10.21.2022

Truss Resigns, Ebola Outbreak, and Global Real Estate Bubbles Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Friday, Oct. 21, and we're covering chaos in the UK government, the spread of a deadly virus in Uganda, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

 

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Truss Resigns

UK Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned yesterday after just 45 days in office, saying she no longer had the support of her Conservative Party and could not deliver on campaign promises. The resignation, one day after vowing to remain in office, makes her the shortest-serving prime minister in the country’s history.

 

The news follows weeks of turbulent back-and-forth on economic policies, triggering a collapse in financial markets and a decline in the value of the British pound. Truss and former Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng had promised large tax cuts, including for the wealthy, to boost economic growth—policies reversed only weeks later by new Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt after Kwarteng’s dismissal (see timeline). Truss has been under pressure to step down following the resignation of Home Secretary Suella Braverman earlier this week.

 

An election within the Conservative Party is expected to be completed within the next week. See potential candidates here.

Ebola Worries in Uganda 

Global health officials warned yesterday that a strain of the Ebola virus currently spreading in Uganda poses a significant risk to both the general population and health workers in the country. At least 64 cases and 24 deaths have been confirmed since an outbreak was formally declared a month ago. 

 

It marks one of Africa's most significant bouts with the virus since a 2018-20 outbreak left almost 2,300 people dead in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. A vaccine protecting against the Zaire ebolavirus—the strain behind the 2013-14 outbreak that killed more than 11,300 people—has been deployed, however, the formulation is ineffective against the current strain, Sudan ebolavirus. At least eight infections have been identified that cannot be linked to previous infected patients, suggesting the virus is spreading through communities undetected. 

 

Watch an overview of how Ebola infects cells and how it affects the body here.

Taylor's New Album

Award-winning singer-songwriter Taylor Swift has released her highly anticipated 10th studio album, "Midnights," featuring 13 tracks that capture what she describes are sleepless nights in her life. The 32-year-old, who had been teasing her new album for weeks, also unveiled an additional seven songs that did not make the album, and will release a video for her new song, "Anti-Hero," at 8 am ET. Listen to "Midnights" here.

 

Swift is one of the bestselling musicians of all time, having sold more than 200 million records globally. She has won more than 400 awards, including 11 Grammy wins, of which three are for Album of the Year. Swift also won 34 American Music Awards, the most for any act, and 29 Billboard Music Awards, the most for a woman. 

 

Swift is known for signaling hidden messages to her fans ahead of album drops, spurring intricate theories about her projects from Swifties, her fanbase. See a timeline of her career here.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

 > Kevin Spacey found not liable in $40M sexual misconduct lawsuit brought by actor Anthony Rapp; Rapp had accused Spacey of groping a then 14-year-old Rapp at a party in 1986 (More)

 

> Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey to be traded to San Francisco 49ers for four future draft picks (More) | Chess grandmaster Hans Niemann sues world champ Magnus Carlsen and others for $100M, alleging defamation over claims that Niemann cheated (More)

 

> "Black Panther" sequel is forecasted for a $175M opening weekend at the box office (More) | Joni Mitchell will return to the concert stage in June 2023, headlining a show for the first time in 23 years (More)

Science & Technology

> Researchers demonstrate extracellular components from young mice reverse some signs of aging when injected into old mice (More)

 

> Key genetic differences linked to survival during the 14th-century bubonic plague; study finds natural selection pressure from the disease led to increased risk of autoimmune disorders in modern populations (More)

 

> James Webb Space Telescope snaps high-resolution image of the iconic Pillars of Creation, columns of interstellar gas located in the Eagle Nebula where new stars are being formed (More)

Business & Markets

In partnership with Monogram

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.8%, Dow -0.3%, Nasdaq -0.6%) for second consecutive session (More)

 

> US existing home sales down 1.5% in September from August, the eighth consecutive month of home sales declines; median price of $384,800 is up 8% over last year (More)

 

> Social media giant Snap misses revenue expectations, shares down over 20% in after-hours trading (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> US officials confirm members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard are assisting Russian forces in Crimea to carry out drone attacks in Ukraine (More) | Russia, Ukraine preparing for major battle for the occupied city of Kherson (More) | ... Some analysts suggest Russia may be preparing for retreat from the city, may destroy a dam on the Dnipro River to slow Ukrainian forces (More)

 

> Supreme Court denies emergency hold on Biden administration student loan forgiveness program as challenge makes its way through lower courts; Justice Amy Coney Barrett authors decision (More)

 

> Former UCLA gynecologist found guilty on five counts of sexually abusing female patients, sentencing to be determine in coming months; convictions follows nearly $700M in University payouts over claims (More)

IN-DEPTH

 

Stranger than Legend

Atlas Obscura | Greg Christensen. An eerie stone cross in Utah, mysteriously destroyed in 1992, has a weirder origin story than even the local legends suggest. (Read)

The Stories Behind 'The Rings of Power'

Smithsonian | John Garth. Amazon Studios' new fantasy TV series—said to be the costliest ever—is based on J.R.R. Tolkien's lesser-known mythologies inspired in part by the tumult of 1930s Europe. (Read)

Why We Laugh

Nautilus | Brian Gallagher. Researchers ask what advantage laughing gave our ancestors, with some proposing laughter—which likely predated speech—allowed for social bonding in larger groups. (Read)

ALL TREATS THIS HALLOWEEN

 

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ETCETERA

 

Finalists for the most ridiculous wildlife photos of the year.

 

Mapping the world's real estate bubbles.

 

Watch a man play saxophone during brain surgery.

 

How to improve company transparency

 

News outlets are trying to make you depressed. (via Twitter)

 

Don't tell children: Santa Claus's tomb discovered

 

This AI software makes your still photos dance

 

Chinese art installation mimics a half moon.

 

Clickbait: Head of lettuce outlasts Liz Truss.

 

Historybook: USS Constitution first launched (1797); Actress Carrie Fisher born (1956); Guggenheim Museum opens to the public (1959); Poet and novelist Jack Kerouac dies (1969); Kim Kardashian born (1980).

 

"You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow."

- Carrie Fisher

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