10.24.2022

Xi Jinping, Rushdie Recovers, and the 50 Scariest Books of All Time Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Monday, Oct. 24, and we're covering China's shift back toward one-person rule, the race to replace Liz Truss in Britain, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

 

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Xi's Third Term

Chinese President Xi Jinping secured a third term as the Communist Party's general secretary, the party's top job, as the weeklong 20th Party Congress came to a close yesterday. Xi is expected to receive a third term as president in March as well (see power breakdown). 

 

The widely expected extension of Xi's tenure breaks from a trend in recent decades where party leaders have stepped down from the role after two terms (see party background). In 2018, the country's legislature—made up mostly of Communist Party members—removed presidential term limits shortly after adding Xi's political doctrines to its constitution. With at least five more years of leadership, Xi will become the longest-serving leader in modern Chinese history since Mao Zedong.

 

The formal proceedings were interrupted by the unexplained removal of Xi's predecessor Hu Jintao, provoking international speculation. See the video here

Rushdie Recovers

Author Salman Rushdie has lost sight in one eye and the ability to move one hand, his agent confirmed over the weekend. The injuries were sustained during a knife attack at a New York literary event in August, during which he was stabbed three times in the neck and 15 times in the chest and torso. 

 

Rushdie had been the subject of death threats since his 1988 publication of "The Satanic Verses," a novel viewed by some Islamic communities as blasphemous for its satirical treatment of the Prophet Muhammad. Iran's former supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa against Rushdie in 1989, forcing the author into hiding and leading to a number of assaults and attacks against those involved in its publication and sales.  

 

The attacker, 24-year-old Hadi Matar, has implied he was motivated by Rushdie's stance on Islam. See video of the attack's aftermath here (warning—sensitive content).

Tories Eye Truss Replacement 

The race to replace UK Prime Minister Liz Truss gets underway today, a process that will conclude this week and possibly as early as this afternoon. The Conservative Party vote follows Truss' resignation Friday, capping a stint that was the shortest premiership in British history. 

 

Truss replaced Boris Johnson after multiple rounds of voting by both lawmakers and registered conservatives across the country. For Truss' replacement, the 357 conservative members of parliament have until midafternoon today to nominate a replacement. Candidates must receive at least 100 nominations for consideration; if only one candidate reaches the threshold, the process ends and they assume the office. If two candidates advance, the one with less support either drops out or calls for an online vote involving the UK's 170,000 Conservative Party members, which would close Friday (the process is similar if three candidates surpass the threshold).

 

Johnson reportedly withdrew from contention last night, making former finance chief Rishi Sunak the frontrunner.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Philadelphia Phillies edge San Diego Padres in Game 5 of National League Championship Series to advance to World Series for first time since 2009 (More) | Will face the Houston Astros, who swept the New York Yankees to reach the World Series for the second straight year; Game 1 set for Friday (More)

 

> Taylor Swift's "Midnights" becomes 2022's bestselling album after just one day; breaks Spotify record for most streams in a day (More) | "Black Adam" hauls in $67M at weekend domestic box office; first film since July to top $50M in its debut (More)

 

> The 2023 Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand draw announced; Team USA group stage includes Vietnam, Netherlands, and a play-in winner (More)

Science & Technology

> Butterfly wing patterns are controlled by ancient junk DNA, or noncoding parts of the insect's genome; study supports theory that such genes play a significant role in development of complex characteristics (More)

 

> Jellyfish-inspired robot can gently grasp and move fragile objects using hair-like tentacles; prototype may have applications in recovery of artifacts, biological specimens, and more (More)

 

> Researchers set record for data transmission rates; 1.8 petabytes per second, roughly twice the global internet traffic, transferred via laser between an optical source and single chip (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher Friday (S&P 500 +2.4%, Dow +2.5%, Nasdaq +2.3%) posting best week since June (More)

 

> Sources say Elon Musk may lay off 75% of Twitter’s workforce of approximately 7,500, should his deal to acquire the company close (More)

 

> US consumers continue to spend despite higher prices, as American Express reports stronger-than-expected quarterly revenue and earnings (More)

Politics & World Affairs

In partnership with Tangle

> Canada bans buying, selling, and transferring handguns, with law taking effect Friday (More) | Giorgia Meloni sworn in as Italy's first female prime minister Saturday (More)

 

> Nine dead, 47 injured in Al-Shabaab attack on a hotel in southern Somalia Sunday (More) | Bus crashes into truck in central India Friday, killing 15 and injuring 47 (More)

 

> Hurricane Roslyn makes landfall in west-central Mexico Sunday as Category 3 storm; one person reported dead (More)

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ETCETERA

 

The best places to celebrate Halloween in the US.

 

Mapping misspelled English words across the globe

 

Ranking the 50 scariest books

 

See Saudi Arabia's 105-mile-long megacity under construction.

 

Add color to old black-and-white photos

 

... or turn your selfie into a masterpiece

 

Billion-dollar metaverse only has 38 daily active users

 

See the latest prototype of a flying car

 

Clickbait: How to come back from the dead.

 

Historybook: Black Thursday US stock market crash, exchange falls 11% in one day (1929); Jackie Robinson dies (1972); Rapper Drake born (1986); Rosa Parks dies (2005); Bloody Friday worldwide stock market crash with most indices dropping 10% in single day (2008).

 

"Each person must live their life as a model for others."

- Rosa Parks

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