9.23.2023

 

In partnership with

Good morning. It's Saturday, Sept. 23, and in this weekend edition, we're covering criminal bribery charges against a US senator, the arrival of the autumnal equinox, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

PS—Today is National Public Lands Day; all national parks that typically charge an entrance fee, like Yellowstone and Yosemite, are offering free admission. Find a national park near you here.  

 

You share, we listen. As always, send us feedback at [email protected].

One Big Headline
 

Cash Bribes, Gold Bars, and a Car

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and his wife were indicted yesterday on three counts of federal bribery charges related to alleged corruption. The couple is accused of taking bribes in the forms of at least $480K in cash, at least $100K worth of gold bars, and a luxury vehicle in exchange for sharing sensitive US government information, among other actions, to influence foreign affairs on behalf of Egypt. 

 

Menendez, 69, leads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but will need to step down from that role due to his felony charge. Three New Jersey businessmen tied to Menendez were also indicted. Read the indictment here.

 

The latest charges come nearly six years after an unrelated criminal indictment against Menendez ended with a deadlocked jury in 2017. In the earlier case, which began in 2015, Menendez had faced charges for allegedly helping a Florida eye doctor deal with allegations of Medicare fraud in exchange for nearly $1M worth of gifts and campaign contributions. 

 

Menendez appears to be the first sitting US senator to have been indicted twice on unrelated criminal charges. He currently plans to seek a fourth term in the senate next year. 

Quick Hits
 

United Auto Workers expand strike at GM and Stellantis.

An additional 5,600 autoworkers will be walking out of 38 General Motors and Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) parts distribution centers in 20 states, the union said Friday. They join 13,000 of nearly 150,000 workers who began striking GM, Stellantis, and Ford a week ago. Ford was spared from the new round of strikes because it had met some of the union's demands in contract negotiations this week, the UAW president said. 

 

Ukraine missile hits Russia's Black Sea Fleet headquarters.

Russia's Black Sea Fleet is headquartered in the occupied city of Sevastopol in Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014. At least one Ukrainian cruise missile destroyed the top floors of the headquarters and caused a fire Friday. Ukraine has been targeting Sevastopol in recent weeks as it seeks to disrupt Russia's military operations. No casualties were reported. 

 

NASA's samples from asteroid Bennu to land on Earth tomorrow.

The space agency's OSIRIS-REx craft is expected to drop off a capsule, roughly the size of a mini fridge, containing rocks and dust from the asteroid Bennu after a seven-year mission. The sample is expected to land in the Utah desert. See our previous write-up here. Watch the livestream of the delivery here (10 am ET). 

 

Brainless box jellyfish demonstrate ability to learn by association.

New research published Friday shows scientists, for the first time, have been able to train the tiny box jellyfish species known as Tripedalia cystophora to alter their behavior as a result of past experiences. The findings show a centralized brain—which jellyfish lack—is not needed for associative learning. 

 

Amazon to run commercials on Prime Video in 2024.

Beginning early next year, Amazon Prime Video will include advertising during shows and movies, which subscribers can avoid by paying an extra $2.99 per month, the company announced Friday. The ads will first appear for viewers in the US, UK, Germany, and Canada, and later in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia.

 

Autumnal equinox begins in the Northern Hemisphere today.

During the equinox—derived from the Latin words for equal and night—the Earth's axis is tilted in a way in which both the Southern and Northern Hemispheres experience roughly the same amount of daylight and darkness. The fall season will last until Dec. 21, which marks the winter solstice. See a visual guide to the equinox here.

In partnership with Dollar Flight Club

Exclusive Offer: Save Up to $50k on Travel

 

Do you travel at least once a year? Together with 1440, we’ve got your back today. For the next 12 hours get 93% off Dollar Flight Club’s lifetime membership for a one-time payment of $129 (normally $1,690). Plus, try it risk-free with a 3-day money-back guarantee. Save up to $2K on every flight, every year, for life. If you travel only once per year over the next five years, that’s already $10K in savings on travel. Try it risk-free!

With lifetime access, never miss out on your dream deal ever again so you can:

 

> Spend summer nights in Paris from $287 roundtrip.

> Catch waves in Hawaii from $127 roundtrip.

