The Morning Dispatch: Giorgia Meloni to Become Italy’s New Prime Minister

Happy Tuesday! You know that old Johnny Cash lyric, “I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die?” Well, NASA scientists on Monday crashed a $300 million spacecraft into an asteroid 7 million miles away at more than 14,000 miles per hour—just to see if they could. 

“DART’s success provides a significant addition to the essential toolbox we must have to protect Earth from a devastating impact by an asteroid,” said Lindley Johnson, NASA’s planetary defense officer. Click below for arguably the most consequential stop-motion video of all time.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • Tropical Storm Ian strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane on Monday and is set to pummel Cuba today with heavy rain and winds over 100 miles per hour en route to western Florida. Most of Florida’s Gulf Coast residents are under evacuation orders, and school districts in 24 counties have announced closures in preparation for the storm, with more likely on the way. “We’re expecting sustained tropical or hurricane winds to our barrier islands and coastal communities for as long as 48 hours, with the earliest arrival predicted for 8 p.m. Tuesday,” Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes said. “This is a worst-case scenario with a very strong slow-moving storm just to the west of us.” 

  • At least two Russian military recruitment centers were attacked on Monday—one by a man with a homemade gun, another by a man with Molotov cocktails—days after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization in support of his war in Ukraine. Desperate not to be sent to the front lines, scores of fighting-age Russian men are attempting to flee the country, clogging airports and border checkpoints en route to Georgia, Turkey, and elsewhere in eastern Europe. According to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, Putin has not decided whether to close the border or implement martial law to stifle dissent. 

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