noon today, a date and time set by the 20th Amendment of the US Constitution. Republicans flipped the House in last year's election, securing a nine-seat majority, while Democrats secured 51 seats in the Senate. The agenda for the new Congress is expected to include the country's position on Russia and China, immigration policy, and Big Tech. 

 

Separately, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-23) remains just shy of the 218 votes needed to become the next speaker of the House, despite offering a number of concessions to a group of at least five members opposing him. Voting will begin today and continue until McCarthy or another candidate secures a majority of votes (see overview).

 

Ukrainian Missile Strikes

At least 63 Russian troops were killed by Ukrainian strikes on a former vocational school being used as barracks and ammunition storage in the Russian-occupied eastern Donetsk region over the weekend, according to Russian officials. Ukrainian forces allegedly fired long-range missiles from a US-supplied HIMARS launch system (see 101). Ukrainian officials estimated the death toll closer to 400, one of the deadliest days for the Russian military since the war began.  

 

The news came as Russia continued to bombard Ukrainian cities yesterday, with the Ukrainian military claiming it shot down at least 40 Russian drones and a cruise missile. Russia has launched a series of recent missile and drone attacks on the country, targeting civilian infrastructure. See updates on the war here.

 

Separately, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pledged just over $19B in aid to support Ukraine with necessities through the winter.

 

Sarcophagus Returns to Egypt

The US returned a nearly 3,000-year-old sarcophagus to Egypt yesterday after US attorneys concluded it had been looted from the country in 2008. The artifact had been on display in Houston's Museum of Natural Science since 2013. 

 

Measuring almost 10 feet in length, the wooden coffin is known for its brightly painted green face. Despite blurred inscriptions, historians argue the coffin likely belonged to a Late Dynastic priest named Ankhemmaat (see timeline). Revelations last summer alleged a network of leaders in the art world were involved in illicit antiquities trading, leading to the indictment of a former director of the Louvre Museum in Paris. In September, Manhattan district attorneys announced the sarcophagus was stolen from an Egyptian necropolis by that same network and sold to a private German dealer.

 

The handover comes as part of a larger effort by Cairo's antiquities council to return its looted artifacts. During 2021 alone, over 5,000 ancient objects were returned from across the globe.

Editor's note: In yesterday's science section, we incorrectly described an experiment studying aging in roundworms. In fact, the experiment used a technique known as optogenetics to boost the functioning of normal mitochondria. Thanks to our readers for flagging the mistake!

In partnership with Beam

Your Best Sleep Yet

 

Want to make 2023 the year of your best-ever sleep? You can find it in hot cocoa.

 

But not just any hot cocoa. Beam's limited edition Sea Salt Caramel Dream Powder is a delicious, smooth nighttime beverage chock-full of ingredients designed to make you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. With five natural sleep-promoting ingredients (CBD, reishi, magnesium, L-theanine, and melatonin), zero added sugar, and only 15 calories, it's got what you need to sip a half-hour before bed, then drift off into your deepest night's sleep. But don't just take our word for it: A recent clinical study revealed Dream helped 93% of users wake up feeling more refreshed, and 93% reported that Dream helped them get a more restful night's sleep.

 

See what all the fuss is about today, and say goodbye to the effects of poor quality sleep like low energy and lack of focus. Indulge in delicious caramelly goodness guilt-free this year, and use code BEAM1440 for 50% off the first month of your subscription.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> No. 11 Penn State takes down No. 8 Utah 35-21 to win 109th Rose Bowl (More) | Tulane scores 16 points in final four minutes to upset USC in the Cotton Bowl (More)

> "Avengers" actor Jeremy Renner in "critical but stable" condition following snowplow accident (More) | Fred White, Earth, Wind & Fire drummer and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, dies at 67 (More)

> Tennis legend Martina Navratilova announces diagnosis of throat and breast cancer (More) | Art McNally, first on-field official inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame, dies at 97 (More)

 

Science & Technology

> Astronomers observe one of the most energetic outflows from a supermassive black hole ever recorded (More) | Read more about the phenomenon (More)

> Scientists program cells to record cellular events by assembling a readable protein chain; technique may lead to better understanding of the mechanics of drug resistance, gene expression, and more (More)

> Thirty-year study links habitually drinking enough fluids with lower risk of chronic conditions, increased life span; cause thought to be related to long-term elevated blood sodium levels (More)

 

Business & Markets

In partnership with SmartAsset

> With US stock markets closed for the New Year’s Day holiday, certain European markets trade up to kick off the year (More)

> Tesla delivers a record 405,000 cars worldwide in Q4, but misses Wall Street estimates of 418,000; deliveries for 2022 grew 40% over 2021 (More)

> Southwest Airlines operates normal schedule after days of mass cancellations last week (More)

From our partners: Life should be a balance of adventure and relaxation—not balancing finances. Working with a financial advisor can be a crucial part of any healthy financial plan. But choosing the wrong one could potentially wreak havoc on your retirement. Avoid these 7 common mistakes when hiring one so you can get back to the balance that matters most.

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Maine man charged with attempted murder and assault for attacking three police officers with a machete in Times Square on New Year's Eve; authorities are investigating the suspect's links to Islamic extremism (More

> Israeli missiles strike Syria's international airport in the capital of Damascus, leaving at least two soldiers dead and putting the airport out of service; Israel previously struck the airport in June (More

> Croatia adopts the euro and becomes the 27th country to join the European Union's border-free Schengen zone, which allows people to travel freely without border controls (More) | What is the Schengen zone? (More)

 

In-Depth

> Time Is Way Weirder Than You Think

Ezra Klein Show | Ezra Klein. (Podcast) An interview with UCLA neuroscientist Dean Buonomano on our perception of time, and how little scientists understand its true nature. (Website | Apple | Google)

 

> The Case of the Nebraska Man

The Atavist Magazine | Madeline Bodin. A look into a fossilized tooth that was found over a century ago in Nebraska, and the subsequent fight that pitted evolution against creationism. (Read)

In partnership with Beam

No More Poor Sleep

 

We all know the feeling after a bad night's sleep: achy, groggy, moody, and can't focus on anything.

 

This year, it's time to say goodbye to that feeling, with a new nighttime ritual. Take one scoop of Beam's delicious Dream Powder, blend it into a mug of hot water or milk, and sip 30-45 minutes before bed. You'll be out like a light, and you'll wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated (thanks to sleep-promoting ingredients like CBD, reishi, magnesium, L-theanine, and melatonin). Check out their limited edition Dream Powder flavor, Sea Salt Caramel, and use code BEAM1440 for 50% off the first month of your subscription.

Please support our sponsors!

Etcetera
 

A bright green comet may soon be visible in the night sky.

 

See photos from California's 134th Rose Parade.

 

Visualizing the longest-lasting cars, in miles.

 

Mapping 125 square miles of the sea floor

 

Explore a Canadian ghost town stuck in the 1980s (w/video). 

 

Imagining classic movies as vintage books

 

The nun and the monk who fell in love.

 

A baby bear or a fluffy puppy? (via Reddit) 

 

Clickbait: New York approves human composting.

 

Historybook: "The Lord of the Rings" author JRR Tolkien born (1892); The US cuts diplomatic ties with Cuba (1961); Apple is incorporated (1977); Author Joy Adamson murdered (1980); Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega surrenders to the US (1990).

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