Terror Attack In Russia

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Good morning and happy Monday. Back in November, we wrote about a store in Alabama that sells lost luggage. A similar business in Texas specializes in the stuff TSA confiscated at the airport, so you can get a good deal on a pocketknife if you need one. Have a great day!

In Today’s Brief

  • Nashville: Student found dead

  • Princess Kate: Battling cancer

  • New Jersey: Murphy bows out

  • Trump: Merger windfall coming

  • Ohtani: MLB launches probe

... and more

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Top Tips

1) Theater terror

Over 100 people were killed in an attack on a concert venue in Moscow, sparking a firestorm days after Vladimir Putin's re-election and as Russia's war with Ukraine drags on.

  • What happened: At least 137 people died when gunmen stormed Crocus City Hall on Friday night, also attacking the venue with incendiary devices. ISIS claimed responsibility and released graphic video of the attack; U.S. intelligence determined the terrorist group was responsible. Russia has detained four suspects in the attack and claims at least two have admitted guilt.

  • The response: Sunday was a day of mourning in Russia. Putin claimed the main suspects were attempting to escape to Ukraine; the Ukrainians have denied Kremlin assertions their government was involved in the attack. The U.S. and UK have pushed back on any suggestion Ukraine played a role. Russia said it was never warned about an imminent attack despite a U.S. warning to citizens abroad. 

  • Big picture: The attack could be a major domestic issue for Putin, whose stranglehold on Russia has been defined by his claims of national security and strength. While he has stamped out almost all political opposition, a rise in terrorism unrelated to the war in Ukraine — while that conflict is in its third year -- could complicate his rule.

2) Dirty water

You may want to think twice before flipping on your faucet.

  • What happened: A new CDC report said over 200 intestine-related disease outbreaks were tied to public drinking water between 2015 and 2020. The findings come from data voluntarily shared by two dozen states. The outbreaks resulted in over 2K illnesses, over 500 hospitalizations and close to 100 deaths.

  • Top issue: Biofilms -- cells that allow pathogens to thrive and multiply -- are a major cause of illness. Legionella bacteria was particularly prevalent in the incidents covered by the report. The bug can cause Legionnaires' disease, a severe pneumonia that can be fatal. E. coli, fungi and norovirus were also implicated, among other pathogens.

  • Big picture: The U.S. has extremely safe drinking water and public water systems must meet EPA regulations. But germs can still get into the water. Experts recommend drinking straight tap water sparingly and say it should not be used for medical devices like CPAPs and Neti pots.

3) Party fouls

House Republicans are not having a grand old time as they enter the Easter recess.

  • On the rocks? Speaker of the House Mike Johnson's job may be in jeopardy. Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has filed a motion to vacate after Johnson cut a $1.2T budget deal with the White House and Senate Democrats. It is the same maneuver that led to Kevin McCarthy's ousting as Speaker earlier this year. But Greene has not formally introduced the measure and House Democrats could still protect Johnson's standing.

  • No cushion: Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher -- who had already announced he would not seek re-election -- will now resign next month. That means the GOP margin for error on party line votes is just one with a 217-213 majority. Gallagher's seat will not be filled until this fall's general election.

  • Big picture: Party infighting has once again become an issue as the GOP moves toward November and tries to get former President Donald Trump re-elected. And it also has to grapple with a narrowing majority and a struggling impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

Quick Tips

U.S. News

  • College student Riley Strain was found dead in a Nashville river. The 22-year-old had been missing for over two weeks after being kicked out of a bar; no foul play is suspected (More)

  • Former President Donald Trump has until today to secure a bond of almost $500M for his New York business fraud judgment. Attorney General Leticia James can begin seizing his assets once the deadline passes (More)

  • An escaped inmate and his accomplice, who fired on police, were captured in Idaho. Both men are being held on $2M bail after a 36-hour manhunt; a woman was also arrested for helping them (More)

World News

  • Princess Kate has cancer. She announced her diagnosis in a video released last Friday; it was discovered during her abdominal surgery and she is undergoing chemotherapy (More)

  • Close to 300 Nigerian schoolchildren were released unharmed after two weeks in captivity. Government officials did not offer details on the release; the kidnappers may have received ransom payments (More)

  • Vice President Kamala Harris said Israel may face "consequences" if it invades Rafah. The White House and other international leaders have advised the Israelis against a ground offensive in the Gaza city (More)

Campaign News

  • Tammy Murphy suspended her Senate bid in New Jersey. The wife of Gov. Phil Murphy was locked in a contentious Democratic primary race with Rep. Andy Kim; indicted Sen. Bob Menendez may run for re-election as an independent (More)

  • Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she is open to leaving the Republican Party. Murkowski has been critical of former President Trump and voted to convict in his second impeachment trial (More)

  • George Santos will seek re-election to the House as an independent. The expelled former lawmaker still faces federal fraud charges; he called the GOP “embarrassing” while announcing his plans (More)

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes closed mixed on Friday. The Dow Jones was down 300 points, but still had its best week of the year (Dow -0.77%, Nasdaq +0.16%, S&P 500 -0.14%).

  • Digital World Acquisition Corp. shareholders approved a merger with former President Trump's social media company. Trump could personally make up to $3B, but he would not be able to liquidate the assets immediately (More)

  • Stellantis will lay off about 400 salaried U.S. workers. The automaker and Chrysler parent company is reducing headcount in its engineering/technology and software divisions (More)

Entertainment & Sports

  • Major League Baseball is investigating Shohei Ohtani's role in a gambling scandal. The Los Angeles Dodgers star's interpreter was fired after allegedly stealing $4.5M to pay debts to an illegal bookie; Ohtani said he will speak to reporters today (More)

  • SAG-AFTRA ratified a new three-year labor deal for voice actors who work on animated television shows. The contract contains restrictions on the use of artificial intelligence (More)

  • The second leg of the North Korea-Japan men's World Cup qualifier was canceled after North Korea refused to host. It was supposed to be the first international sporting event in Pyongyang since the coronavirus pandemic (More)

Quick Hitters

  • Go Retro: Remember the pet rock craze in the 1970s? The kooky fad is making a comeback in South Korea.

  • Bon Voyage: A Delta pilot retired in style. He flew over 100 family members and friends to Hawaii for his final flight.

  • Next Frontier: There are big plans for the future of driverless cars. It just remains to be seen if they pan out.

  • Chow Down: Salmon is nutritious, easy and quick to make. Here are some recipes to try.

  • Game Hack: If you have a big Scrabble game coming up, here is a strategy that may deliver victory.

  • OPTIMIZE ME: Researchers “found convincing evidence that higher intake of ultra-processed foods was associated with 50% increased risk of cardiovascular disease-related death, a 48% to 53% higher risk of anxiety and common mental disorders, and a 12% greater risk of type 2 diabetes”

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Max has released a trailer for The Penguin, a new series starring Colin Farrell as the infamous Batman villain.

Looking Ahead …

The clock is ticking on disgraced former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. He will be sentenced by a federal judge on Thursday following his fraud conviction last year. The government is seeking 40-50 years; SBF is asking for 5-7.

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