11.4.2019

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Need To Know
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Historic IPO Set
Officials from oil and gas giant Saudi Arabian Oil Co. announced plans to take the company public this December, in what may be the largest initial public offering in history. Analysts have pegged the company (the world's most profitable) at a value between $1.2-1.5T. Owned by the Saudi government, reports say the IPO - the first time a private firm offers shares to the public (see 101) - plans to sell 1-2% of the company. Born from a joint venture with the US-based Standard Oil of California in 1938, Saudi Aramco accounts for more than 10% of the world's oil production and reported $49.7B in first half 2019 net income (in a weak oil market), far outpacing Apple's $31.5B - the world's most profitable publicly listed company. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman originally aimed for a 2017 offering at a $2T valuation; however, over time the company has become intertwined with Saudi geopolitics, causing considerable drag on the process.
McDonald's CEO Ousted
McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook has been forced out of his position after allegations surfaced that he engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate. The relationship, confirmed by Easterbrook in an email to employees yesterday, was consensual but violated company policy. Since taking over 38,000 stores and nearly 1.7 million employees in 2015, the burger giant's stock almost doubled - though customer growth has continued to stagnated. Easterbrook, whose fingerprints on the company included an emphasis on technology and a stop to lobbying against a hike in the minimum wage, made more than $15M last year. The transition comes amid widespread disruptions rippling through the fast food industry, including a shift in consumer preferences toward healthier options and rapidly advancing technologies. The latter has been a large contributor to the rise in food company stock prices. 
Whistleblower Offers Testimony
The whistleblower at the center of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Trump has offered written testimony to Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee, according to reports over the weekend. They had initially offered to answer questions only if they were submitted by the committee as a whole, but made the switch in the face of ongoing GOP criticism that the probe lacked transparency. According to a written complaint (see here), the whistleblower - said to be a member of the intelligence community then on detail to the White House - reported concerns over a July call in which Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate corruption rumors surrounding former Vice President Joe Biden. Attorneys for the whistleblower have resisted offering oral testimony over concerns that their client's identity would be revealed and their safety jeopardized. 
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In The Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> South Africa tops England 32-12 to win 2019 Rugby World Cup; the victory is South Africa's third, tying New Zealand for most Rugby World Cup wins (More)
> Walter Mercado, astrologer and Latin American TV icon, dies at 87; Mercado's horoscope broadcasts reached 120 million daily viewers for more than three decades (More)
Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei runs second fastest time in history to win women's title at NYC Marathon (More) | Geoffrey Kamworor cruises to victory in men's race over Kenyan countryman Albert Korir (More)
Science & Technology
> Record for lab-grown monkey embryos set at 20 days; organisms can provide window into fetal development past the internationally accepted limit of 14 days for human embryos (More)
> China to roll out AI-based "emotional recognition" surveillance systems, despite expert warnings the systems don't work as intended; will be deployed in Xinjiang, home to persecuted Uyghur Muslim minority (More)
> Archaeologists find 40,000-year-old Neanderthal eagle talon necklace; suggests human ancestors may have been capable of higher-level thought than previously believed (More)
Business & Markets
> US economy adds 128K jobs in October, lower than September but above analyst expectations; unemployment rate ticks up to 3.6% (More)
> Google to acquire wearable fitness technology company Fitbit for $2.1B (More)
> Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sees record profits in Q3, business now has $128B cash on hand (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> ISIS claims responsibility for attack on Mali military that leaves 54 dead (More)
> Election 2020: Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke drops out of race for Democratic presidential nomination (More) | Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) rolls out Medicare-for-All proposal with estimated price tag of $52T over 10 years, needing $20.5T in new revenue (More
> Pro-democracy Hong Kong politician attacked, has ear bitten off by pro-Beijing supporter during latest weekend in five-month-long protests; four others wounded (More)
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Etcetera
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Airbnb's top 20 destinations to visit for next year.
The highest-grossing dead celebrities of 2019
Esquire's annual list of the best bars in America

From our partners: These might be the most cozy pair of shoes you'll ever own. #Ad
A surprising number of shelter dogs come from out of state
Mapping the world's millionaires
Texas woman live streams her own brain surgery
Alexa may have witnessed a Florida murder
When you spill wine on a $30,000 handbag.
Clickbait: Bag of weed removed from man's nose after two decades.
Historybook: Journalist Walter Cronkite born (1916); Nellie Tayloe Ross becomes first woman elected governor in the US (1924); HBD Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs (1969); Iran hostage crisis begins (1979); Barack Obama becomes first African American elected US president (2008).
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