11.12.2021

Xi Jinping, Cancer Death Rates, and No Place Like Mars Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Friday, Nov. 12, and we're covering power moves in China, positive news in the fight against cancer, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Xi Jinping

China's Communist Party passed a resolution yesterday reassessing the party's 100-year history, while recognizing current President Xi Jinping as one of the country's era-defining leaders. The inclusion elevates Xi next to the two most revered party figures—founder Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, known as the architect of modern China (see timeline). 

 

Beyond symbolism, the resolution further entrenches Xi's power. Presidential term limits were dropped in 2018, effectively allowing Xi, who assumed office in 2012, to serve for life. Under his watch, the country has seen a state-driven economic boom and a reduction in poverty, along with increased censorship and a crackdown on political opponents.

 

Some argue the resolution is an attempt to rewrite history as propaganda (paywall, NYT) supporting the party and its history, while increasing the cult of personality around its leader.

 

Read a deep dive into Xi's background and rise to power.

De Klerk Dies in South Africa

Former South African President FW de Klerk, the last white person to lead the country, has died from cancer at his home near Cape Town. De Klerk, 85, served as president from 1989 to 1994 under a system of legalized racial segregation.

 

De Klerk is known for ordering Nelson Mandela's release from jail in 1990, and ultimately working to transform the political landscape from white-minority government to Black-led rule without large-scale bloodshed. De Klerk shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela for their role in the end of apartheid.

 

Despite being hailed a peacemaker, de Klerk has been criticized by some as being responsible for violence against Black citizens, while others saw his anti-apartheid efforts as a betrayal. He garnered particular criticism for both his defense of and apologies for the National Party, which discriminated against millions of Black citizens. Many critics argued the apologies failed to account for past abuses.

 

Watch de Klerk’s posthumous apology here.

Cancer Mortality Falls

Deaths from all types of cancer in the US fell by an estimated 27% over the past 50 years, according to a new analysis. The timeframe reaches back to the passage of the 1971 National Cancer Act, now responsible for more than $6B in annual cancer research. Progress was attributed to improved preventative screenings, advanced treatments, better healthcare access, and drops in smoking-related lung and oral cancers. 

 

Rates did not drop continuously throughout the timeframe. Cancer mortality continued to rise until the early 1990s, after which it began to rapidly decline. Deaths per 100,000 people in the US have fallen by 44% since its peak. Lung and bronchus cancer remains the deadliest form of the disease, representing more than one in five US cancer deaths each year.

 

Cancer still claims the lives of more than 600,000 Americans annually. See 1440's cancer resource page for more on the topic.

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Brought to you by Miso Robotics

MAKING FOOD, FASTER

 

Meet Flippy. It's the world's first AI kitchen assistant, a robotic and autonomous smart-kitchen solution created by Miso Robotics, made for quick-service restaurants (QSRs) across the world. And if you blink for too long, you just might meet Flippy at your go-to spot for a quick bite.

 

Miso Robotics just announced its latest partnership with Inspire Brands (parent company of Buffalo Wild Wings) called Flippy Wings. It's expected to increase food production speed 10%-20%, and they aren't stopping there. Miso is currently working with 10 of the top 25 brands in the QSR industry, with dozens of pilot programs along the way. Restaurants are taking note of this nifty robot's incredible ability to save time and money—and you can invest in it now.

 

With over 11,000 shareholders, $38M+ raised in equity crowdfunding, 175,000+ lbs of perfectly cooked fried food, and two patents, Miso Robotics is looking for your help to tackle labor shortages and inefficiencies with the power of AI and robotics. Learn all about their investment opportunity today, and act fast before the round closes Nov. 18.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> A 22-year-old college student, Bharti Shahani, becomes ninth person to die from stampede at last week's Astroworld Festival in Houston (More)

 

> Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Suni Lee says she was pepper-sprayed in racist attack (More) | Three-time Pro Bowler Odell Beckham Jr. signs one-year contract with Los Angeles Rams (More)

 

