10.28.2021

Iran, Nor'easters, and America's Worst Drivers Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Thursday, Oct. 28, and we're covering the resumption of nuclear negotiations with Iran, a powerful storm in New England, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Iran Nuclear Talks

Iranian officials said the country planned to return to multilateral talks around the country's nuclear program by next month, according to reports yesterday. Progress on the resumption of negotiations around the 2015 deal had been paused since June following the election of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

 

Formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the US signed the deal in 2015 along with Germany, France, the UK, China, and Russia but exited in 2018 (see timeline). Along with other provisions, the agreement puts caps on the country's uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. The sanctions include a near-total economic embargo, a prohibition on companies doing business in Iran, a ban on imports of products of Iranian origin, and more. 

 

See how the sanctions have impacted the Iranian economy here.

Nor'easter Batters New England

A coastal nor’easter completed its pass through upper New England yesterday, causing hurricane-force wind gusts and power outages for nearly 600,000 customers. Heavy rain and dangerous winds flooded roads and toppled trees; at least one person was killed and another injured. New York City saw nearly 4 inches of rain in 24 hours—the amount typically seen in one month.

 

The early season storm saw a dramatic drop in air pressure by the time it reached Nantucket, Massachusetts. The system's pressure fell 28 millibars over the course of a day, a phenomenon known as explosive cyclogenesis (popularly known as a "bomb cyclone"). Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, saw wind gusts near 94 mph at one point, close to a Category 2 hurricane.

 

See a breakdown of how a nor’easter forms here and watch as the storm causes a transformer to explode here.

 

Separately, the storm comes near the 30th anniversary of the infamous “perfect storm.”

'Rust' Shooting Details

Nevada officials presented preliminary findings yesterday from the investigation into the fatal shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin, noting a mix of more than 500 blanks, dummy bullets, and live ammo had been recovered from the set. 

 

Baldwin accidentally shot and killed 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins last week while filming the movie "Rust." According to reports, an assistant director grabbed the gun believing it to be safe before handing it to the actor to prep for a stunt. The bullet passed through Hutchins' chest, also injuring director Joel Souza, who is expected to survive.  

 

There remain a number of questions regarding safety protocols from the set. Members of the camera crew walked off the set the morning of the shooting to protest unsafe working conditions, while reports say the assistant director responsible for grabbing the loaded gun had been fired from a previous role in 2019 over gun safety issues.

 

There has been no decision yet on whether to file criminal charges.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Houston Astros even up World Series 1-1 after 7-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves in Game 2; Game 3 is tomorrow (8 pm ET, Fox) from Atlanta (More)

 

> United States issues first passport with an "X" gender designation, will make the designation available broadly next year (More)

 

> Swedish mega-band ABBA breaking up for good following upcoming 2022 virtual concert reunion; first album in 40 years to be released Nov. 5 (More)

Science & Technology

> Living descendant of Sitting Bull confirmed via DNA analysis of the legendary Native American leader's hair; marks the first time autosomal DNA was used to link a historical figure with a living person (More)

 

> Two Chinese teams claim to have reached quantum primacy, or quantum computers powerful enough to perform calculations not feasible on traditional computers (More)

 

> DNA analysis solves the mystery of the origin of naturally preserved mummies found in China's Tarim Basin; Bronze Age remains were from a group of genetically isolated farmers from China's Xinjiang region (More)

Business & Markets

Brought to you by The Ascent

> General Motors and Ford both see quarterly net income fall amid global computer chip shortage (More) | Uber drivers will have access to 50,000 of the 100,000 Tesla Model 3s that Hertz will add to its fleet by 2023 (More)

 

> Shares of clothing rental giant Rent the Runway close down 8% in first day of trading after raising $357M in IPO valuing company at $1.5B (More)

 

> Shares of McDonald’s up 3% as higher menu prices drive increased sales (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> Proposal from Senate Democrats to tax unrealized gains, intended to help pay for potential social spending package, hits roadblocks as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and moderate House Democrats criticize the idea (More) | What are unrealized gains and losses? (More)

 

> Pharmaceutical giant Merck to allow other companies to produce its COVID-19 pills in an effort to improve access to treatments in lower-income countries (More) | See current US COVID-19 stats here (More)

 

> Sudan suspended from the African Union following military coup; World Bank pauses aid to the country (More)

IN-DEPTH

 

The Seance and the Socialite 

Truly*Adventurous | Dianna Dilworth. When a New York socialite becomes convinced that she is the victim of demonic possession, a medium convinces her she must embrace the spirit. (Read)

Carol's Journey

NBC | Brandy Zadrozny. An inside look at how Facebook researchers internal to the company knew the platform pushed users toward extreme content–even when it was unrelated to their engagement. (Read)

 

... and read why Facebook considers its aging user base to be an existential threat.

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reAlpha is revolutionizing the short-term rental market by democratizing access to ownership of short-term rental properties with sophisticated machine learning technology. And today, you can invest in a chunk of reAlpha. With lightning-fast property analysis, a global team, and well-respected investors, there's a lot to love about reAlpha. Check out the offering today.

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ETCETERA

 

Ranking America's worst drivers by state.

 

The world's best places to surf.

 

USA Today makes its fact-checkers available via text.

 

Netflix releases the first trailer for "Tiger King 2."

 

What you would sound like on Mars.

 

"Squid Game" director doesn't appreciate LeBron James' criticism.

 

Giant African owl spotted for the first time in 150 years.

 

Spanx CEO Sara Blakely gifts employees the trip(s) of a lifetime.

 

Clickbait: When a bear crashes your wedding.

 

Historybook: RIP English philosopher John Locke (1704); "Gulliver’s Travels" is first published (1726); Polio vaccine developer Jonas Salk born (1914); HBD Bill Gates (1955); HBD Julia Roberts (1967).

 

"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."

- Bill Gates

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