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Good morning. It's Thursday, June 1, and we're covering a botched launch in North Korea, a title series tipoff in Denver, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.


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Need To Know

North Korea Spy Satellite

North Korea said it failed to launch its first military surveillance satellite into space yesterday after the carrier rocket splashed into waters west of South Korea due to engine and fuel issues. South Korea and Japan temporarily told residents to take shelter over concerns about the launch and potential debris falling into their territories. 


Putting a spy satellite into orbit requires a long-range ballistic missile, which the United Nations Security Council currently bans North Korea from using. A spy satellite would bolster the East Asian country's nuclear weapons program (see timeline), enabling it to gather intelligence on targets and antimissile systems. North Korea is planning another launch at an unidentified date; the country previously announced a launch window between May 31 and June 11. See a breakdown of satellites in orbit by country here


Separately, US officials reported encountering suspected spies from China posing as tourists in recent years to gain access to military bases in Alaska. 


NBA Finals Tip Off

The Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat face off in Game 1 of the NBA Finals tonight (8:30 pm ET, ABC), chasing what would be a historic title for either franchise.


The Nuggets make their first-ever finals appearance after having largely breezed through the postseason, including a 4-0 sweep of LeBron James and the Lakers in the conference finals. Led by two-time MVP Nikola Jokić, who averaged a triple-double during the playoffs, Denver posted a 34-7 record at home this year and will have homecourt advantage during the series.  


Miami arrives riding an unprecedented playoff run and looking to become the first eight seed to capture an NBA title. Led by six-time All-Star Jimmy Butler, the Heat entered the playoffs via a play-in game before beating both the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks and the second-seeded Boston Celtics. 


Denver won both regular season matchups between the two, 124-119 and 112-108. Read about Denver's "altitude advantage" here.


Jam Master Jay

Federal prosecutors charged a third man, 49-year-old Jay Bryant, with the 2002 murder of hip-hop pioneer Jason Mizell, also known as Jam Master Jay. Mizell, who as a DJ made up one-third of Run-DMC—regarded as one of the most influential groups in hip-hop history—was shot and killed at the age of 37 in a recording studio in Queens, New York. 


Officials say Bryant, currently in custody on unrelated drug charges, was spotted with two other men, now-59-year-old Ronald Washington and now-39-year-old Karl Jordan Jr., entering the studio building the night of the shooting. Bryant's DNA was also allegedly found at the scene. Washington and Jordan Jr. were indicted in 2020; officials suggested a drug dispute as the motive of the murder. Washington is also a suspect in the 1995 killing of an associate of deceased rapper Tupac Shakur.


Run-DMC is credited with transitioning hip-hop from its disco and funk origins to an aggressive style with sharp lyrics and distinct beats, while popularizing an underground fashion and cultural aesthetic with a mainstream audience. Their self-titled debut was the first hip-hop album to achieve gold status. 

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In The Know

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> "That '70s Show" star Danny Masterson convicted of two counts of forcible rape, faces 30 years to life in prison (More) | Los Angeles district attorney declines to bring sexual assault charges against actor Armie Hammer (More)

> John Beasley, actor best known for roles in "Everwood" and "Rudy," dies at 79 (More) | Kim Cattrall to reprise role of Samantha Jones in season two finale of "And Just Like That…" (More)

> The 2023 Women's College World Series kicks off today from Oklahoma City; see previews for all eight teams in the field (More)


Science & Technology

> Wrinkles in the human brain are a strong driver of brain wave activity; study is the first to demonstrate brain geometry plays a significant role in neural functioning (More)

> Researchers demonstrate the use of a bioengineered protein to separate rare earth elements, a key challenge in recycling components found in advanced electronics (More) | Why recycling REEs is so challenging (More)

> Scientists report first-ever X-ray imaging of a single atom; technique allows researchers to identify properties of a material atom-by-atom (More)


Business & Markets

In partnership with LiquidPiston

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.6%, Dow -0.4%, Nasdaq -0.6%); US job openings of 9.6 million drop to lowest level since March 2021 per the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report (More)

> Appeals court approves deal to protect Sackler family from litigation for role in opioid epidemic in exchange for $6B to fight the epidemic, ruling clears way for Purdue Pharma bankruptcy (More)

> Electric vehicle maker Lucid to raise $3B in equity offering, majority to come from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (More)

From our partners: Supercharge your portfolio. LiquidPiston is reinventing the $400B internal combustion engine market with their breakthrough XTS-210 engine. Their supercharged, liquid-cooled engine delivers up to 5x greater power density and runs on green fuels like hydrogen. With $30M in government contracts and 10k+ investors, LiquidPiston is racing to the top of investors’ 2023 watchlist. Invest in LiquidPiston here.


Politics & World Affairs

> House passes bill to raise the federal government's $31.5T debt limit by a 314-117 vote; bill heads to the Senate for debate (More) | See details of the bill (More)

> Former Vice President Mike Pence (R) reportedly preparing to announce 2024 presidential bid next week (More)Rep. Chris Stewart (R, UT-2) retires from Congress due to wife's health issues (More) | US Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz to retire June 30, following end of pandemic-era border policy known as Title 42 (More)

> Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) signs legislation protecting abortion access for out-of-state individuals and in-state providers (More) | Oklahoma Supreme Court strikes down two laws requiring a medical emergency to receive an abortion; procedure remains largely restricted in the state (More)



> Tales of the Tongue

Science | Elizabeth Pennisi. The tongue, first evolving 350 million years ago, has played a significant role across the animal kingdom, having enabled terrestrial vertebrates to thrive by allowing them to ingest food and transition from sea to land. (Read)


> The Newest College Admissions Ploy

ProPublica | Daniel Golden, Kunal Purohit. A growing industry is helping high schoolers publish research for their college applications, but the credibility of these papers raises concerns about pay-to-play advantages for affluent families. (Read)

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Air New Zealand asks passengers to step on the scale.


Authorities solve fluorescent green water mystery in Venice


The National Zoo welcomes a new baby gorilla.


How to ease a hangover.


See photos of the world's only all-white albino panda.


The insanity of the annual Cooper Hill Cheese Roll. (via YouTube)


Manuscripts provide insight into the life of medieval minstrels.


Georgia urges residents to wear clothes in driver's license photos.


Clickbait: South African firm offers professional cuddle services.


Historybook: Marilyn Monroe born (1926); Morgan Freeman born (1937); Helen Keller dies (1968); CNN debuts as world’s first 24-hours news network (1980); General Motors Corp. files for bankruptcy, fourth-largest US bankruptcy in history at the time (2009).

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."

- Helen Keller

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