11.10.2021

General Electric, Poland Tensions, and Cotton Candy Lobsters Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Wednesday, Nov. 10, and we're covering a pivot for an iconic American manufacturer, a clash at the Polish border, and more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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NEED TO KNOW

 

General Electric Splits

Iconic US manufacturing and technology giant General Electric announced yesterday it would split into three companies focusing on the firm's healthcare, power, and aviation units. Officials said the move would bring focus to the separate divisions, allowing the creation of industry-specific boards and broadening the investor base for each. 

 

With a history dating back to Thomas Edison, GE was one of the original 12 companies listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average at its launch in 1896. In the mid-2000s, it was the world's largest company by market share, but began shedding divisions following the 2008-09 recession. The company's stock price has remained flat relative to prepandemic levels, and has lagged both competitors and the tech giants that now dominate more than a quarter of the S&P 500. 

 

The company's stock rose 2.7% on the news.

Tensions in Poland

A surge of illegal immigration attempts at the Belarus-Poland border left thousands stranded after Polish officials closed the crossing Tuesday. The migrants are stuck in hostile conditions as temperatures dip toward freezing. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki described the incident as an attack conducted by the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

 

The European Union also accused Lukashenko of pushing the migrants toward the border in response to EU sanctions on Belarus over reported human rights abuses following last year's elections. Russian-backed Lukashenko denies the claims and accuses Poland of violating humanitarian obligations by blocking the migrants. See background on the crisis here.

 

There's been a surge in the number of immigrants trying to enter Poland illegally this year, many from the Middle East and Asia—nearly 30,000 people have attempted to cross the Poland-Belarus border this year, with over 17,000 in October alone. Armed troops from both countries have been deployed amid the escalating tensions.

Max Cleland Dies

Decorated veteran and former Sen. Max Cleland (D) passed away yesterday at his Atlanta home, reportedly from congestive heart failure. The 79-year-old Cleland, who lost both legs and an arm in a grenade accident in Vietnam, immediately entered Georgia state politics upon his return.

 

Among other roles, he served as Georgia's secretary of state from 1983 to 1996, and in the US Senate from 1997 to 2003. He also earned Silver and Bronze Stars for valor in combat, including at the Battle of Khe Sanh, the war's longest and deadliest conflict. 

 

Cleland was open about his battles with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, speaking publicly about the reemergence of symptoms after losing the 2002 election (a race that included a controversial ad questioning Cleland's record on homeland security). See his life in photos here.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> "Squid Game" director Hwang Dong-hyuk confirms a second season will be coming to Netflix (More

 

> Dean Stockwell, "Quantum Leap" actor whose career spanned seven decades and 200 credits, dies at 85 (More)

 

> MSNBC host Brian Williams to depart NBC at end of 2021 after a 28-year career with the network (More)

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Science & Technology

> Meta, Facebook's parent company, says it will block advertisers from targeting users based on race, ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation (More)

 

> Largest trial to date studying the medical uses of psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient found in magic mushrooms, shows the compound is effective in treating severe depression (More)

 

> Astrophysicists release cache of 35 gravitational wave measurements; data suggest events linked to light neutron stars, large interacting black holes, and more (More) | How space-time ripples (More)

Business & Markets

> Oklahoma Supreme Court overturns $465M opioid epidemic judgment against Johnson & Johnson (More)

 

> DoorDash to acquire Wolt in all-stock deal valuing the European food delivery business at over $8B (More)

 

> Coinbase shares fall over 10% in after-hours trading after missing Wall Street expectations; company had 7.4 million monthly transacting users in Q3 (More) | Cryptocurrency market tops $3T as Bitcoin ($68K) and Ethereum ($4.8K) prices reach all-time highs (More

Politics & World Affairs

> Pfizer/BioNTech request authorization for booster shots for all US adults above 18 years old (More) | See current US COVID-19 stats (More)

 

> New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) declines Senate bid, will run for fourth term as governor in 2022; Sununu was a top target to challenge incumbent Maggie Hassan (D) (More)

 

> US Office of Special Counsel finds 13 Trump administration officials violated the Hatch Act during the 2020 election, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows; law prohibits federal employees from certain types of campaign activities (More)

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ETCETERA

 

The average professional spends half of their week in meetings.

 

Mapping alcohol consumption by country.

 

Watch SpaceX's most recent crew reenter the atmosphere.

 

Teen rescued after showing a domestic abuse hand signal learned from TikTok.

 

Maine lobsterman captures a rare cotton candy lobster.

 

The untold story of sushi in America. (paywall, NYT)

 

Vintage cars are in again.

 

... while this car that hasn't moved in 47 years becomes an Italian monument.

 

Clickbait: Jeff Bezos threatens to push Leonardo DiCaprio off a cliff.

 

Historybook: Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther born (1483); US Marine Corps is founded (1775); Singer and actress Jane Froman born (1907); "Sesame Street" debuts (1969); Bill Gates introduces Windows 1.0 to public (1983).

 

"If you show people the problems, and you show people the solutions, they will be moved to act."

- Bill Gates

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