Brazil Elections, Seoul Stampede, and the History of Halloween Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Monday, Oct. 31, and we're covering pivotal elections in Brazil, a deadly stampede in South Korea, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].


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Lula Leads in Brazil

Voters in Brazil went to the polls yesterday, casting ballots in a hotly contested runoff election between incumbent Jair Bolsonaro and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Results show da Silva holding a roughly 1.8% lead over Bolsonaro, who has yet to concede as of this writing.


Brazil is the world's fourth largest democracy by population and the race has been framed as the most pivotal in Latin America in decades. Bolsonaro, a conservative populist, won 55% of the popular vote in 2018 but received heavy criticism for his handling of the pandemic. Da Silva, known popularly as "Lula," held office from 2003 to 2010, championing left-wing populist priorities, but was jailed for almost 20 months in 2018 on corruption charges. Lula led Bolsonaro in the first round of voting, 48.4% to 43.2%, but failed to capture a majority, triggering the runoff. 


The highly polarized race became contentious in the final days, including accusations of cannibalism and satanism.

Seoul Stampede

At least 154 people were killed and over 100 more injured in a crowd surge in South Korea Saturday night. The tragedy occurred during Halloween celebrations in the Itaewon district of Seoul, the first such festivities since pandemic restrictions were lifted.


Officials have not yet identified a cause of the crush, but many videos show costumed partiers navigating packed streets where over 100,000 people were gathered. The majority of the deceased—who died by suffocation (see explanation)—were in their teens or 20s, with almost twice as many female victims. Several foreigners were among the dead, including two Americans. See videos of the incident here (warning: graphic content).


It is the second crowd surge causing over 100 deaths this month after 132 died following a soccer match in Indonesia. 

Twitter Layoffs Loom

Layoffs at social media giant Twitter reportedly began this weekend, with up to 30% of employees expected to be let go under new chief Elon Musk. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO assumed ownership of the company late last week after a monthslong back-and-forth over whether the deal would proceed. The news follows the termination of the company's leadership, including CEO Parag Agrawal. 


Musk has sent conflicting signals about the future of the platform particularly with respect to content moderation. He has emphasized the need for free speech on the platform, while assuring ad partners—who account for about 90% of the company's revenue—it would remain a "respectable" place to advertise. Read Musk's original statement prior to closing the acquisition here.


Agrawal and other executives were reportedly fired for cause—meaning they would not be eligible for a Nov. 1 compensation deadline paying out between $20M and $60M, should the move hold up. 

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with GEM

> Houston Astros take Game 2 from the Philadelphia Phillies to even up 2022 MLB World Series at 1-1 (More) | See Game 3 (8 pm ET, Fox) preview (More)


> DH Peligro, longtime Dead Kennedys drummer who also had a stint with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, dies at 63 from a fall at his home (More)


> Portland Thorns top the Kansas City Current 2-0 to win their third National Women's Soccer League title (More) | Los Angeles FC and Philadelphia Union to meet in Major League Soccer Cup (Nov. 5, 4 pm ET, Fox) (More)

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Science & Technology

> Expedition into the Canadian Yukon recovers cameras from a 1937 trip led by famed explorer Bradford Washburn; equipment was part of the first recorded ascent of Canada's Mount Lucania (More)


> New study finds Huntington's disease, a fatal inherited neurodegenerative condition that manifests during adulthood, causes the progressive loss of cells to clear waste (More)


> Researchers show bees order increasing quantities from left to right; study supports theory the behavior is common across the human and animal kingdom (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher Friday (S&P 500 +2.5%, Dow +2.6%, Nasdaq +2.9%); Dow posts fourth consecutive weekly gain (More)


> US wages increased by 5.1% over last September; inflation-adjusted wages declined 3% over last year (More)


> TreasuryDirect website crashes Friday as investors secured over $3B in Series I bonds with 9.62% interest rate (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Russia suspends UN-brokered grain export deal with Ukraine in effect since August; program saw 9 million tons of grain transported through Black Sea (More) | Suspension comes after Russia claims Ukraine launched drone attack on its warships in the area (More)


> At least 60 people dead after a century-old suspension bridge collapses in western India four days after renovations completed (More) | At least 100 Somalis killed in central Mogadishu after Al-Shabaab bombings Saturday (More) | Pakistani journalist Sadaf Naeem accidentally crushed by former Prime Minister Imran Khan's vehicle during political convoy Sunday (More)


> Supreme Court to hear arguments in two cases today seeking to overturn race-based university admission policies (More) | See case overview (More



In partnership with ButcherBox


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Please support our sponsors!



Explore the history of Halloween


... and what do ghosts eat, anyway?


Curl up with these seven Halloween-themed essays.


A black cat plays spooky tunes on the piano


Visualizing how a city's population size impacts its happiness.


National Geographic's list of best places to visit


Meet the world's youngest female opera singer


Powerball jackpot hits $1B, its second-highest ever.


Clickbait: Stay a night at this fictional serial killer's house.


Historybook: English poet John Keats born (1795); Magician Harry Houdini dies (1926); Mount Rushmore National Memorial is completed (1941); Actor and comedian John Candy born (1950); First female Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi is assassinated (1984).


"You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist."

- Indira Gandhi

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