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11.30.2021

Dorsey Steps Down, Kim Potter, and Childless Americans Everything you need to know for tonight in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Tuesday, Nov. 30, and we're covering big changes in Silicon Valley, the start of a police shooting trial in Minnesota, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at hello@join1440.com.

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Dorsey Exits

Jack Dorsey announced yesterday he would step down as CEO of social media giant Twitter, citing his desire to see the company move past its founders. The decision was effective immediately; Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal will replace Dorsey, while Dorsey will remain in his board seat until it expires next year. 

 

Regarded as one of the more enigmatic figures of Silicon Valley, Dorsey cofounded the platform in 2006 (see history), serving as its first chief executive. He was bumped from the role in 2008—allegedly for, among other things, leaving work early—but moved back to the position in 2015.

 

His departure comes as Twitter faces increasing pressure from investors, criticizing its growth strategies, and lawmakers alternately accusing the platform of censorship and spreading misinformation. 

 

Dorsey is also cofounder and CEO of the payment platform Square, a position that drew criticism while he simultaneously led Twitter. Read his resignation letter here.

Kim Potter Trial

Jury selection in the trial over the killing of Minnesota resident Daunte Wright begins today, with former police officer Kim Potter facing first- and second-degree manslaughter charges. 

 

Potter engaged 20-year-old Wright, a Black man, while training a younger officer during an April traffic stop. Officers attempted to detain him after finding he had an outstanding warrant; Wright attempted to get back in the vehicle and flee. Body camera footage (view here, warning: sensitive content) recorded Potter yelling "Taser" before discharging her firearm. Wright was pronounced dead at the scene, having crashed his vehicle a few blocks from the shooting.

 

Potter says the shooting was accidental and she thought she had grabbed her Taser, an occurrence experts say is real but rare, being documented about once per year. See the legal definitions of the two charges here and here.

Barbados Severs Ties

Barbados has officially declared itself a republic and severed ties with Queen Elizabeth II as of today. Dame Sandra Mason, 72, was sworn in as the country’s first president just after midnight local time, officially ousting the queen as head of state. Mason previously served as the nation’s governor general, or the queen’s representative, and will serve mainly as a symbolic figure behind Prime Minister Mia Mottley. Barbados will remain a part of the 54-member Commonwealth, made up of mostly former British territories.

 

The Caribbean island nation, which achieved independence from the UK in 1966 but continued to recognize the monarch, announced its intention to become a republic last year. England colonized the country in 1627, and it became a stop in the transatlantic slave trade.

 

The UK’s Prince Charles was present at the ceremony and stressed the importance of international relations. The queen remains the head of state for 15 other countries. The last country to remove the queen as head of state was Mauritius in 1992.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with CanvasPeople

> Lionel Messi wins Ballon d'Or as soccer's best male player for record seventh time; Alexia Putellas becomes first Spanish winner of Ballon d'Or since 1960 (More) | New York Mets sign pitcher Max Scherzer to record-breaking three-year, $130M contract (More) | Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly reportedly leaves for LSU, the second high-profile coaching change in two days (More)

 

> Lee Elder, trailblazing golfer who was first Black man to compete at the Masters, dies at 87 (More) | Tiger Woods says he'll never play golf full time again (More)

 

> "The Lost Daughter" is big winner at Gotham Awards with four wins including Best Feature; see full list of winners (More)

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Science & Technology

> Engineers develop ultracompact camera roughly the size of a grain of salt; device has use for imaging inside the human body, sensors for microrobots, and other applications (More)

 

> New machine learning model allows AI to understand complex relationships between objects; approach has applications in how industrial robots navigate their environment (More)

 

> A 41,500-year-old carved mammoth tusk fragment found to be the earliest known example of human-decorated jewelry in prehistoric Eurasia (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets rebound (S&P 500 +1.3%, Dow +0.7%, Nasdaq +1.9%) from Friday’s large losses after President Joe Biden states an omicron economic lockdown is unlikely (More)

 

> Japanese auto giant Nissan to invest $17.6B over the next five years on its electric vehicle lineup; aims for half of its lineup to be electric or hybrid by 2030 (More)

 

> President Biden hosts CEOs of major US retailers to discuss efforts to reduce supply chain issues (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Congress reportedly readies a short-term government funding proposal to fund operations through mid-January; deadline to avoid a shutdown is Friday at midnight (More)

 

> Federal judge suspends Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal health workers in 10 states while legal challenges proceed (More) | Biden makes first public comments on omicron variant, calls it a cause for "concern, not panic" (More) | What we know about the variant (More)

 

> Report alleges China's Henan province is building a surveillance network of more than 3,000 cameras to track journalists, international students, and other "suspicious" people (More) | See initial report (More, paywall, Reuters)

IN-DEPTH

 

Examining Extreme Poverty

Our World in Data | Max Roser. The world has made tremendous gains in pulling people out of extreme poverty over the past two centuries—though billions still live on less than $2 per day. Take a data-filled deep dive into the global fight against poverty. (Read)

Menswear's Biggest Star

New Yorker | Doreen St. Félix. (From 2019) Virgil Abloh, the creative director of luxury brand Louis Vuitton, passed away from cancer over the weekend. Read what made Abloh an inspirational figure in the world of high fashion. (Read, paywall)

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ETCETERA

 

Americans are increasingly choosing to remain childless.

 

Is it Hanukkah or Chanukah?

 

Visualizing the distribution of Europe's birds.

 

America is running short on everything, even Santas.

 

"NFT" is Collins Dictionary's word of the year.

 

Billboard has a new all-time No. 1 song.

 

Dogs bearing an uncanny resemblance to celebrities

 

Snowed in at the pub.

 

Clickbait: Canada taps its strategic maple syrup reserve.

 

Historybook: Winston Churchill born (1874); Michael Jackson’s "Thriller" is released, becomes bestselling album in history (1982); HBD model Chrissy Teigen (1985); Exxon and Mobil merge to form one of the world's largest companies (1999); RIP President George H.W. Bush (2018).

 

"Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it. Ignorance may deride it. Malice may distort it. But there it is."

- Winston Churchill

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