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Good morning. It's Tuesday, June 6, and we're covering a rapid escalation of fighting in Ukraine, the aftermath of a fatal building collapse, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.


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Need To Know

Ukraine Goes on Offense

A widely anticipated counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces to recapture territory after 15 months of fighting may be underway, with Russian officials reporting intense fighting at multiple points along the battlefront in eastern Ukraine. The efforts come weeks after a protracted battle led to Ukraine ceding the mostly demolished city of Bakhmut. 


Reports suggest Ukrainian forces have focused efforts near the partially occupied Zaporizhzhia region—potentially in an effort to cut off Russian access to a land bridge connected to the strategic Crimean Peninsula. See an updated map of the current state of the war here.


Separately, Russia's paramilitary Wagner group, which led the capture of Bakhmut but has increasingly criticized the Kremlin, reportedly detained a Russian commander for allegedly opening fire on its forces. Read more about the increasingly tense relationship here.


Overnight, a major dam and hydroelectric power plant near the city of Kherson were destroyed (w/video), with both sides trading blame. Hundreds of thousands of residents downstream were forced to evacuate. 


Feds Sue Binance

US regulators charged cryptocurrency exchange Binance and its owner Changpeng Zhao with 13 securities violations yesterday. The suit is the second to be brought against the exchange—the world's largest—in two months, with regulators looking to ban the company from operating in the US.


Founded in China in 2017 amid a Bitcoin surge, Binance—known for its lack of a headquarters—became the premier coin exchange in its first year, eventually controlling half of the global market (see founder's history). Regulators allege the company lied about the independence of its US arm in addition to diverting billions in customer funds to two affiliated trading firms (see charges). Regulators also claim the company created loopholes for high-value US investors to use Binance despite its not being a registered exchange.


The suit comes nearly eight months after Binance declined to acquire the now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange, whose founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, faces similar charges for his role in the company's collapse. 


Iowa Building Collapse

The bodies of three men who were reported missing following the partial collapse of a building in downtown Davenport, Iowa, have been found, according to local police.


The victims, identified as Branden Colvin Sr. (42), Ryan Hitchcock (51), and Daniel Prien (60), were found almost a week after the six-story structure partially collapsed May 28. The cause of the collapse is not immediately known; however, work was reportedly being done on the brick exterior of the building. Documents reveal engineers and officials had made numerous visits to the century-old structure, with the most recent report warning the wall was on the verge of collapsing four days before the incident. See a timeline here.


Separately, a resident injured in the collapse has filed a negligence lawsuit against the city of Davenport, the property owner, and select engineers and contractors, claiming they were aware of the deteriorating conditions and failed to warn and evacuate tenants. Police do not believe there are any additional missing people.

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In The Know

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> The 2023 James Beard Awards announced; Rob Rubba of Oyster Oyster in Washington, DC named Outstanding Chef and Philadelphia's Friday Saturday Sunday wins Outstanding Restaurant (More)

> Prince Harry failed to appear on first day of civil lawsuit trial against British tabloid; will be the first senior royal to testify in court in over 130 years (More) | Anna Shay, star of Netflix reality show "Bling Empire," dies at 62 (More)

> Vegas Golden Knights cruise to 7-2 victory over Florida Panthers to take Game 2 and 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final (More) | Two-time reigning champ Oklahoma to face off against Florida State in NCAA Women's College World Series finals for the second time in three seasons (More)

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Science & Technology

> Apple reveals long-awaited virtual and augmented reality headset, to debut at a price of $3,500 (More) | See products announced so far at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (More)

> James Webb Space Telescope detects the most distant complex organic molecules—those containing carbon atoms—observed to date; data suggest compounds were formed at just one-tenth the age of the current universe (More)

> Archaeological evidence suggests ancient human ancestor Homo naledi may have practiced rudimentary burial for its dead; if confirmed, behavior would predate the practice by Homo sapiens by roughly 100,000 years (More)


Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.2%, Dow -0.6%, Nasdaq -0.1%) following last week’s gains (More)

> Intel shares fall 5% as Apple announces a new Mac Pro computer will use homemade chips, replacing Intel (More)

> Crude oil prices up over 2% after Saudi Arabia announces it will cut production by 1 million barrels per day (More)


Politics & World Affairs

> Federal investigators confirm plane that entered Washington, DC, airspace Sunday before crashing in Virginia carried four people, no survivors reported; preliminary report on cause expected within 10 days (More) | See previous write-up (More)

> Oklahoma approves nation's first publicly funded religious charter school, setting up a likely legal challenge over the separation of church and state; the school, St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School, provides online courses (More)

> Former Vice President Mike Pence (R) files paperwork to join 2024 presidential race; former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) expected to announce candidacy today (More) | Scholar and activist Cornel West announces third party bid (More) | See list of declared candidates (More)



> Stopping the Pwock

The Hustle | Mark Dent. A lab near Pittsburgh is on a mission to quiet the noise level from pickleball, the surprisingly loud sport that's gaining popularity across America. (Read)


> The Scents of History

Current Archaeology | Staff. A look into a scent company that has created historically accurate scents—such as dinosaurs, mummies, vintage sweets, and more—for museums and home care centers. (Read)

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Gen. Dwight Eisenhower's speech prior to the D-Day invasion. (via YouTube)


Young Americans are reaching key milestones later in life.


The year's best astrophotography of the Milky Way.


Vegas casinos further shift the odds in their favor.


China begins drilling a hole 6 miles deep (for science).


What the world looked like during the last ice age.


Colombia's cocaine hippo population exceeds expectations.


Taylor Swift fans are experiencing post-concert amnesia


Clickbait: The future of flight may be fueled by animal fat.


Historybook: American founding father Patrick Henry dies (1799); Securities and Exchange Commission established (1934); D-Day: Allies begin Normandy invasions (1944); Bobby Kennedy dies (1968); Actress Anne Bancroft dies (2005).

"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation."

- Bobby Kennedy

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