> MoviePass cofounder Stacy Spikes to attempt a 2022 relaunch of the film subscription service that shut down in 2019 (More)

Science & Technology

> SpaceX's Crew-3 Dragon capsule successfully docks with the International Space Station; mission is the fifth time the company has successfully sent humans to space (More)

 

> Astronomers detect black hole outside of our galaxy by measuring its effect on nearby star motion; marks the first black hole observed using the technique (More)

 

> Scientists develop new manufacturing method known as bubble casting to speed the development of soft robots; such robotics can interact with delicate objects or access difficult to reach places (More)

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> S&P 500 (+0.1%) and Nasdaq (+0.5%) bounce back after Wednesday’s inflation-induced sell-off; Dow (-0.4%) remains lower weighed by Disney’s 7% fall (More)

 

> Chinese online retailer Alibaba drives $84B in sales during Singles' Day celebration, the world’s largest shopping event and informal celebration of single people—symbolized by the one in 11/11 (More)

 

> Elon Musk sells $5B of Tesla shares, which are down 13% since Musk polled his Twitter followers over the weekend asking if he should sell shares (More)

From our partners: Make 2022 the year of the one-card wallet. This card offers up to 5% cash back at places you already shop and 0% APR until 2023 on purchases and balance transfers. All with no annual fee. Making this card the only one you need.

Politics & World Affairs

> US border crossings by Haitian migrants dropped by 90% between September and October following deportation of migrants back to Haiti (More) | Total border encounters rose more than 300% between fiscal years 2020 and 2021; see data here (More)

 

> Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko threatens to cut off gas supplies to the European Union if the bloc levels more sanctions; EU has accused Belarus of intentionally creating a migrant crisis at the Polish border (More)

 

> White House estimates 900,000 children aged 5 to 11 received a COVID-19 vaccination in the first week of availability (More) | See US COVID-19 stats here (More)

IN-DEPTH

 

No Place Like Mars

Smithsonian | Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, Cassandra Klos. Inside the experiment to recreate the hostile Martian landscape on Earth. (Read)

Where Did All the Public Bathrooms Go?

CityLab | Elizabeth Yuko. Estimates suggest the US has only eight public toilets per 100,000 people overall—the same as Botswana. Is the lack of public privies contributing to a public health crisis? (Read)

Who Poisoned Joe Gilliam … Twice?

Willamette Weekly | Nigel Jaquiss. The former president of the Northwest Grocery Association made a lot of enemies—to the point someone wanted him dead. (Read)

What Lies Beneath

Guardian | Scott Sayare. A group of online amateur sleuths uncovers the secrets behind France's top serial killer expert. (Read)

FLIPPING INTO NEW RESTAURANTS

 

In partnership with Miso Robotics

 

Miso Robotics' robot-burger-flipping-maestro, Flippy, is finding its way into all sorts of restaurants. They're currently working with 10 of the top 25 brands in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) industry, with dozens of pilot programs on the way.

 

Take, for example, Inspire Brands. It's the parent company of Buffalo Wild Wings, and Miso Robotics just announced their latest partnership together—called Flippy Wings—to increase food production speed 10%-20%. You can own your slice of Miso Robotics today when you head over to their latest investment offering—but act fast, the round closes Nov. 18.

Please support our sponsors!

ETCETERA

 

The problem with our maps.

 

What wildlife photographers do on their lunch breaks.

 

Here's what a four-day commute to work via kayak looks like.

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Visit the nation's most expensive ZIP code.

 

Advanced imaging reveals the secrets of the Black Prince's tomb.

 

Christopher Walken destroys a $13M Bansky artwork.

 

A single-winged drone can be rolled up and stored.

 

Archaeologists discover an ancient hangover prevention ring.

 

Clickbait: A 105-year-old sprinter is unsatisfied with world record dash.

 

Historybook: American suffragist and civil rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton born (1815); Joseph Stalin gains undisputed control of Soviet Union (1927); Actress and Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly born (1929); RIP comic book writer Stan Lee (2018).

 

"Truth is the only safe ground to stand upon."

- Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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