4.24.2023

 

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Good morning. It's Monday, April 24, and we're covering a long-awaited trial in Pittsburgh, the remains of a WWII disaster, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Tree of Life Trial Begins

Jury selection begins today in the trial of the assailant in the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that left 11 dead and six wounded, the deadliest antisemitic attack in US history. Robert Bowers, 50, faces 63 federal charges including hate crimes resulting in death, among others. The trial is expected to last until July.

 

On the morning of October 27, 2018, the shooter opened fire with three pistols and a semi-automatic rifle at the Tree of Life synagogue, attacking members of three separate congregations meeting for Shabbat services. It took police over an hour to take the gunman into custody (see timeline), who was wounded but survived. Investigations revealed the attacker was a committed antisemite highly active on the social media site Gab, commonly used by users with extreme views. 

 

The trial has seen unusual delays as the defendant has sought a guilty-plea deal in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table. Read about the 11 victims here.

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Sudan Evacuations

US special forces evacuated the American embassy in Sudan yesterday, airlifting nearly 100 government personnel from the capital of Khartoum as intense fighting in the city reached its ninth day. The operation reportedly took around an hour, with no shots fired or injuries reported. 

 

Fighting began in the North African country April 15, when Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo led his Rapid Support Forces—a group with roots in the infamous Janjaweed militias—and attacked key government sites. Sudan's de facto leader, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, led the country's military into open clashes with opposition forces in a battle for control of Khartoum. More than 400 people have been killed and 3,700 injured in the fighting to date.  

 

A 2019 uprising in Sudan ousted longtime strongman Omar al-Bashir, setting the stage for a potential transition to democracy. Dagalo and al-Burhan joined forces to oust a transitional council in 2021, before eventually fighting against each other. See a history of conflict in Sudan here

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WWII Shipwreck Discovered

An underwater expedition announced the discovery of the Montevideo Maru yesterday, a Japanese warship sunk during World War II while carrying almost 1,000 Australian prisoners of war. Its sinking is considered the worst maritime disaster in the history of Australia.

 

In February 1942, the Japanese military defeated Australian forces in New Guinea in the Battle of Rabaul, one of the most significant Allied defeats in the Pacific theater. After the victory, the Montevideo Maru was chartered to carrying prisoners to the occupied Chinese island of Hainan. Travelling unaccompanied, the ship was pursued and torpedoed by the USS Sturgeon, unaware it carried Allied captives. 

 

The wreckage was located at a depth of more than 13,000 feet in the South China Sea by the Silentworld Foundation, a nonprofit focused on marine archaeology and history in the region. Officials said the site would not be disturbed as it is considered a war grave. 

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell steps down in wake of investigation into "inappropriate relationship" Shell had with an employee of the company (More)

> Philadelphia sweeps Brooklyn 4-0 to become first team through to NBA playoffs conference semifinals (More) | See latest playoff bracket (More) | NHL Stanley Cup playoffs also underway; see latest bracket (More)

> Barry Humphries, Tony-winning Australian actor best known for portraying alter ego Dame Edna Everage, dies at 89 (More)

 

Science & Technology

In partnership with Brilliant

> Environmental Protection Agency to propose rules limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants as early as this week, according to reports; coal- and gas-powered represent a quarter of US greenhouse gas emissions (More)

> Study shows cannabis causes persistent hunger in roundworms, similar to the effect seen in humans; researchers suggest the mechanism affected by the drug evolved more than 500 million years ago (More)

> New radar data reveals the presence of roughly 19,000 underwater volcanoes; results provide new insight into global marine ecosystems (More)

From our partners: Sharpen your math and computer science skills in minutes a day. Brilliant is the best way to level up fast on cutting-edge topics. They have thousands of bite-sized, interactive lessons that get you hands-on with everything from foundational math to AI, data analysis, and more. Join 10M+ people around the world and start your 30-day free trial today.

 

Business & Markets

> Bed Bath & Beyond files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, 400+ stores will continue to operate as company secured a $240M loan to fund operations (More)

> Google pauses construction of 80-acre San Jose, CA campus amid slowing economic environment (More)

> Bud Light’s VP of marketing to be replaced after calls for boycotts following transgender influencer partnership (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> President Joe Biden set to announce 2024 candidacy as early as tomorrow, according to reports (More) | See list of declared candidates here (More)

> Fugitive Sikh separatist Amritpal Singh arrested after a month on the run in India; leader seeks to establish independent state of Khalistan in Punjab province (More) | Police exhumed 47 bodies, including children, in Kenya; victims allegedly starved in Christian extremist cult led by detained leader Paul Nthenge (More)

> Chile to nationalize its lithium industry, the world's second-largest producer of the metal essential for electric vehicle batteries (More)

In partnership with Pendulum

A Healthy Metabolism Begins In The Gut

 

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Etcetera
 

Inside California's superbloom.

 

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Visualizing the highest mountains by continent

 

A day in the life of a theme park designer.

 

The sweet history of lemonade

 

Researchers train parrots to video chat.

 

Watch a waterspout land at a busy Miami beach.

 

Former NBA star Charles Barkley heads to cable news.

 

Clickbait: The farm powered by cow waste

 

Historybook: US Library of Congress founded (1800); Easter Rising begins (1916); Barbra Streisand born (1942); Hubble Space Telescope is launched (1990); Estée Lauder dies (2004).

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