Israel Election, Affirmative Action, and Most Read Stories of October Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Tuesday, Nov. 1, and we're covering Israel's fifth government election in four years, a US Supreme Court case on race in college admissions, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].


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Election in Israel

Almost 7 million Israelis are eligible to vote today in the country's fifth election in just four years, after its diverse, eight-party coalition fell apart in June. Polls indicate the faction allied with Benjamin Netanyahu—ousted just over a year ago—appears poised to receive the most votes. Analysts cautioned a clear majority is unlikely for any coalition, while a government may not be formed for weeks.


Netanyahu's right-leaning Likud party will battle for a majority in the 120-seat Knesset against its centrist rival Yesh Atid, led by current caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid (see party breakdown). Netanyahu, currently on trial for corruption, opposes a two-state solution with Palestinians. 


A total of 39 parties are in the race, though Israeli law requires a party to earn a minimum of 3.25% of the vote to receive any seats. Unlike US elections, Israelis choose a party, not an individual legislator. Every party, then, receives a number of seats proportional to the vote. See an overview here.

Ukraine Shelled

Russian forces launched a barrage of airstrikes targeting Ukraine yesterday, leaving much of the capital of Kyiv without power and water. Russia fired at least 50 missiles in total, though Ukrainian officials said they were able to intercept 44. Missiles and drones collectively hit 10 regions and damaged 18 infrastructure sites in Ukraine. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have already been reeling from blackouts and depleted water supplies after a similar attack in early October.


Yesterday's shelling is seen as further retaliation to what Russia claims was a Ukrainian attack on its warships in the Black Sea over the weekend. Ukraine has not said whether it was responsible for the attack. Meanwhile, 12 ships carrying grain left three Ukrainian ports, two days after Russia said it was withdrawing from a UN-brokered grain export deal that had been in effect since August. Global wheat prices rose 6% on the news of Russia pulling out from the deal.


See updates on the war here

Affirmative Action Case

The US Supreme Court began hearing arguments in two cases challenging the role of race in the college admissions process, a decision that may upend affirmative action policies in higher education.


The Students for Fair Admissions claims Harvard and the University of North Carolina hold Asian American (Harvard, UNC) and white applicants (UNC) to higher standards. The group contends the practice violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Harvard, UNC) and the 14th Amendment (UNC), guaranteeing racial neutrality. 


The universities argue race is one of many factors in determining admission, and affirmative action has leveled the playing field for Black and Hispanic students. Asian Americans comprise roughly 28% of the 2026 class at Harvard, and Black students comprise nearly 16%. Without affirmative action, school officials estimate the number of Black students could decrease by more than half, while Asian American enrollment could increase by nearly 30%.


A decision from the 6-3 conservative majority court is expected by summer.

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Taylor Swift becomes first artist to claim all top 10 spots on Billboard's Hot 100 songs chart; all 13 songs from her "Midnights" album rank in the top 15 (More)


> The XFL announces team names and logos for all eight franchises; the upstart league, owned by group led by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, kicks off in February (More)


> MLB World Series Game 3 postponed until tonight (8 pm ET, Fox) due to inclement weather (More)

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Science & Technology

> Self-driving truck startup TuSimple fires CEO Xiaodi Hou after reports suggest the federal government is investigating the company for illegal tech and intellectual property dealings with Chinese companies (More)


> Scientists discover new type of anti-inflammatory molecules in the brain that decline with age; research may lead to new methods to slow age-related cognitive decline (More)


> New chemical catalyst allows the conversion of hydrogen sulfide into hydrogen energy in a single step; may allow natural gas refineries to create usable hydrogen energy from the noxious gas byproduct (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.8%, Dow -0.4%, Nasdaq -1.0%), but indices see gains in October (S&P 500 +8.0%, Dow +14.0%, Nasdaq +3.9%); Dow posts best month since 1976 (More)


> Federal judge blocks America’s largest book publisher Penguin Random House from acquiring Simon & Schuster for $2B; judge rules in favor of the Justice Department, finding the merger would harm competition in the US market (More)


> Disney’s resort in Shanghai, China, suspends operations due to COVID-19 measures, leaving visitors in the park until testing negative (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Police in India arrest nine people in connection with the fatal collapse of a century-old suspension bridge in the western town of Morbi, which reopened last week after renovations; death toll reaches 140 people (More


> Former President Donald Trump asks Supreme Court to intervene in dispute with House Ways and Means committee over his tax returns (More) | Arguments begin in the Trump Organization's criminal tax fraud trial (More)


> Justice Department charges suspect in Paul Pelosi attack with assault, attempted kidnapping (More) | Delphi, Indiana, suspect charged in February 2017 murders of two eighth graders (More) | New York City to pay $26M to Muhammad Abdul Aziz and the estate of Khalil Islam for cleared convictions in the killing of Malcolm X (More



The Evolution of Convenience Stores

Politico | David Ferris. Electric vehicles are increasingly replacing gas powered vehicles. Could it mean the demise of the traditional gas station? (Read)

Surviving the Oxford Shooting

Sports Illustrated | Michael Rosenberg. How diving has helped a Michigan teenager recover after surviving the Oxford High School shooting last November. (Read)



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Editor's note: More than 7 million monthly clicks can't be wrong. Here are the most popular stories we ran in October. Enjoy!


(10/17/22) Researchers discover a massive Lake Superior shipwreck.


(10/12/22) The way you chop an onion matters—here's why.


(10/21/22) Finalists for the most ridiculous wildlife photos of the year.


(10/18/22) Possible globster sighted on the Oregon coast.


(10/13/22) Wiped-out surfer tops 2022 ocean photography contest.


(10/3/22) Visualizing Hurricane Ian's path of damage.


(10/19/22) Ranking America's rattiest cities.


(10/7/22) Footage shows killer whales hunting, killing great white sharks.


(10/6/22) The growing popularity of sleep tourism.


(10/10/22) A group of dolphins encounters a pair of squirrels. (via Reddit)


(10/27/22) USPS unveils its new line of forever stamps.


(10/14/22) Georgia inmate pulls off $11M heist—from inside his cell.


(10/8/22) The creepiest places to visit in every US state.


(10/25/22) Clickbait: Watch the ultimate backyard squirrel Olympics.


Historybook: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling exhibited to public for first time (1512); Earthquake and tsunami in Lisbon kills 60,000-90,000 people (1755); Apple CEO Tim Cook born (1960); Bollywood actress and Miss World 1994 winner Aishwarya Rai Bachchan born (1973); Football great Walter Payton dies (1999).


"When you're good at something, you'll tell everyone. When you're great at something, they'll tell you."

-Walter Payton

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