5.9.2023

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Tuesday, May 9, and we're covering charges in the Brownsville, Texas, bus stop crash, this year's Pulitzer winners, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Brownsville Crash Charges

Police yesterday identified and charged the driver of an SUV who killed eight people and injured at least 10 others after crashing into a bus stop near a migrant processing facility outside of Brownsville, Texas, over the weekend. The driver, 34-year-old George Alvarez, was charged with eight counts of manslaughter and 10 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Authorities say the suspect has a criminal history, and they are still investigating whether the crash was an accident, intentional, or caused by intoxication. 

 

Separately, new details emerged yesterday about the gunman who killed eight people over the weekend after opening fire at a mall in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. The gunman, who was killed by police, was reportedly discharged from the US Army after three months in 2008 due to mental health issues. See the victims of the deadly attack here.

 

Read our previous write-ups on both the SUV crash and the mass shooting here

 

Eurovision Kicks Off

The Eurovision Song Contest semifinals begin today from Liverpool, United Kingdom, (Peacock, 3 pm ET) in its 67th edition. The competition is the world’s most-watched annual music event and features 37 performers chosen by each competing country, all of which are European except Australia and Israel. Roughly 161 million viewers across 34 countries tuned into the 2022 competition. 

 

Two semifinals will be held—one today, another Thursday—to determine the final lineup of 26 competitors for Saturday's finale. Contestants from Spain, the UK, Italy, Germany, and France are automatically advanced. Both industry experts and viewers decide the winners of the contest, known for its over-the-top costumes; for the first time ever, fans from nonparticipating countries can vote in the final. See an infographic explainer of the contest here.

 

Traditionally, the previous year's winner—Ukraine in 2022—hosts the next contest, but due to the ongoing conflict there, organizers chose the United Kingdom—2022's runner-up—to host. See all 37 songs here.

 

Pulitzer Prize Winners

The 2023 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced yesterday, with the Gold Medal for Public Service awarded to The Associated Press for its coverage of the war in Ukraine.

 

The Los Angeles Times (Breaking News, paywall) was awarded for revealing a secretly recorded conversation among city officials that included racist comments, and the Wall Street Journal (Investigative Reporting) for revealing financial conflicts of interest among officials at 50 federal agencies. The Local Reporting award went to Mississippi Today for examining a former governor’s misuse of state welfare funds and to AL.com for exposing how an Alabama police force preyed on residents to inflate revenue.

 

The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was awarded to “Demon Copperhead” by Barbara Kingsolver and “Trust” by Hernan Diaz, while Nonfiction went to "His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice" by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa.

 

The Pulitzer Prize is one of the highest distinctions in the US for journalism, literature, and music. Awardees take home $15K and a certificate, while the Public Service winner receives a gold medal. See the full list of winners here.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokić won't be suspended after pushing Phoenix Suns owner during Suns' Game 4 win over Jokić's Denver Nuggets (More) | See latest playoff bracket (More) | NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs also ongoing; see latest bracket (More)

> Disney expands lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) after DeSantis signed legislation last week voiding Disney's development agreements in Orlando (More)

> Amazon, HBO, and Disney among major studios suspending first look deals amid ongoing writers strike (More) | What are first look deals? (More) | See latest news from Writers Guild of America strike (More)

From our partners: This credit card is a reward-seeker's dream. Offering 2% cash rewards on purchases and a $200 welcome bonus. The Ascent's independent team of experts is calling it one of the best all-around cards. Learn more.

 

Science & Technology

> James Webb Space Telescope returns most-detailed image to date of the star Fomalhaut, revealing a three-ring structure and a dust cloud potentially formed by planetary collisions (More)

> Scientists discover immune system T cells have a self-activating mechanism that "switches on" cancer-fighting abilities; research may lead to new anticancer treatments (More)

> Researchers develop high-resolution atlas of the human retina, with new technique enabling the imaging of 50 different types of proteins simultaneously (More)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 +0.1%, Dow -0.2%, Nasdaq +0.2%) ahead of Wednesday’s consumer inflation reading (More)

> Palantir shares up over 20% in after-hours trading as data analytics software giant beats expectations and predicts 2023 profitability (More)

> Tyson shares fall 16% as food giant posts unexpected quarterly loss and reduces revenue outlook (More) | Lucid shares fall 8% in after-hours trading as electric vehicle maker misses expectations; company projects it will produce 10,000 cars in 2023 (More

 

Politics & World Affairs

> President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-20) to meet today ahead of projected June 1 debt limit deadline (More) | US Transportation Department proposes rules requiring airlines to compensate travelers for cancellations and delays (More)

> Ukrainian forces shoot down at least 35 drones after Russia launches dozens of airstrikes in Kyiv and across Ukraine ahead of Moscow's WWII Victory Day celebration today (More) | Ukraine to mark Europe Day today, commemorating the 1950 signing of the Schuman Declaration and the start of a united Europe (More) | See war updates (More)

> Death toll surpasses 400 people from last week's floods and landslides in the Democratic Republic of Congo (More) | At least 22 have died after a double-decker tourist boat capsized in India's southern state of Kerala (More)

 

In-Depth

> The Brain on Processed Foods

NY Times | Sally Wadyka. Highly processed foods make up approximately 60% of the average American diet and have long been associated with adverse health outcomes, but recent studies reveal their significant impact on our mental well-being too. (Read)

 

> Racing Against Death

The Walrus | Brett Popplewell. A feature on 81-year-old Dag Aabye, who has completed the grueling 125-kilometer Canadian "Death Race" seven times, a trek traversing three mountain summits and an elevation change of over 17,000 feet. (Read)

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Etcetera
 

How the brain changes when we grieve.

 

Visualizing the world's busiest airports, by passenger count.

 

New butterfly group named after "Lord of the Rings" villain

 

Incredible beatboxer wows on "Britain's Got Talent."

 

Burger King to debut limited red-and-black Spider-Man-themed buns.

 

Mark Zuckerberg wins gold, silver in jiu-jitsu match.

 

When a baker misreads a request for an Elmo cake

 

Yum! Beer made from recycled shower water.

 

Clickbait: A rude (and bizarre) awakening at a hotel

 

Historybook: Billy Joel born (1949); Impeachment proceedings begin against President Richard Nixon (1974); Rosario Dawson born (1979); Singer and civil rights activist Lena Horne dies (2010); Rock legend Little Richard dies (2020). 

"It's so nice to get flowers while you can still smell the fragrance."

- Lena Horne

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