1.31.2023

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Good morning. It's Tuesday, Jan. 31, and we're covering a bombing in Pakistan, the final rollout of an iconic jet, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Pakistan Mosque Bombing

At least 59 people were killed and more than 150 injured in a suicide bombing on a mosque inside a high-security police compound in the northwestern city of Peshawar, Pakistan. More than 300 people were praying at the mosque when the roof collapsed, and many of the victims were police officers.

 

A commander for the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter, while an official spokesperson has denied any involvement. The militant group, also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, ended a cease-fire with the government in November and has been blamed for a string of recent attacks on security forces and police in the region. Pakistan saw 376 terrorist attacks in 2022, a 28% increase from 2021. The TTP is a close ally of the Afghan Taliban, who seized power in neighboring Afghanistan in August 2021. See an overview of the group here.

 

The attack comes less than one year after 63 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack on a different mosque in Peshawar.

 

Colorado Water Cuts

A deadline for seven states to agree on how to reduce their use of Colorado River water hits today as the Interior Department looks to stem historic drops in the system's water volume. The department has warned a lack of agreement would force it to impose mandatory cuts, the first in the system's history.

 

A 23-year drought—the worst in 1,200 years—has pushed Hoover Dam's Lake Mead to historic lows. The basin supports roughly 40 million people across the lower basin's California, Arizona, and Nevada, and the upper basin's Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico (see map). States have long drawn more water than the river produces, partly stemming from early water managers' math errors. 

 

The federal government seeks an agreement to cut 2 million to 4 million acre-feet of water usage per year, where an acre-foot equals 1 acre covered by 12 inches of water. See photos of the depleted system here.

 

Queen of the Skies 

The last commercial Boeing 747, known as the Queen of the Skies and considered the world's first jumbo jet, will be delivered to cargo carrier Atlas Air today, in what is the final rollout of the iconic aircraft. 

 

The four-engine, hump-shaped 747 is the world’s first twin-aisle airplane. It was first manufactured in 1968 and entered service with now-defunct Pan American World Airways Jan. 22, 1970, enabling people to fly faster and longer distances than before (see background). More than 1,570 models of the aircraft have been created for both passengers and cargo. There are about 358 Boeing 747's still in existence, including two modified military versions of the 747 airliner, which serve the US president.

 

The newer, more fuel-efficient two-engine Boeing 777X is slated to replace the Boeing 747 in 2025 and will become Boeing's largest aircraft.

See photos of the assembly of the final Boeing 747 here.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Bobby Hull, Canadian hockey legend and 12-time NHL All-Star, dies at 84 (More) | Professional freestyle skier Kyle Smaine dies in an avalanche in Japan at 31 (More)

> NFL sets 2023 salary cap at record high $225M, up $16M from 2022 (More) | Saudi-backed LIV Golf to play three tournaments at former President Donald Trump-owned golf courses in 2023 (More)

> "Laverne & Shirley" actress Cindy Williams dies at 75 (More) | Lisa Loring, actress best known for portraying Wednesday on the 1960s "The Addams Family" TV show, dies of a stroke at 64 (More) | Barrett Strong, founding Motown artist and member of Songwriters Hall of Fame, dies at 81 (More)

 

Science & Technology

> Apple to release a foldable version of the iPad in 2024, analysts say (More) | Smartphone startup Nothing to enter the US market late this year; will offer second generation of its transparent smartphones (More)

> Electric pulses can "turn on" superconductivity in graphene—two-dimensional sheets of carbon atoms—when stacked in a specific orientation (More) | Superconductivity 101 (More)

> The SETI Institute, the not-for-profit organization focused on searching for intelligent extraterrestrial life, to deploy machine learning algorithm to help detect potential signals (More)

 

Business & Markets

In partnership with RadarUSA

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -1.3%, Dow -0.8%, Nasdaq -2.0%) to end rally, driven by declines in tech stocks (More)

> Ford shares fall 3% as it plans to reduce cost of electric Mustang Mach-E models by an average of approximately $4,500 (More)

> US Circuit Court rejects Johnson & Johnson’s bankruptcy strategy to resolve billions in talc products litigation (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, sees a second atmospheric river event after record rainfall flooded the city last week, triggering mudslides and killing at least four people (More) | What is an atmospheric river? (More) | At least 15 states, including Texas, are under winter weather watches due to arctic cold front (More)

> Two Memphis, Tennessee, police officers suspended and three emergency responders fired for Tyre Nichols' death; announcements come days after five other police officers were charged with murder (More) | See previous write-up (More)

> Virginia elementary school, where a six-year-old boy shot his teacher, reopens with added security as the school's principal is removed and the assistant principal resigns (More

 

In-Depth

> 'Conjunction Junction, What's Your Function?'

WashPo | Frederic J. Frommer. "Schoolhouse Rock" debuted 50 years ago this month. Take a look back at the three-minute musical episodes that taught children about math, grammar, science, and more. (Read)

 

> Wagner's Prisoner Army

Reuters | Staff. A quickly growing cemetery in southern Russia reveals details about convicts who are battling (and dying) as part of the mysterious Wagner Group mercenary army. (Read)

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Etcetera
 

Mars cracks and craters resemble teddy bear face.

 

How pets say, "I love you." 

 

Google's new AI turns text into music.

 

Introducing a contact lens to treat dry eyes.

 

Rare painting bought for $600 sells for $3M

 

Marine researcher finds massive eel on Texas beach

 

Calls to 911 about self-driving cars gone rogue rise in San Francisco

 

Name a cockroach after an ex, and a zoo will feed it to an animal.

 

Clickbait: Man spends $2M per year to achieve body of an 18-year-old.

 

Historybook: Guy Fawkes is executed (1606); 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, passes in Congress (1865); Jackie Robinson born (1919); Actress Kerry Washington born (1977); Justin Timberlake born (1981).

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."

- Jackie Robinson

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