4.10.2024

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Wednesday, April 10, and we're covering the death of a renowned physicist who made a key discovery, a human rights ruling on climate inaction, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

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Need To Know
 

Shooter's Parents Sentenced

The parents of the convicted Oxford High School shooter were both sentenced yesterday to 10 to 15 years in state prison for their roles in failing to prevent their son from opening fire at his Michigan school in November 2021, killing four and wounding seven others. It is the first such conviction of parents of a child who committed a mass shooting in the US. 

 

Jennifer and James Crumbley were each found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter in separate trials earlier this year. Prosecutors had argued the pair were grossly negligent of the dangers their son posed prior to the shooting, claiming signs of his mental instability and violent tendencies were clear, including during meetings the two parents had with school officials the day of the incident (see timeline). The then-15-year-old shooter used a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun his father had bought him as a gift four days before.

 

The shooter pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to life in prison without parole in December. 

 

'God Particle' Discoverer Dies

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Peter Higgs has died at age 94 following a short illness, the University of Edinburgh announced yesterday. Higgs, who was an emeritus professor at Edinburgh, is known for discovering the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle known colloquially as the “God particle.”  

 

In 1964, Higgs theorized the existence of an energy field and an accompanying chargeless particle that gives other particles their mass and exists throughout the universe (see explanation). For decades, physicists relied on the particle's existence to help explain quantum phenomena but could not detect it, leading one scientist to call it the “Goddamn Particle” (shortened to "God particle"). 

 

In 2012, physicists used the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland to smash two beams of particles together at almost light speed, attempting to recreate conditions moments after the Big Bang (see how it works). The experiment—considered one of the most sophisticated in human history—detected the Higgs boson for the first time, validating Higgs’ theory.

 

Today, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN—which operates the LHC—continues to probe the foundations of particle theory, including a search for never-before-seen “ghost” particles.

 

Landmark Climate Ruling

The European Court of Human Rights ruled yesterday that countries have an obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to protect people from the effects of climate change, marking the first successful international court ruling on climate change. The decision sets a legal precedent for climate litigation within the Council of Europe's 46 member states, including the 27 EU nations (see the difference).

 

Senior Women for Climate Protection, whose members are primarily in their 70s, argued their age and gender made them more vulnerable to the impacts of extreme heat brought on by climate change and Switzerland's failure to adequately regulate emissions violated their human rights. The ECHR said Switzerland's emission reduction efforts were inadequate and identified significant regulatory gaps. The Swiss government will need to decide how to fulfill its climate change obligations.

 

The court rejected two similar cases brought by six Portuguese youths and a former French mayor, citing procedural issues and a lack of territorial jurisdiction, respectively. The decisions come as new data revealed March was the 10th consecutive month to become the warmest on record. 

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Struggling to Sleep? Try This.

 

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> First leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals kick off, with more matches today; see full schedule and results (More)

> NCAA men's basketball championship game brings in nearly 15 million viewers, a 4% increase from last year but behind the nearly 19 million who viewed Sunday's women's championship game (More)

> YouTube stars Dude Perfect, known for their trick shot videos, get $100M investment from Highmount Capital to expand outside traditional video content (More)

 

Science & Technology

In partnership with EnergyX

> Google Cloud announces new custom-built processor as part of effort to meet rising AI demand, says chip is 30% more efficient than comparable products from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft (More)

> New platform allows study of factors influencing dendritic translation, a key process involved in the formation of new memories (More) | How memories are created (More)

> Scientists discover bristle worm species with eyesight on par with mice, which may be able to detect ultraviolet light; complex vision comes despite the animals having rudimentary nervous systems (More)

From our partners: The next gold rush? The demand for lithium is projected to grow 20X by 2040, creating a massive opportunity for investors. Elon Musk described it as "like minting money." Enter EnergyX. Their tech can extract 300% more lithium, earning them investments from GM and POSCO. Now you can invest in EnergyX for a limited time. Don’t miss out: Become an EnergyX shareholder here.*

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 +0.1%, Dow -0.0%, Nasdaq +0.3%) ahead of today's March inflation data; economists predict consumer price index report to show growth of 0.3% month-over-month and 3.4% year-over-year (More

> Gold prices hit record, surpassing $2,300 per ounce (More) | Costco selling as much as $200M in gold bars per month, Wells Fargo estimates; Costco began selling gold bars in August, reporting $100M in sales in its first quarter (More)  

> Boeing reports Q1 passenger plane deliveries fell to 83—the lowest level since mid-2021—amid scrutiny following door plug blowout in January (More) | Federal Aviation Administration investigating whistleblower complaint over safety and quality concerns at Boeing (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Arizona's Supreme Court rules 1864 near-total abortion ban is enforceable, superseding 15-week abortion ban passed in 2022, effective in two weeks; signatures being gathered for potential ballot measure allowing abortions up to 24th week of pregnancy (More) | Read the opinion (More)

> US House members to deliver articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate next week; Democrats expected to vote to dismiss charges (More) | See previous write-up (More)

> The Environmental Protection Agency issues ruling requiring over 200 chemical plants to reduce toxic emissions, claims cancer cases near plants expected to fall by 60% (More) | Norfolk Southern agrees to pay $600M to settle class-action suit over 2023 train derailment in eastern Ohio that released toxic chemicals (More)

In partnership with Beam

Good Sleep: What Dreams Are Made Of

 

We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping … or trying to. But when you're stuck counting sheep instead of dreaming, the effects aren't pleasant: grogginess, moodiness, and lack of productivity.

 

Fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up refreshed with the favorite nightly routine of 1440. Just mix one scoop of Beam's Dream Powder with hot water or milk and sip before bed. Beam's top-selling Dream flavor, Brownie Batter, is already running low and they’re giving 1440 readers access before it sells out! Enjoy a guilt-free dessert and a solid night's rest. For 24 hours only, 1440 readers receive up to 40% off and access to the limited supply of Brownie Batter.  

Please support our sponsors!

Etcetera
 

What to know about the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

 

The states with the highest minimum wages.

 

How to reduce anger: write feelings down and shred them.

 

The Javan tiger, thought extinct, may have reappeared.

 

... and a six-legged gazelle was spotted in Israel.

 

Internet traffic dropped in states on the eclipse's path of totality.

 

... and NASA wants help with analyzing animals' eclipse behavior.

 

First-class stamps are rising (again) to 73 cents

 

Clickbait: A new, less intense form of Scrabble.

 

Historybook: “The Great Gatsby” published (1925); Labor rights activist Dolores Huerta born (1930); Football personality John Madden born (1936); Paul McCartney leaves The Beatles (1970); Good Friday Agreement is signed (1998).

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