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Baltimore bridge collapse threatens jobs; Sam Bankman-Fried gets 25-year sentence

The Dali container vessel after striking the Francis Scott Key Bridge that collapsed into the Patapsco River in Baltimore, on Tuesday. The Port of Baltimore, which has the highest volume of auto imports in the U.S., is now temporarily closed.
Bloomberg
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Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Dali container vessel after striking the Francis Scott Key Bridge that collapsed into the Patapsco River in Baltimore, on Tuesday. The Port of Baltimore, which has the highest volume of auto imports in the U.S., is now temporarily closed.

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Today's top stories

Millions of pounds of steel from the wreckage of Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge must be removed from the Patapsco River. Until it's cleared, the Port of Baltimore can't reopen, and thousands of jobs could be at risk. Officials warn that the cleanup effort won't be easy, inexpensive or quick.

  • The Transportation Department announced $60 million in emergency funding yesterday for the cleanup and rebuilding effort. But NPR's Joel Rose says that's "just a tiny fraction" of the money needed, and Congress will have to sign off on more aid "sooner or later." Rose reports that elected officials in Maryland are framing the issue as one of national impact on the economy because they know getting aid money will be a tough sell for Republicans, especially during an election year.  


President Biden held a star-studded, $25 million fundraiser in New York City last night alongside former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. The sold-out, 5,000+ person event was meant to reinforce Biden's campaign finances and strengthen voter outreach.

Biden may be behind Trump in some of the polls, but he's way ahead when it comes to fundraising, NPR's Franco Ordoñez reports. He says the star power at the party, which included Mindy Kaling, Lizzo and Stephen Colbert, was an opportunity for Biden to counter concerns about his age and popularity. Frustrations with Biden played out last night too, as the event was interrupted several times by demonstrators protesting against the war in Gaza.

  • Disgraced "crypto king" Sam Bankman-Fried has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for defrauding customers and investors of his now-bankrupt firm, FTX. He was convicted last year of seven counts of fraud. Prosecutors had asked for 40 to 50 years in prison, while his lawyers had asked for far less. When delivering his sentence, Judge Lewis Kaplan chastised Bankman-Fried for not showing remorse and said he "will be in a position to do something very bad in the future, and it's not a trivial risk."

Today's listen

A concert on Feb. 12, 2024, starring Lisa Fishman at the Weisman Delray Community Center, aimed to help people who have dementia or other causes of memory loss enjoy Yiddish music.
Verónica Zaragovia / WLRN
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WLRN
A concert on Feb. 12, 2024, starring Lisa Fishman at the Weisman Delray Community Center, aimed to help people who have dementia or other causes of memory loss enjoy Yiddish music.

A song can literally get stuck in your brain. It can become part of an episodic memory — a memory about a specific moment in your life. Researchers use music in therapy for Alzheimer's and dementia patients because specific songs and tunes may help activate memories.

Listen to how a senior center in Florida is using music therapy to help its residents and read about how Yiddish music rejuvenated Candy Cohn's mother, Lillian. (via WLRN)

Weekend picks

Jess Hong in the Netflix series <em>3 Body Body Problem</em>.
/ Netflix
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Netflix
Jess Hong in the Netflix series 3 Body Body Problem.

Check out what NPR is watching, reading and listening to this weekend:

Movies: Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire sees new characters team up with nostalgic ones in New York to battle a demon looking to freeze the world and rule over it.

TV: Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B Weiss have adapted another epic book series. You'll see some familiar faces in Netflix's 3 Body Problem, which tells the story of how a killing during the Chinese Cultural Revolution sparked a chain of events that puts humanity at risk.

Books: Your 20s can be the most exciting decade of your life. It can also be brutal. Alexandra Tanner's debut novel, Worry, paints an honest and disturbing picture of this period of one's life.

Music: After a long week, take a second to relax and discover some new music with NPR Music's Hazel Cills and Stephen Thompson's songs to chill out to.

Games: Women's History Month is almost over. Keep the celebration going by picking up Princess Peach Showtime!. The game finally gives one of the industry's most iconic characters the big title she's long deserved.

Quiz: Don't worry if you don't get a perfect score on this week's quiz. There's a bonus question at the end that could boost your score.

3 things to know before you go

For the first time, we're seeing the Sagittarius A* black hole in polarized light. The Event Horizon Telescope collaboration says the image offers a new look at "the magnetic field around the shadow of the black hole" at the center of the Milky Way.
/ EHT Collaboration
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EHT Collaboration
For the first time, we're seeing the Sagittarius A* black hole in polarized light. The Event Horizon Telescope collaboration says the image offers a new look at "the magnetic field around the shadow of the black hole" at the center of the Milky Way.

  1. Scientists this week shared a mesmerizing new image of the black hole at the center of our universe. The polarized light image shows the black hole's magnetic structure as a spiral. 
  2. How often have you been mocked (or mocked someone else) over the green text bubbles that appear when an iPhone user texts a non-iPhone user? The Justice Department has cited so-called "green bubble shaming" in its lawsuit against Apple as an example of how the company abuses its power. 
  3. Today marks one year since Russian security forces detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich on spying allegations.

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi. Mansee Khurana contributed.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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