4.4.2023

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Good morning. It's Tuesday, April 4, and we're covering the first criminal court appearance for a former president, the winning team of the men's college basketball tournament, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Trump Faces Charges

Former President Donald Trump is set to appear in criminal court in Manhattan this afternoon for an arraignment over charges related to alleged hush money payments in 2016 to adult film star Stephanie Gregory Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, and a potential second woman. The specific charges, currently under seal, are expected to be read aloud today in court, about a week after a grand jury indicted Trump. The former president is expected to plead not guilty. 

 

A judge will determine whether Trump would need to follow certain restrictions pending a trial or be released without restrictions. Observers say it is unlikely prosecutors will ask for bail. Trump's lawyers have requested the court to block media coverage of the arraignment; the decision is ultimately up to the judge. Trump has said he will return to Mar-a-Lago tonight, where he plans to give public remarks

 

The 76-year-old Trump, who is running for the presidency in 2024, becomes the first former president to face criminal charges. See our previous write-up on the case here

 

Huskies Hoist Trophy

No. 4 Connecticut defeated No. 5 San Diego State yesterday, 76-59, in the men's college basketball championship. It marks the program's first title under fifth-year head coach Dan Hurley and the program's fifth championship since 1999. The Huskies improved to a perfect 5-0 in title game appearances, and have tied Duke for the most championships since 1985. 

 

The victory caps a dominant tournament run for Connecticut, who won ever game by double digits, including a 23-point win over No. 8 Arkansas and a 28-point win over No. 3 Gonzaga. Forward Adama Sanogo, who notched 17 points and 10 rebounds, was named Most Outstanding Player. The win also marked the first time in the past six seasons a No. 1 seed did not win the championship. 

 

See highlights from the entire tournament here, along with way-too-early rankings for the 2023-24 season.

 

Moon Crew Revealed

NASA, with the Canadian Space Agency, announced a team of four astronauts who will embark on the Artemis II 10-day flight around the moon, currently scheduled for November 2024. The crew, comprising three Americans and one Canadian, will be led by commander Reid Wiseman, with Victor Glover serving as pilot and Christina Koch and Jeremy Hansen as mission specialists.

 

The mission will be the first to get humans near the moon in just over half a century. Its main goal is to test Orion's human-centric systems, such as life support, communications, and flight controls, and collect data for future Artemis missions, which could establish a long-term presence on the moon and potentially send astronauts to Mars. Read about the program here.

 

The news comes about four months after the successful completion of the uncrewed Artemis I mission, which launched the Space Launch System rocket and sent the Orion capsule into orbit around the moon. Artemis III is tentatively set to return humans to the moon's south pole in 2025.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Ultimate Fighting Championship and WWE to merge to form new sports entertainment company valued at $21.4B (More)

> YouTube to broadcast all six stages simultaneously at 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (April 14-16 and April 21-23) for first time (More)

> "Moana" live-action remake in the works at Disney Studios; Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson tapped to reprise role of Maui (More) | HBO in discussions to produce new "Game of Thrones" prequel (More)

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Science & Technology

> Engineers demonstrate four-legged robot capable of teaching itself to dribble a soccer ball on various terrains, including sand, snow, and mud (More, w/video)

> Physicists recreate famous double-slit experiment in time instead of space; rapidly switching mirror forces laser light to interfere with itself, causing a shift in color (More) | An overview of the original double-slit experiment, which showed light is both a particle and a wave (More)

> Astronomers confirm the first- and second-closest black holes to Earth; the closest black hole is located roughly 1,500 light-years away in the constellation Ophiuchus (More)

 

Business & Markets

> Oil prices up approximately 5% after OPEC+ unexpectedly announces production cuts Sunday (More)

> Life Storage and Extra Space Storage to combine in $12.7B merger of storage giants (More) | Federal Trade Commission orders biotech giant Illumina to divest its $7.1B stake of cancer test developer Grail (More)

> General Motors reports first quarter sales increase of 18% in the US, delivering over 600,000 vehicles (More) | San Francisco federal jury orders Tesla to pay former worker $3M after experiencing a racially hostile work environment (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Voters in Wisconsin and Chicago head to the polls today for two high-profile contests: a judicial race in Wisconsin that could flip the state Supreme Court and a mayoral election in Chicago (More) | Wisconsin's judicial race becomes most expensive in US history (More

> Finland officially becomes the 31st member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization today (More) | Finnish conservative leader Petteri Orpo unseats center-left Prime Minister Sanna Marin in tight race (More)

> Nashville police say mass shooter at The Covenant School fired 152 rounds and planned attack for months in advance, citing suspect's journals (More)Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signs bill allowing anyone who can legally own a gun to carry one without a permit; Florida becomes 26th state to have such a law (More) | Virginia teacher shot by 6-year-old files $40M lawsuit (More)

 

In-Depth

> Paris Bans Cars

Slate | Henry Grabar. A look at the cycling boom in Paris, a city that was once redesigned for cars but now boasts more than 150 miles of bike lanes and has become a surprising haven for bicyclists and walkers. (Read)

 

> The WNBA’s Talent Conundrum

NY Times | Remy Tumin and Kris Rhim. Fueled by star players like Iowa’s Caitlin Clark and LSU’s Angel Reese, the women’s NCAA tournament delivered record viewership. But with only 144 total spots in the WNBA and only 36 draft spots, some college stars will have to play elsewhere. (Read)

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Historybook: Ninth US President William Henry Harrison dies of pneumonia, shortest presidency ever at just 31 days (1841); American poet and activist Maya Angelou born (1928); NATO is created (1949); Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated (1968).

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