March 1, 2021

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Winter storm, GameStop hearing, NASA’s Perseverance to land on Mars: 5 things to know Thursday

2 min read

Another winter storm targets the South, Midwest and Northeast

A brutal winter storm will resume its rampage across the United States over the next couple of days, with more than 100 million Americans in its path as it tracks from the southern Plains to the East Coast. From Minnesota to Texas, utility companies have implemented rolling blackouts to ease the burden on power grids straining to meet extreme demand for heat and electricity as record low temperatures were reported in city after city. More than 30 people have died because of the intense cold and a series of storms that moved from coast to coast since the weekend. And as the storm advances to the northeast through Friday, snow is forecast to fall along a 2,000-mile-long swath from northwestern and north-central Texas to northern Maine, AccuWeather said. 

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Here’s what to expect as Robinhood, Reddit CEOs testify before Congress

Some of the biggest players in last month’s GameStop trading frenzy will face a congressional hearing Thursday as the House Financial Services Committee looks into whether market manipulation was involved. The chief executives of Reddit, Robinhood, electronic-trading firm Citadel Securities and hedge fund Melvin Capital will attend. Also at the hearing will be the investor who spearheaded the GameStop buying frenzy on the r/WallStreetBets Reddit forum, Keith Gill. Despite the uproar, there likely won’t be significant legislation following the hearing, experts say. “But there could be some rulemaking that comes out of this from the regulatory agencies,” said Daniel Smith, a partner at ACA Compliance Group, an advisory firm for financial services. 

NASA’s Perseverance to touchdown on Mars after nearly 300 million miles

After a 293-million-mile trek since its July 2020 launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, NASA’s Perseverance is slated to land on Mars at 3:55 p.m. EST Thursday. The target? Jezero Crater, a harsh surface feature that was likely once a deep lake fed by rivers of running water. The mission? Find signs of life. But before it can begin roving its targeted landing site at a breakneck 0.1 mph, Perseverance has to pull off a series of risky landing maneuvers all by itself. The $2.4 billion rover must slow down from thousands of miles an hour to a soft 1.7 mph at landing. This seven-minute process — from 3:48 p.m. to 3:55 p.m. — is known as the “seven minutes of terror.” Because signals take 11 minutes to reach Earth, human input in the event of a mishap is impossible. Perseverance is on her own. 

COVID-19 pandemic: Life expectancy in the US is at its lowest in 15 years

Life expectancy in the United States dropped to its lowest level in 15 years – and even lower for Black Americans and Latinos – during the first half of the coronavirus pandemic, a new study released Thursday finds. Data through June 2020 shows life expectancy at birth for the total U.S. population fell from 2019 by a year to 77.8 years, the lowest since 2006, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. Life expectancy for Black populations declined the most from 2019 – by 2.7 years, to 72 years – the lowest level since 2001. Latinos experienced the second-biggest decline, falling 1.9 years since 2019 to a life expectancy of 79.9 years, lower than when it was first recorded in 2006. 

The 2021 SheBelieves Cup opens with Brazil vs. Argentina, USA vs. Canada

The SheBelieves Cup begins Thursday at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida, where the U.S. women’s national soccer team will face Canada at 7 p.m. ET. Brazil and Argentina will open the four-team tournament earlier Thursday, with a 4 p.m. ET kickoff. The U.S. women have played just three games since last March, and this is only their fourth training camp. This will be the 61st time that the USWNT has played Canada, the most of any opponent. Fans can watch the SheBelieves Cup on FS1 – or TUDN for the Spanish-language broadcast. 

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