It was almost as scary below. For passengers of a Hawaii-bound United Airlines Boeing 777, especially those with a view of its exploding engine, it was a flight to remember. Engine parts rained over suburban Denver shortly after Saturday’s takeoff, but miraculously no one was injured and the plane returned to the airport. On the ground, striking images showed large pieces of debris scattered between homes. United Airlines removed 24 planes from service, while the Federal Aviation Administration ordered an immediate investigation. Boeing has now told airlines worldwide not to fly their 777s equipped with those engines.
2. Half a Million Americans Dead With End a Long Way Off
The United States has surpassed 500,000 deaths from COVID-19, far exceeding any other nation — and accounting for more than a fifth of the nearly 2.5 million dead worldwide despite America having less than 5 percent of the global population. Brazil, the second-hardest hit country, has less than half of that toll, with under 250,000, while Mexico ranks third with nearly 180,000. With some calling it this generation’s D-Day, White House pandemic expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said Americans could be wearing masks well into 2022.
3. Iran Limits Nuclear Inspections, Opens Door for Talks
This is one snappy stalemate. Iran will allow United Nations nuclear site inspections for three months, but will ultimately decrease access and prohibit “snap” inspections. The Iranian government made that choice after the U.S. failed to lift sanctions imposed under former President Donald Trump — which President Joe Biden says won’t happen until Iran holds up its end of the 2015 nuclear deal. However, some experts suggested that this could open the door for fresh negotiations, while also creating pressure to revive talks before inspection rights run dry.
4. Strike Paralyzes Myanmar After Protester Deaths
They have no choice. That’s how some protesters see things today as they join Myanmar’s general strike that’s brought the country to a halt. Tens of thousands continue to demonstrate in the streets despite the military junta threatening further violence after two protesters were shot dead this weekend. Under the regime that overthrew the elected government Feb. 1, one demonstrator said, “No one is safe whether you take to the streets or sit at home.” Also objecting was U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who vowed “firm action” if the regime’s crackdown remains violent.
European and Israeli authorities are trying to determine the source of a major oil spill, believed to be from a storm-tossed ship a week ago, now fouling Israel’s Mediterranean shoreline. A member of the Oath Keepers claimed in court that she wasn’t in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 organizing an insurrection, as charged, but providing private security, coordinated with the U.S. Secret Service, for former President Trump’s rally that morning. And global stocks declined while commodities rose as investors anticipated improved economic conditions.
Jim Cramer, the larger-than-life host of Mad Money on CNBC, sits down with Carlos for a wide-ranging conversation that touches on sports, stock picks, his advice for Black entrepreneurs and his mental health struggles surrounding the temper he inherited from his father. What crazy connection does he have with Kobe Bryant? What insights does he have into the Robinhood boom? This and more on this very special episode. See it now.
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Now that’s cold. When the freakish deep freeze hit Texas last week, knocking out power for millions, some felt lucky their lights stayed on. Now they’re paying: Thanks to Texas’ unique competitive system, customers can buy power at wholesale prices — but in a disaster, those costs skyrocket. Now customers of companies like Griddy face bills nearing $17,000. PDB reader Mary L. wrote, “I haven’t received my electric bill yet but your article terrified me.” How Texans fare will depend on whether they use a wholesale provider, and whether state officials provide relief for the exorbitant charges.
Seeing is believing. Or is it? When it comes to dating, some hopeless romantics would prefer a meeting of the minds before sharing photos. That’s why there’s an app called Taffy that makes you exchange 10 messages before you see the person you’ve been chatting with, OZY reports. Similar apps have failed in the past, but the new breed is building niche support, especially in the LGBTQ community. They’ll need to woo users away from image-oriented services, but one called Jigsaw, which slowly reveals puzzle pieces of potential matches’ images, has already won the hearts of investors.
Call it tofu love. But the French government says it’s cruel to deprive schoolkids of meat, as Lyon Mayor Gregory Doucet has done. He’s instituted an all-vegetarian menu in Lyon’s schools to allow faster service during social distancing, but President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist government says it smacks of Doucet’s left-wing Green Party politics. “Let’s stop putting ideology on our children’s plates!” tweeted Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie. Critics also argue that farmers and butchers in the meat-loving culinary center are insulted by the move, while Doucet noted that his right-wing predecessor did the exact same thing last year.
For more than a century, art historians have wondered about the tiny message reading “Could only have been painted by a madman” on one of four versions of Edvard Munch’s iconic image of existential angst. Some suspected a vandal, but careful study led National Museum of Norway experts to conclude what many had suspected: Munch himself did it. That’s partly because the writing matches his, and also because he was troubled by a medical student’s assessment of his work. So it turns out the painting that’s become modern meme fodder had already been one all along.
He’s the king Down Under. The Serbian tennis superstar has been to nine Australian Open finals and won them all. Yesterday he beat 25-year-old Russian Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 to claim his 18th men’s Grand Slam title — which will also ensure Djokovic breaks Roger Federer’s record of 310 weeks as world No. 1. While he’s certainly stoked about edging toward Federer’s and Rafael Nadal’s shared record of 20 Grand Slams, Djokovic said yesterday that he hopes to overtake the women too, starting with Serena Williams’ 23 titles and then eyeing Margaret Court’s record 24.