10.26.2022

Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Wednesday, Oct. 26, and we're covering charges against hundreds of Iranian protesters, retail brands cutting ties with Kanye West, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

 

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Iranian Protesters Charged

Iranian authorities have indicted over 500 protesters this week amid nationwide unrest, including several who face a possible death sentence. The protests began last month following the in-custody death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained for violating the country's dress code for women (see background).

 

Judicial officials brought various charges against hundreds of individuals across several provinces for protest-related offenses, including sharing propaganda and disturbing the peace. Iranian leaders have blamed the unrest on outside agitators seeking to destabilize the country. Despite the charges—which Iranian officials indicate are designed to stop further protests—workers and university students continue to plan protests and strikes around the country. See a map of protest activity here.

 

Today marks the 40th day since Amini's death, the traditional conclusion of a 40-day mourning period.

Adidas Drops Ye Partnership

Sportswear company Adidas announced it is immediately ending its collaboration with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, over a series of antisemitic interviews and controversial social media posts.

 

After increased pressure from consumers and staff, the brand announced it will end production of the popular Yeezy products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. The news comes months after Ye publicly challenged the brand over ownership of the design.

 

Yeezy products represent an estimated 4% to 8% of sales for Adidas, and executives of the German-based company estimate it will lose nearly $247M in 2022 net income. Ye is worth an estimated $2B—without the Adidas deal, the rapper is at risk of losing approximately $1.5B. See a timeline of the relationship here.

 

Separately, Gap announced it will halt the sale of Yeezy Gap products, joining a growing list of people and companies distancing themselves from Ye, including Balenciaga, talent agency CAA, and Vogue.

Hong Kong Publisher Convicted

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai was convicted of fraud related to lease violations yesterday, in what is seen as the latest prosecution against Lai for his past activism as part of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong (see background). The 74-year-old Lai, founder of the now-shuttered pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, is already serving a 20-month prison sentence for organizing unauthorized assemblies.

 

Authorities have cracked down on activists under a Beijing-drafted national security law enacted in 2020 (see 101), which criminalized a range of dissent with penalties of up to life in prison following mass pro-democracy protests in 2019. 

 

In the current case, Lai and two former executives at his company, Next Digital, had sublet part of their office space to another firm owned by Lai. The court found the nature of the firm's business violated lease terms with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp., a government corporation. 

In partnership with Miso Robotics

REMEMBER WHEN HUMANS DID THAT?

 

Working the fryer at the local hot chicken joint is a thankless job. Between the grease burns and low wages, it’s getting harder and harder for fast food restaurants to staff their kitchens. In fact, the labor shortfall in this industry is growing by 500,000 jobs every month.

 

Miso Robotics has the solution: their AI-powered robots can fry food, fill drinks, and make a perfect coffee, all without a bathroom break—among other things. It’s for this very reason that US fast food giants like Buffalo Wild Wings and Jack in the Box have turned to Miso Robotics’ tech to operate their kitchens and boost margins by up to 3x. With proven success in US commercial kitchens, Miso plans to expand globally next—a 20-million-restaurant market opportunity that’s 17x bigger than Miso’s prior potential. 

 

To fuel their international expansion, Miso has opened a funding round for investors to get in on the automation of the global fast food market. Check out the Miso investment offering today.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Brittney Griner's appeal of her nine-year sentence on drug charges was denied by Russian court yesterday; US officials hopeful she'll be released via prisoner swap (More)

 

> "Tár" leads 2022 Gotham Awards for independent films with five nominations (More) | Former "Scrubs" co-executive producer Eric Weinberg pleads not guilty to 18 counts of rape (More)

 

> Taylor Swift's "Midnights" hauls in 1 million album sales in just three days; first album since Swift's "Reputation" in 2017 to top a million sales in a week (More)

Science & Technology

> National Institutes of Health study finds children playing three hours of video games per day performed better on cognitive tests involving impulse control and working memory; potential negative effects were not included in analysis (More)

 

> Vocal communication in vertebrates originated roughly 400 million years ago, new study finds; research helps map how the ability evolved through different species over time (More)

 

> NASA panel begins investigation into recently declassified reports of unidentified aerial phenomena; effort follows a 2021 federal review of 144 incidents involving UAPs (More) | Find previous report here (More)

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets close higher (S&P 500 +1.6%, Dow +1.1%, Nasdaq +2.3%) for third consecutive session (More)

 

> UPS beats earning expectations due to higher prices, despite declining shipping volumes (More) | General Motors exceeds earnings expectations, holds full-year guidance (More)

 

> Alphabet (Google) misses expectations, revenue growth falls amid slowing advertising environment; shares down about 7% in after-hours trading (More) | Microsoft beats expectations; cloud revenues make up 51% of company’s revenues (More)

From our partners: How many credit cards are in your wallet? Make your answer "one." The Ascent's credit card expert personally signed up for this card because of its perfect mix of benefits. Up to 5% cash back, a big bonus, no annual fee, the list goes on.

Politics & World Affairs

> Russia accuses Ukraine of planning a "dirty bomb" attack for second consecutive day; Western analysts say Russia may be laying groundwork for staging an attack at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant (More) | Accusations come as Russia reportedly begins retreating from Kherson region; see updates here (More)

 

> Mehmet Oz (R), John Fetterman (D) hold lone debate in race for open Pennsylvania Senate seat; see top takeaways (More) | See polls and projections two weeks from Election Day (RCP, 538)

 

> Former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter passes away at the age of 68; known for opening all combat positions to women, Carter served in various positions across five administrations (More)

FURTHER, FASTER FOOD

 

In partnership with Miso Robotics

 

Restaurants around the world are craving automation. The US labor shortfall grows by 500,000 jobs per month. And European fast food restaurants aren’t any better, facing falling margins from lofty wages up to 50% higher than the US employees.

 

That’s why Miso is traveling abroad. After improving efficiency and tripling margins in US kitchens, Miso is sending its food-frying, drink-filling tech to Europe, with plans to tackle Asia after. This means that investors have a chance to back Miso’s innovations on an international scale—a 17x larger opportunity than ever before. Access your Miso investment opportunity here.

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ETCETERA

 

Stunning photos of the year's partial solar eclipse

 

Meet the illustrator behind the tasty "Great British Bake Off" drawings.

 

What you need to earn to afford rent in America's largest cities.

 

The most iconic hotels from every US state.

 

Goalkeeping robot dog outperforms professional soccer players. (w/video)

 

Spooktacular Halloween-themed charcuterie boards

 

Celebrities hanging out with their younger selves. (via Reddit)

 

An airline lottery to entice passengers to sit in the middle seat.

 

Clickbait: The world's worst science stock photo.

 

Historybook: Erie Canal opens (1825); Women’s rights leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton dies (1902); Hillary Clinton born (1947); Hattie McDaniel, first Black Academy Award winner, dies (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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