> Indulge in pasta and wine in Rome from $271 roundtrip.

> +much more…

 

Join a club of over a million smart travelers who've turned their globetrotting dreams into reality. But don't wait! This 93% discount, tailored for 1440 readers, is gone in 12 hours. Not convinced? Try it risk-free with a 3-day money-back guarantee before the price goes back up at midnight.

Please support our sponsors!

Humankind
 

Two moms create adaptive clothing for children with disabilities. (More

 

UK woman buys a book online for her husband's birthday, finds a 40-year-old message she wrote to her dad inside. (More)

 

Parkland school shooting survivor creates an app called Joy to help people heal. (More)

 

A 12-year-old boy saves a man from drowning after using CPR he learned from "Stranger Things." (More)

 

A 10-year-old girl jumps into a marathon in Salt Lake City, Utah, to help her struggling mom finish the race. (More, w/video)

From our sponsorsThe accessible and affordable mental healthcare you deserve. Research shows online professional therapy can be just as effective as traditional in-person therapy, and at a fraction of the cost. BetterHelp has enabled over 4 million people to connect with a licensed therapist via video, phone, or live chat. Fill out BetterHelp's questionnaire and get matched with a licensed therapist that fits your needs in as little as 48 hours. 1440 subscribers can take a special 25% off through our links!

Humankind(ness)
 

Today, we're sharing a story from reader Jen N. in Hartford, Connecticut

 

"My 17-year-old daughter and I were half a mile into a 2-mile hike in a Costa Rican volcano park when she suddenly fell ill. She was ghostly pale, weak, and could barely stand. We tried walking out of the jungle 15-30 feet at a time. But she laid down on the dirt path and nearly passed out. Another American family and their Costa Rican tour guide came upon us and offered to help."

 

"The guide carried her on his back part of the way, but it was tough due to heat and the rough dirt path. The father of the family carried her on his back nearly half a mile, all the way back to the ranger station while the tour guide called ahead for help. It took amazing physical and mental discipline to carry her out, and we’re so grateful. We wish we had some way to thank them. We both hope to help someone like this in return someday."

 

What act(s) of kindness did you experience this week? Tell us here.

Etcetera
 

Bookkeeping

Recent Gallup poll finds 47% of Americans identify as religious, 33% identify as spiritual, 2% identify as both, and 18% identify as neither. See the data here.

> More than 700 animal skulls were seized in France's largest airport in Paris from May through December last year

 

Browse 

See a tarantula from Thailand with electric blue hair

> The best cities in America for coffee lovers.

> Ranking cities with the highest percentage of people living alone.

> Lahaina banyan tree sprouts new leaves after burning in Maui fires.

> Browse through over 250,000 recordings of live music.

 

Listen 

> Why it might be getting harder to understand dialogue in movies and TV shows without subtitles


Watch 

The world's largest toothpaste collection—with wasabi and whiskey flavors.

> Tour a futuristic home in Malibu, California, with removable rooms

> Iconic boy band NSYNC answers questions while eating spicy wings.

 

Long Read 

> The perplexing and possibly never-ending treasure hunt for the golden owl.

> Cape Grim: The picturesque island with the cleanest air on Earth

Where did the QWERTY keyboard come from?

 

Most Read of the Week: Taste 15 of the best sandwiches across the US

 

Historybook: American civil rights activist Victoria Woodhull born (1838); Nintendo is founded as a playing card company (1889); Musician Ray Charles born (1930); Neurologist Sigmund Freud dies (1939); Hurricane Jeanne kills more than 3,000 people in Haiti (2004).

"You better live every day like your last because one day you're going to be right."

- Ray Charles

Why 1440? The printing press was invented around the year 1440, spreading knowledge to the masses and changing the course of history. More facts: In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. We’re here to make each one count.

 

Send us your feedback at [email protected] and help us stay unbiased as humanly possible. We’re ready to listen.

 

Interested in reaching smart readers like you? To become a 1440 partner, apply here.

1440 Media 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212 Chicago, IL 60654

Copyright © 2023, 1440 Media, All rights reserved.

 

Join a community of over 3.6 million intellectually curious individuals.

100% free. Unsubscribe anytime.

Don't miss out on the daily email read by over 3.6 million intellectually curious readers.