11.5.2021

Budget Vote, Steele Dossier Arrest, and the World's Biggest Potato Everything you need to know for today five minutes.

Good morning. It's Friday, Nov. 5, and we're covering a looming vote on a sweeping social spending package, private sector COVID-19 mandates, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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NEED TO KNOW

 

House Sets Budget Vote

The House appears set to hold a vote on a nearly sweeping social spending package today, after the chamber's Rules Committee voted to approve the final text of the bill yesterday evening. The vote would come after more than a month of delays, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA-12) sought to balance the interests of moderate and progressive members. 

 

House negotiators added three provisions to the text—changes to the state and local tax deduction (see 101), four weeks of paid family and medical leave for workers, and expanded protections for immigrants. The changes are likely to run into hurdles in the Senate; Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has criticized the inclusion of paid family leave and it is unclear whether parliamentary rules will allow the addition of immigration provisions.

 

A vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill, already approved by the Senate, is expected to follow.

Mandate Date

A mandate requiring workers at companies with more than 100 employees to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing will go into effect Jan. 4, according to Biden administration officials yesterday. Separately, workers at nearly 76,000 hospitals participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs will be required to be fully vaccinated.

 

It is unclear how the rules, which cover an estimated 100 million workers, will be monitored or enforced. A number of states are expected to mount legal challenges; 24 state attorneys general issued a letter in September criticizing the proposal.

 

As of this morning, 67% of the US population had received at least one vaccine dose, including 80% of those older than 18 and almost 98% of those aged 65 and above. See full COVID-19 stats for the country here.

Steele Dossier Arrest

An analyst who helped compile a heavily disputed dossier alleging ties between former President Donald Trump and Russia during the 2016 election was arrested yesterday, the third person to face charges brought by Special Counsel John Durham. Igor Danchenko faces five counts of lying to federal agents in 2017. 

 

The Durham probe began during the Trump administration to examine the origins of the FBI's 2016 investigation into Russian election meddling (which ultimately led to the probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller). Trump and critics argued the FBI investigation was politically motivated. A previous Justice Department report—while revealing unsettling issues and harshly criticizing the FBI—did not find bias as a primary factor in its launch.  

 

Durham himself is widely respected—among other efforts, he was a lead investigator in the case uncovering corruption between Boston mobster Whitey Bulger and FBI agent John Connolly. 

On daylight saving time? Set your clocks back this weekend.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

Brought to you by Beam

> NBA investigates Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver after history of racism and misogyny alleged by over 70 former and current employees; Sarver has disputed the allegations (More) | See full ESPN report (More)

 

> Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson pledges to stop using real guns on sets of his films in wake of accidental shooting death on the set of “Rust” last month (More)

 

> Barstool Sports President Dave Portnoy accused by multiple women of violent sexual encounters; shares of Penn National Gaming drop 20% on the news (More)

From our partnersCold and flu season is upon us, and that means your hydration needs an upgrade. Hydration is key for a healthy immune system, and Beam’s Elevate Recovery hydration packets contain electrolytes + coconut water to keep you hydrated during the big chill. Plus, collagen + BCAAs provide joint, skin, hair, and muscle support for optimal recovery. Get early access to Beam's sitewide holiday promotion: 40% off the first three months of a subscription with code BEAM1440.

Science & Technology

> Sea sponges found to have primitive precursors to brains, with cells in the digestive tract called neuroids found to signal between each other; findings may shed light on the evolution of central nervous systems (More)

 

> Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin loses lawsuit challenging NASA's $2.9B lunar lander contract awarded to Elon Musk's SpaceX (More)

 

> HPV vaccine shown to reduce cervical cancer rates by nearly 90% in UK study; the cancer is the fourth most common in women, killing roughly 300,000 people per year (More)

Business & Markets

> United Nations reports food prices are at highest level since 2011, after third consecutive monthly increase (More)

 

> Shares of Moderna fall 18% after stating vaccine shipment forecasts won’t be achieved (More) | Novartis sells stake in fellow pharma giant Roche for over $20B; Novartis held the stake for more than 20 years (More

 

> Shares of Peloton, the connected exercise giant, fall 26% after missing expectations and lowering full-year guidance (More) | Uber reports its first quarterly adjusted profit, but shares fall as company provides lower Q4 guidance (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> US State Department issues $10M reward for effort to help locate and detain hacker group responsible for the Colonial Pipeline shutdown in May (More) | Justice Department sues Texas over voting bill (More)

 

> New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney, one of the state's most powerful Democrats, loses to challenger Edward Durr (R); Durr, a truck driver and union leader, reportedly spent less than $10K on the campaign (More)

 

> Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa calls a snap election for Jan. 30 (More) | South Africa's ruling ANC party dips below 50% of the vote in national elections for the first time in the country's democratic history (More)

IN-DEPTH

 

An Endless Cycle

SI.com | Brandon Sneed. The struggle to help former star quarterback Colt Brennan out of a cycle of addiction, sobriety, and relapse. (Read)

Making Time

Key and Kite | Staff. The strange but fascinating history of daylight saving time. (Watch)

Memory Lanes

Guardian | Sirin Kale. How Google's Street View helps some recapture moments from the past. (Read)

NEW FALL FITS

 

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ETCETERA

 

Support for legal marijuana holds at a record high.

 

The challenges of affording child care.

 

Photos from the start of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

 

The newest inductees into the Toy Hall of Fame.

 

... and the gadget Hall of Shame.

 

It's science: Memes lower your stress level.

 

Fungus drives flies to romance with the dead.

 

Meet ugly Doug, possibly the world's biggest potato.

 

Clickbait: When you hate spiders a bit too much.

 

Historybook: "Gone with the Wind" actress Vivien Leigh born (1913); Franklin D. Roosevelt is first and only US president elected to third term (1940); Saddam Hussein is sentenced to death (2006); Android operating system from Google unveiled (2007).

 

"enduring peace cannot be bought at the cost of other people's freedom."

- President Franklin D. Roosevelt

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