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10.22.2021

Alec Baldwin, Brian Laundrie Remains, and States of Confusion Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Friday, Oct. 22, and we're covering an accident on the set of the upcoming movie "Rust," an end to the search for Brian Laundrie, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at hello@join1440.com.

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Breaking: In overnight news, one person was killed and one other injured after Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun on the set of the movie "Rust." The story is still developing.

Remains Identified

Federal officials confirmed yesterday remains found in Florida's Carlton Reserve were those of Brian Laundrie, the former fiancé of the deceased Gabby Petito. The identification ends a weekslong search for Laundrie, who was a person of interest in the investigation into Petito's death.

 

The pair had embarked in July on an east-to-west cross-country trip, from which Petito never returned. She was reported missing by her family in mid-September after Laundrie returned to his Florida home alone. Her body was found in Wyoming Sept. 19, by which time Laundrie had disappeared into the Florida preserve. 

 

The discovery caps a massive search by state and local law enforcement for Laundrie; officials did not list a cause of death. 

WeWork Debuts

Shares of coworking giant WeWork began trading yesterday, rising nearly 13% on the company's first day in the public markets. The debut comes more than two years after the company's first attempt at an initial public offering imploded, fueled by concerns over its cash losses and the eccentric behavior of former CEO and founder Adam Neumann. 

 

The company filed to go public in 2019, but was dogged by questions around its revenue model, having lost nearly $2B in the previous year.  Before filing, the company was last valued privately at $47B. Following the financial disclosures required by the IPO, WeWork was hit with dual challenges—stories about Neumann's freewheeling approach and a pandemic that forced many to work from home for months.

 

WeWork ultimately went public via a special purpose acquisition company which valued the company at $9B. See an overview of SPACs here.

TRUTH Social

Former President Donald Trump announced plans to launch his own social media platform, ending months of speculation around the future of his online presence. Dubbed TRUTH Social, the platform is expected to open for select users in November while targeting a full rollout in the first quarter of 2022. 

 

Trump was banned from major social media platforms over comments following the Jan. 6 storming of the US Capitol. At the time, he had almost 89 million Twitter followers and reached nearly 60 million users across Facebook and Instagram. A number of alternative platforms have since attempted to woo the former president. Former Trump aide Jason Miller recently released a Twitter alternative, GETTR, but failed to persuade his former boss to join. 

 

TRUTH Social's parent company plans to be listed on Nasdaq via a merger with a SPAC, Digital World Acquisition Group, whose shares surged over 350% yesterday.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Los Angeles Dodgers stave off elimination by topping Atlanta Braves 11-2 in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series (More) | Houston Astros try to punch their ticket to the World Series tonight (8 pm ET, FS1) in Game 6 against the Boston Red Sox (More)

 

> China pulls NBA broadcast of Boston Celtics game after center Enes Kanter speaks out against Chinese President Xi Jinping (More)

 

> Cinemaphotographer dead, director wounded after prop gun accidentally discharged by actor Alec Baldwin on set of Western film "Rust" (More)

Science & Technology

> Pfizer and BioNTech release data demonstrating 95.6% efficacy of booster shots in protecting against COVID-19 infection compared to a placebo, including against the Delta variant (More) | Average cases falling in 80% of US states; see map here (More)

 

> Scientists demonstrate new battery chemistry using copper and cellulose nanofibers with up to 100 times more efficient conductivity than current lithium-ion batteries (More)

 

> Fruit bats congregate near "friendly" bats, as determined by vocalizations; ground-breaking study wirelessly monitored individual bats' brain activity while interacting in a colony (More)

Business & Markets

Brought to you by The Ascent

> US stock markets end mixed (S&P 500 +0.3%, Dow -0.02%, Nasdaq +0.6%); S&P 500 ends at fresh record high as weekly jobless claims drop to COVID-era low 290,000 (More) | Federal Reserve announces new rules for its officials banning trading of individual stocks (More

 

> Shares of social media giant Snap drop over 20% in after-hours trading as Apple’s recent privacy changes—which decrease the measurement of ads on Snap’s platform—led to a reduction in Snap’s ad revenues (More) | Cryptocurrency exchange FTX raises $420M valuing company at $25B (More)

 

>  Shares of Chicago-style hot dog chain Portillo’s surge 46% in first day trading to approximately $2B valuation (More) | A history of the Chicago-style hot dog (More

From our partners: We aren't given many 21-month grace periods. Oil checks, doctor appointments, Tax Day ... time speeds by between them. But The Ascent found a new credit card offering 0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers—possibly the longest we've ever seen to avoid interest charges. Learn more about this five-star card today.

Politics & World Affairs

> Haitian gang releases video threatening to kill all 17 hostages if demands aren't met; ransom is $1M per person, missionary group was kidnapped over the weekend (More)

 

> House approves contempt charges against Steve Bannon, ex-adviser to former President Trump, for declining to comply with a subpoena from the Jan. 6 select committee; Justice Department must decide whether to prosecute Bannon (More)

 

> Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor sentenced to almost five years in prison for the 2017 shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond; Noor mistakenly shot Damond after she called 911 to report a possible rape (More)

IN-DEPTH

 

States of Confusion

Kite & Key | Staff. The rest of America is probably not like where you live—and that's OK. (Watch)

Our Anger Problem

Slack Tide | Matt Labash. (Op-ed) How politics and media combined to keep Americans locked in a cycle of outrage. (Read)

Unfreezing the Ice Age

Guardian | David Graeber, David Wengrow. New research suggests prehistoric societies were much more sophisticated than previously believed. (Read)

Sunken Secrets

Smithsonian | Jo Marchant. How a 500-year-old shipwreck in the Baltic Sea is shedding new light on the Age of Discovery. (Read)

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ETCETERA

 

A candid grizzly tops the Natural History Museum's best wildlife photos of the year.

 

... and check out the winners of the Nature Conservancy's global photo contest.

 

A bus tour designed to put people to sleep.

 

Imagining what animals will look like in a million years.

 

Browse the Hubble Telescope's best images.

 

New York City's newest dizzying observation deck.

 

Meet Noodle, the no-bones pug.

 

China's newest conspiracy theory—Maine lobsters.

 

Clickbait: Police respond to 4-year-old boy's call, confirm toys are cool.

 

Historybook: Original Metropolitan Opera House opens in New York City (1883); Oscar-winning actress Joan Fontaine born (1917); Actress Annette Funicello born (1942); President Kennedy addresses nation on Cuban Missile Crisis (1962); HBD reggae artist Shaggy (1968).

 

"Effort and courage are not enough without purpose and direction."

- President John F. Kennedy

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