10.26.2021

Sudan, Artemis I, and New York's Halloween Dog Parade Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Tuesday, Oct. 26, and we're covering a coup in Sudan, NASA's lunar progress, and more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Coup in Sudan

The Sudanese military detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other senior government officials in an apparent coup, according to reports. The move would end Sudan's transitional government, which came into power in 2019 after pro-democratic protesters ousted former President Omar al-Bashir in the midst of an economic crisis.

 

The northwestern African country is one of the poorest on the continent, with an economic output of around $25B as of 2019 (for comparison, less than any single US state). The country is mired in an economic crisis, exacerbated by a 2011 civil war that saw the oil-rich southern part of the country secede (see timeline).

 

Separately, South Sudan is in the grips of its worst floods in six decades.

Russian Hackers Return

A group of Russia-backed hackers responsible for last year's widespread SolarWinds attack has reportedly been targeting hundreds of companies and organizations in recent months, despite the threat of sanctions. Microsoft announced Monday the group, known as Nobelium, has been stepping up cyberattacks against tech companies resulting in more than 140 attacks since May, including at least 14 breaches where data were stolen.

 

The latest hacking campaign has been targeting cloud computing and managed service providers in the US and Europe to obtain sensitive information and disrupt the global IT supply chain. The most recent attack used unsophisticated methods such as phishing and password spray.

 

The attacks come even after the Biden administration imposed several financial sanctions on Russia and expelled near a dozen diplomats. The moves have done little to slow the attacks–Microsoft reported more than 600 companies attacked since July 1.

To the Moon (but Not Back ... Yet)

The first step in a series of space missions aimed at returning Americans to the moon will begin in February, according to NASA officials yesterday. The first phase of the Artemis mission, which will send an uncrewed craft on six-day orbit around the moon, is set to launch Feb. 12, a roughly two-month delay from the original December date. 

 

The mission marks two milestones for NASA. First, the mission will be the first test of the agency's super heavy-lift launch vehicle, dubbed the Space Launch System (technical specs here). The propulsion system is the most powerful ever built by NASA and represents a steppingstone to travel far into the solar system. Second, the program aims to put Americans back on the moon by 2024, for the first time in almost half a century.

 

See a time-lapse of the stacking of the crew's space capsule on top of the new rocket here.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

Brought to you by The Ascent

> The Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros square off tonight (8 pm ET, Fox) in Game 1 of the World Series (More)

 

> Production of "Rust" on pause until investigation concludes into fatal on-set shooting of cinemaphotographer Halyna Hutchins (More) | Assistant director fired from 2019 film over accidental gun discharge (More)

 

> Athletes to be required to take daily COVID-19 tests at Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics (Feb. 4-20) (More)

From our partners: Mortgage rates are near historic lows. No matter what you bought your home at, there's no stopping you from refinancing at the incredible market rates today, which can amount to thousands in savings. Carpe diem, while it lasts.

Science & Technology

> Study links COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford University-AstraZeneca to seven rare neurological side effects; frequency is on the order of 1 to 10 per 1 million people (More) | Federal advisory panel meets today to consider emergency use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 (More)

 

> Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies before UK parliament; see highlights (More) | Eight things learned from the release of the Facebook Papers (More)

 

> Scientists make a breakthrough in understanding how penicillin kills MRSA, a drug-resistant strain of staph infection; the drugs create puncture holes in the cell walls of the bacteria, eventually leading to cell death (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets up (S&P 500 +0.5%, Dow +0.2%, Nasdaq +0.9%) ahead of big week of tech earnings; S&P 500 and Dow close at fresh record highs (More)

 

> Shares of Tesla up 13%, company now worth over $1T after Hertz announces it will purchase 100,000 Tesla Model 3s; Tesla joins Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Alphabet (Google) as current trillion-dollar US companies (More)

 

> Facebook sees slowing sales growth in first full quarter, following Apple's privacy changes; revenues up 29% over last year to $29B but beneath expectations, quarterly profits higher than expected (More) | Mastercard partners with Bakkt to enable financial firms to offer cryptocurrency payments; shares of Bakkt–which went public last week via a SPAC–up 234% (More

Politics & World Affairs

>  Two killed, at least five injured after gunman opens fire in Boise, Idaho, mall; motive not identified as of this writing (More

 

> Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) says a framework for a multitrillion-dollar social spending budget plan could be agreed to this week; cost has dropped from $3.5T to around $1.5T to $2T during negotiations (More)

 

> US Northeast preps for the year's first Nor'easter; New York and New Jersey issue states of emergency ahead of storm (More) | What's a Nor'easter? (More

IN-DEPTH

 

Arch Madness

ESPN | Mark Schlabach. A look at Arch Manning, one of the country's top quarterback recruits and the scion of a football dynasty. (Read)

America's New Favorite Sport

Vanity Fair | Craig Coyne. From celebrities to retirees, people across the country are being swept up in the pickleball craze. (Read, email required)

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ETCETERA

 

Two in five Americans say they believe in ghosts.

 

Snapshots from the Tompkins Square Halloween dog parade.

 

Workplace interruptions may make employees feel valued.

 

Ryan Gosling says "yes" to the "Barbie" movie.

 

Champagne sales surge to a prepandemic high.

 

See the best photos from Germany's beard Olympics.

 

Ohio's license plate fail.

 

Tom Brady makes a young fan's day.

 

Clickbait: A world-record human mattress domino chain.

 

Historybook: Erie Canal opens (1825); RIP women’s rights leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1902); HBD Hillary Clinton (1947); RIP Hattie McDaniel, first African American Academy Award winner (1952); Last known natural case of smallpox detected (1977).

 

"The best protection any woman can have is courage."

- Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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