Inflation, Rittenhouse Testifies, and Celebrating Veterans Day Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Thursday, Nov. 11. Thanks to all of our veterans (and active military) for your service—we hope everyone has a happy and safe Veterans Day. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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Inflation Spike

Inflation saw its sharpest jump in more than 30 years in October, with the consumer price index rising by 6.2% compared to the same time last year. It also marked the fifth straight month inflation rose year-over-year by at least 5%. 


The metric is a proxy for purchasing power; higher inflation means consumers can buy fewer goods with each dollar they spend (see 101). Food prices rose by an estimated 5.3% year-over-year, while gas prices have jumped nearly 50%. The core consumer price index, which removes food and energy prices, rose at a 4.6% annual rate. For context, the Federal Reserve typically targets an overall rate near 2%.


Analysts cite pent-up post-pandemic demand, stimulus funding, and supply chain bottlenecks for the rise in prices. One factor exacerbating the supply chain issues is a shortage of truckers—the industry faces a shortfall of 80,000 drivers, according to a recent report.


See a detailed breakout of rising prices for various commodities here.

Rittenhouse Testifies

Illinois teenager Kyle Rittenhouse took the stand yesterday, testifying in his own defense against homicide charges stemming from a confrontation during last summer's protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin.


The violence occurred last August (see timeline), after Rittenhouse traveled to Kenosha with a firearm, claiming a desire to help protect businesses from looters. Late in the night, a man allegedly confronted and ultimately lunged at Rittenhouse, who opened fire. He then opened fire again after falling down while being chased by a number of others. Two people were killed and a third injured. Watch the footage here (warning: sensitive content).


Rittenhouse argued he acted in self-defense, at one point breaking down on the stand. His appearance follows testimony from Gaige Grosskreutz, who was shot in the bicep, in which he admitted pointing his gun at Rittenhouse just before being fired at. 

Rivian Arrives

Electric vehicle startup Rivian began publicly trading yesterday, having raised almost $12B in its initial public offering. The IPO is the largest on a US exchange since Facebook in 2012, and the seventh biggest since 1995. The company opened trading at $78 per share and ended at $101, with a market capitalization close to $86B—more than companies like Honda and Ford. 


Some believe the carmaker may grow into a position to challenge Tesla. Unlike Tesla, Rivian focuses on the less fuel-efficient truck market. The company has backing from a number of established firms; Ford owns a 13% share and Amazon owns 20% of the carmaker. The relationship with Amazon, in particular, has piqued investor interest; the tech giant placed a contract with Rivian for 100,000 delivery vehicles through 2030. 


The carmaker says it plans to have 1,000 vehicles on the road by the end of 2021.

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Luke Combs brings home top award of Entertainer of the Year at the 2021 Country Music Association Awards; Chris Stapleton tops all artists with six wins (More)


> Disney+ growth slows as it sees slowest gain in subscribers since its launch in 2019 (More) | "Rust" crew member files lawsuit following on-set fatal shooting last month (More)


> Actor Paul Rudd named 2021's Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine (More)

Science & Technology

> Microsoft partners with Meta (Facebook) to integrate its Teams platform into Meta's virtual reality-based Workplace (More)


> New study traces the origin of Transeurasian languages 9,000 years to the spread of farming across the continents; early language gave rise to Turkish, Korean, Japanese, and more (More)


> Paleoclimate data and modeling used to reconstruct detailed global temperatures for the past 24,000 years; study concludes temperature is changing faster than at any point during the time period (More)

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets fall (S&P 500 -0.8%, Dow -0.7%, Nasdaq -1.7%) on higher inflation data (More) | IRS releases updated, inflation-adjusted 2022 tax brackets (More)


> Third quarter US existing home prices increased 16% over last year to median value of $363,700 (More)


> Shares of plant-based meat producer Beyond Meat fall near 20% in after-hours trading after missing expectations; quarterly revenues fall 14% over last year (More)

From our partners: Refinance to save big. The Ascent's founder will save over $50K on his mortgage thanks to today's historically low rates. No matter what you bought your home at, there's the possibility of thousands in savings. Check it out while rates are still low.

Politics & World Affairs

> New Jersey man who punched a police officer in the face during the Jan. 6 storming of the US Capitol given 41-month prison sentence (More) | Federal judge overturns Texas ban on mask mandates; decision allows local officials to make their own mask rules (More)


> The US and China agree to cooperate on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with China agreeing for the first time to crack down on methane emissions (More)


> Judge approves $626M settlement with residents in Flint, Michigan, whose water sources were polluted by lead contamination (More) | The Flint water crisis explained (More)



War Stories

NYT | Staff. (2018) Family members recount stories of relatives who fought in the First World War. (Read, paywall)

The Battle That Changed the Vietnam War

Newseum | John Olson. A collection from photojournalist John Olson, who was embedded with US Marines during the 1968 Tet Offensive. (View)



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Five things to know about Veterans Day.


The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier turns 100 years old.


... and the public lays flowers at the tomb for the first time in almost a century.


Portraits of World War II veterans.


A secret bookshelf passageway discovered in 500-year-old house. (w/video)


The mystery of the stopped clock illusion.


Man flies away, powered by 50 drone motors. (via YouTube)


The 100 best inventions of 2021.


Clickbait: French fry flavored vodka.


Historybook: Nat Turner is hanged after organizing slave rebellion (1831); Armistice signed by Germany and Allies, ending World War I (1918); Armistice Day, now known as Veterans Day, observed for first time in US (1919); HBD Demi Moore (1962);  HBD Leonardo DiCaprio (1974).


"This will remain the land of the free so long as it is the home of the brave."

- Elmer Davis

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