11.3.2022

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Good morning. It's Thursday, Nov. 3, and we're covering the year's sixth federal interest rate hike, a truce in Ethiopia's bloody yearslong civil war, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Dear readers—

 

Welcome to 1440's updated design! New logo, font, and colors, but the same great staff, product, and mission to share fact-focused news and information with the world. We're excited about the update and, as always, thanks for being a reader!

 

Drew, Editor-in-Chief 

Need To Know
 

Rates Rise Again

The Federal Reserve yesterday approved its fourth consecutive 0.75% increase in interest rates in an effort to curb 40-year high inflation. It is the sixth overall rate hike this year and part of the Fed's most aggressive initiative since 1980. 

 

The increase brings up the Fed's benchmark federal funds rate from near zero in March to a range of 3.75%-4%, the highest in 15 years. The rate sets what banks charge each other for overnight loans and affects borrowing costs for consumers, including for mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards (see 101).

 

The Fed plans to continue to raise interest rates to return inflation to its 2% target (see why), though the pace of the increases could slow down as soon as next month. In contrast, the latest government data showed annual inflation hit 8.2% in September. The Fed also said it will consider the lag between the rapid hikes and their effects on the economy.

 

North Korea Missile Launch

North Korea launched 23 short-range ballistic missiles yesterday—its most ever in a day—toward South Korean territory, including one that landed 16 miles from the two countries' maritime border. Several South Korean regions were placed under air raid alerts, though no injuries were reported.

 

The missile barrage was North Korea's 28th weapons test in 2022, adding to an already record year of launches. No missiles since 1948 have landed as close to the border as yesterday's, prompting the South Korean military to fire three air-to-surface missiles into North Korean waters. It was the northern country's most provocative test since the early October launch of an intermediate-range missile over northern Japan. 

 

The barrage of tests comes two days after the start of annual military drills between the US and South Korea. The drills, paused during the 5-year administration of former President Moon Jae-in, are the allies' largest ever and involve hundreds of aircraft. See details here.

 

Tigray Truce

Ethiopian officials and representatives from the country's northern Tigray region agreed to a truce yesterday, suspending a bloody civil war that included accusations of war crimes, genocide, and attacks against international aid workers. The deal came one day ahead of the two-year anniversary of the conflict.

 

Governed by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, Tigray accounts for just 6% of Ethiopia's population but has historically enjoyed outsized influence among the country's many ethnic groups (see 101). The rise of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2018 led to a shift toward nationalized politics and away from regional blocs of power, triggering tensions with Tigrayan leaders that spiraled into open conflict in 2020. 

 

Some estimates place the death toll from the conflict near 500,000, with more than 5 million residents displaced and hundreds of thousands of civilians succumbing to famine.

In partnership with Outer

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What's more, this artisan-crafted All Weather Wicker collection comes complete with triple memory foam cushions and patented OuterShell covers, pairing perfectly with Outer’s fire pit for maximum coziness this fall. Purchase between now and Nov. 9 for 15% off all Wicker, plus free shipping, with code 144015. 

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Houston Astros toss first combined no-hitter in MLB postseason history in 5-0 win over Philadelphia Phillies to even World Series at 2-2 (More

> Netflix's $7 per month ad-supported tier rolls out today; will feature 4-5 minutes of ads per hour of content compared to $10 per month plan without ads (More

> Washington Commanders owners Dan and Tanya Snyder explore sale of the NFL franchise valued at $5.6B (More) | High-profile investors, including Steph Curry and Serena Williams, invest in new tech-infused golf league launched by Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and others (More)

From our partners: Now may be a good time to transfer your balance. This leading balance transfer card offers 0% intro APR for 21 months. With no annual fee. Find us a card that offers longer than 21 months. We'll wait.

 

Science & Technology

> Autism-linked brain changes are more extensive than previously thought, present in every region of the cerebral cortex; new study significantly shifts the understanding of how the disorder manifests (More)

> Researchers engineer living bacteria to send electrical signals in response to various contaminants; organisms may act as a rapid early warning network for environmental disasters (More)

> Meta (Facebook) AI platform predicts the structure of more than 600 million proteins, some of which have yet to be discovered; achievement follows Google DeepMind's prediction of 220 million different protein structures in July (More)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -2.5%, Dow -1.6%, Nasdaq -3.4%) as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signals future interest rate hikes (More)

> Walgreens and CVS—the nation’s two largest pharmacy chains—agree to pay approximately $5B each to settle lawsuits for role in opioid crisis (More)

> Chipmaker Qualcomm sees shares fall over 5% in after-hours trading after reducing sales outlook amid softer consumer demand (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Russia rejoins UN-brokered wartime deal with Ukraine on safe passage of grain exports through the Black Sea (More) | See updates on the war here (More)

> Parkland, Florida, school shooter sentenced to life in prison without parole for 2018 attack that left 17 people dead and 17 more injured (More

> Hurricane Lisa makes landfall along the coast of Belize and Mexico's southern Yucatan Peninsula, bringing high winds, storm surge, and flooding (More) | See trajectory (More)

 

In-Depth

> Swamp Boy

Now This | Kris Newby. Inside a family's $400K journey through the medical system for answers to their son's psychosis and what they discover about the bacteria behind cat scratch disease. (Read)

 

> The Conundrum with AI 

Vice | Chloe Xiang. As artificial intelligence systems become more intricate and as humans are less able to understand them, AI researchers are warning developers to focus more on how and why a system produces certain results. (Read)

Falling for Wicker

 

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Etcetera
 

Drones show what unfinished buildings could look like.

 

#BagGate cheating scandal hits the world of professional cornhole.

 

Are intelligence tests actually useless?

 

Giant worm costume takes two years to make.

 

Your Thanksgiving dinner menu could be in trouble.

 

Why we don’t have a vaccine for the common cold.

 

Explaining the history behind taping dollar bills on bar walls.

 

A 95-year-old grandma wins Latin Grammy for best new artist.

 

Clickbait: BBC reporter creates fake Americans. 

 

Historybook: American sharpshooter Annie Oakley dies (1926); Journalist and fashion icon Dame Anna Wintour born (1949); The Soviet Union launches first animal into space (1957); US arms sale to Iran revealed (1986); One World Trade Center officially opens on former site of Twin Towers (2014).

"The best way to make a dream come true is to wake up."

- Dame Anna Wintour

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