11.2.2022

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Good morning. It's Wednesday, Nov. 2, and we're covering new details in Seoul's fatal stampede, calls for the US government to ban a popular video app, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Seoul Officers Apologize

South Korean police officials apologized for the weekend stampede in Seoul that left at least 156 people dead and hundreds more injured, accepting a “heavy responsibility” and vowing to investigate the police response. 

 

The statement comes as new details reveal police received 11 calls before the incident and dispatched officers to the site four times, prompting speculation as to whether the disaster could have been prevented. The incident happened Saturday night as crowds gathered in Itaewon, a popular nightlife district, to celebrate Halloween for the first time since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. Seoul police said the first call came at 6:34 p.m. local time, several hours before the deadly crush.

 

A total of 137 officers, primarily focused on crime, were present at the scene of the 100,000 partygoers. In comparison, about 6,500 officers were present at a protest of 25,000 people during the same timeframe. South Korea does not have specific procedures for handling crowd surges at unorganized events.

 

FCC Calls for TikTok Ban

A member of the Federal Communications Commission called on the US government to ban TikTok yesterday over concerns the app exposes private American data to Chinese interests. The video-centric TikTok, which has been downloaded more than 200 million times in the US, is owned by Shanghai-based ByteDance and has been in negotiations with the federal government over a security deal. 

 

Brendan Carr, one of four current FCC commissioners, asked both Apple and Google to remove the app from their stores in June after leaked audio tapes at TikTok showed private US data were accessed numerous times from China. Although the FCC can't regulate TikTok directly, its remarks historically have sway in Congress, including last year's ban on Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. 

 

A similar call to ban TikTok came in 2020 from then-President Donald Trump, ultimately fizzling after he left office. See what data TikTok collects here.

 

Bolsonaro Breaks Silence

Brazil's conservative populist president, Jair Bolsonaro, addressed the nation for the first time yesterday since losing to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Sunday's election. In the two-minute speech, Bolsonaro neither explicitly conceded nor recognized Lula's victory, but said he would follow the rules of the country's constitution. Following the speech, the president's chief of staff said he would begin the transition process.

 

Bolsonaro's public remarks came on the second day of protests from his supporters who blocked hundreds of roads across Brazil and cut off access to key locations, including a grain export port and a lane to São Paulo's international airport. 

 

Lula won the presidential runoff by a thin margin, garnering 50.9% of the votes. The election was the tightest race in Brazil since the country's return to a democracy in 1985 and marked the first time Bolsonaro lost an election in his 34-year political career.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Takeoff, one-third of hip-hop group Migos, shot and killed at Houston bowling alley at age 28 (More) | Julie Powell, food blogger known for "Julie & Julia" book, dies at 49 (More)

> Tennessee, Ohio State, Georgia, and Clemson claim top 4 spots in College Football Playoff's initial Top 25 rankings  (More)

> Philadelphia Phillies take 2-1 lead in World Series after topping Houston Astros 7-0 in Game 3; Philadelphia to host Game 4 tonight (8 pm ET, Fox) (More)

 

Science & Technology

> Roughly 13% of deaths of Americans aged 20-64 involved excessive alcohol consumption; new study evaluated data from 2015 to 2019, before the pandemic (More) | See state-by-state data (More)

> Engineers demonstrate machine learning model that can recreate the sound at any point in a room based on short audio clips; approach may be used to recreate spatial information based only on acoustic recordings (More)

> Analysis suggests poaching has exerted a form of evolutionary pressure on African rhino populations as those with naturally longer horns are killed off (More)

 

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.4%, Dow -0.2%, Nasdaq -0.9%) ahead of today’s Federal Reserve meeting where analysts expect a 0.75% rate hike (More)

> US job openings grow to 10.7 million in September from 10.3 million in August, per the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report (More) | Nearly 15,000 Delta Air Lines pilots vote to authorize a strike, in an effort to negotiate a new contract (More)

> Johnson & Johnson to acquire heart-pump manufacturer Abiomed for $16.6B (More)

From our partners: Is it time to cash in on cash back? This cash back card offers a $200 cash rewards sign-up bonus and unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases. The Ascent's independent team of experts is calling it one of the market's best all-around cards. Learn more today.

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Benjamin Netanyahu appears set to return to prime minister position after conservative coalition wins a narrow majority in Israel's parliamentary elections (More)

> Sentencing hearing for Parkland, Florida, school shooter begins with statements from the families of victims; 17 people were killed and 17 others injured in 2018 attack, the deadliest high school shooting in US history (More)

> Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily halts access of House panel to former President Donald Trump's tax records (More) | Court declines Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) request to block Atlanta area subpoena related to alleged 2020 election interference (More)

Skincare Can Finally Get 'In"

 

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Etcetera
 

"Permacrisis" tops Collins Dictionary's words of the year.

 

This year's highest-paid dead celebrities.

 

Powerball jackpot rises to $1.2B after no winners come forward.

 

Cocaine-addicted rats have one common gut bacteria.

 

Can you solve the brainteasers in this King Tut puzzle

 

An Italian mansion haunted by Mussolini family ghosts.

 

When a security guard is in the way of a dance routine. (via Twitter)

 

Stanford suspends its Tree from games.

 

Clickbait: There truly is a "Simpsons" episode for everything

 

Historybook: Marie Antoinette born (1755); Nobel Prize-winning playwright George Bernard Shaw dies (1950); First president of South Vietnam Ngo Dinh Diem assassinated (1963); Martin Luther King Jr. Day is created in the US (1983).

"Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it."

- Martin Luther King Jr.

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