Infrastructure Delay, Prison Riots, and September's Best Links Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Friday, Oct. 1, and we're covering the latest in a busy week on Capitol Hill, bloodshed in an Ecuadorian prison, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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Infrastructure Vote Delay

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA-12) was forced to delay a vote on a $1.2T bipartisan infrastructure deal yesterday, after last-minute negotiations failed to produce an agreement with the chamber's progressive caucus. Talks are expected to continue today.


Separately, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said yesterday his limit on an expansive social spending package is $1.5T, far lower than the $3.5T price tag proposed by the Biden administration. Manchin has reportedly been circulating a memo he signed with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in July acknowledging Manchin's demands. Manchin, along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), represent make-or-break votes for Democrats in the evenly divided Senate.


Finally, both chambers and the White House signed off on a short-term funding bill to keep the government open through Dec. 3, averting a federal shutdown. 

Sarah Everard Verdict

A British judge has sentenced a former London Metropolitan Police officer to life in prison, without the possibility for parole, for the murder of Sarah Everard. Wayne Couzens, 48, falsely arrested the 33-year-old marketing executive March 3 under the guise of violating COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. The former officer stopped Everard while she was walking home from a friend's house using his police identification before proceeding to rape and murder her. Couzens, who pleaded guilty to the charges, joins only 60 other people currently sentenced to life in the country without a chance of parole. 


Her murder sparked demonstrations over violence against women in the country and calls for police reform. At least 16 former officers in the UK have been convicted of murdering a woman since 2009, although Everard was the only one murdered by a stranger. An ongoing review from the Independent Office for Police Conduct has found Couzens had been accused at least twice of indecent exposure before the murder.


See how events unfolded here.

Ecuador Prison Riots

The death toll in a dayslong prison riot in the coastal Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil rose to at least 118, officials said yesterday, with more than 80 injured. More than 400 police officers were reportedly sent to restore order yesterday, following a declaration of emergency by President Guillermo Lasso Wednesday. 


The bloodshed began Tuesday, driven by opposing gangs associated with rival drug cartels, with inmates reportedly using knives, guns, and grenades. Officials said the violence mirrored a larger struggle between Mexican cartels in the country attempting to gain control of drug smuggling routes that traverse Ecuador. The country sits in between the world's top two cocaine producers, Peru and Colombia.


The riots follow February violence in three separate Ecuadorian prisons that left 79 inmates dead. 

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Eminem, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, and Kendrick Lamar tapped for 2022 Super Bowl (Feb. 13, Inglewood, California) halftime show (More)


> Disney and Scarlett Johansson settle "Black Widow" lawsuit; Johansson filed suit over the company's decision to release the film in theaters and Disney+ simultaneously, hurting Johansson's potential payday (More)


> Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics (opening Feb. 4) and Paralympics (March 4) to only allow spectators from mainland China (More)

Science & Technology

> Facebook executives testify before Congress on their paused plans for an Instagram for children (More) | The Wall Street Journal releases documents underpinning its "Facebook Files" series, contradicting the company's claims (More) | Find the whole series here (More, paywall) 


> Physicists capture first image of Wigner crystals; the phenomenon occurs under specific conditions allowing electrons to arrange themselves into a honeycomb-like lattice (More)


> Fruit fly brains process sensory information while sleeping; study is the first to demonstrate subconscious processing of complex information in animals (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets fall (S&P 500 -1.2%, Dow -1.6%, Nasdaq -0.4%); S&P 500 posts largest monthly loss since March 2020 (More)

> Zoom and call center software operator Five9 terminate $14.7B merger agreement; Five9 shareholders rejected offer after Zoom’s recent decline in value (More) | Merck to acquire rare disease drugmaker Acceleron Pharma for $11.5B (More)

Bed Bath & Beyond shares sink 22% due to August reduction in shopper traffic and industrywide supply chain issues, slashes full-year outlook (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> North Korea says it has fired a newly developed anti-aircraft missile, its fourth missile test in recent weeks (More)


> Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy convicted of violating campaign finance laws, sentenced to one year of house arrest (More)


> Ethiopia ousts United Nations inspectors probing a blockade of its northern Tigray region; international organizations have accused the country of human rights violations (More)



The Faker

Truly*Adventurous | Peter Ward, Sean Williams. When an accomplished art forger tangles with the FBI's best art detective. (Read)

The Truth About That Cheer Scandal

Cosmopolitan | Kelli Maria Korducki. Last summer, a viral story had the world believing a suburban cheer mom was harassing her daughter's rival. The truth was much more bizarre. (Read)

Why Science Can't Settle Political Disputes

MIT Press Reader | Taylor Dotson. Is an overreliance on scientific arguments to settle policy disputes actually harming democracy? (Read)



Editor's note: More than 3 million monthly clicks can't be wrong. Here are the most popular stories we ran in September. Enjoy!

(9/15/21) The 20 fastest growing (and declining) jobs of the next decade.


(9/8/21) Science explains the most common recurring dreams.


(9/27/21) America's best small towns for retirees.


(9/29/21) Surreal scenes mark the year's best street photography.


(9/17/21) Rolling Stone's (updated) ranking of the 500 best songs ever.


(9/13/21) This interactive map reveals when the leaves will begin changing colors.


(9/23/21) The winners of the 2021 Ocean Photographer of the Year.


(9/23/21) Never-before-seen 1920s photos document Indigenous life in Alaska.


(9/7/21) New US Navy weapon can stop people from talking.


(9/22/21) The best drone photography of 2021.


(9/8/21) New study says ducks can swear at you.


(9/8/21) Burning space debris, as seen from the International Space Station.


(9/30/21) Inebriated man wanders into forest, ends up joining his own search party.


(9/29/21) Netflix reveals the audience size of its most popular shows.


(9/15/21) A granular map of where Americans live.


(9/16/21) Humpback whale megapod spotted off the Australian coast. (w/video)


(9/13/21) Clickbait: Fans catch falling cat using the American flag.


Historybook: Yosemite National Park is established (1890); HBD President Jimmy Carter (1924); HBD actress Dame Julie Andrews (1935); Walt Disney World opens (1971); 58 killed, 869 injured in mass shooting in Las Vegas (2017).


"Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th."

- Julie Andrews

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