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11.8.2021

Infrastructure, Astroworld Tragedy, and Tacos in Space Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Monday, Nov. 8, and we're covering the passage of a major infrastructure bill, a tragedy at a Houston concert, and more. Have feedback? Let us know at hello@join1440.com.

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Infrastructure Bill Passes

The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan $1.2T infrastructure bill Friday by a vote of 228-206. Thirteen Republicans voted for the package, while six progressive Democrats voted against it, citing a lack of progress on a separate social spending bill. 

 

The package, the largest transportation spending bill in US history, passed the Senate in August by a vote of 69-30, including approval from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Expected to be signed into law within days, the bill includes $110B to repair roads and bridges, almost $40B for public transit, $55B for water and wastewater infrastructure, and more (see details). 

 

Separately, a scheduled House vote on the administration's almost $2T social spending bill failed to materialize Friday. House leaders have promised a vote on the package this month. 

Tragedy at Astroworld

At least eight people were killed and hundreds of others injured after a crowd surge at a Houston concert venue Friday. The incident occurred at NRG Park, home to the NFL's Houston Texans, and came as a crowd of more than 50,000 pushed toward the stage as hip-hop artist Travis Scott began his performance. Those dead reportedly ranged in age from 14 to 27 years old. 

 

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner signaled the city would launch an investigation into the handling of the event. It was one of the deadliest concert disasters of its type since 11 people were killed when the British rock band The Who played in Cincinnati in 1979.

 

Video posted on social media (Reddit, warning: language) showed concertgoers slowing down emergency responders, potentially unaware of what was happening close to the stage. 

Jobs Upswing

The US economy added 531,000 nonfarm jobs in the month of October, beating predictions by more than 80,000, according to government data released Friday. The unemployment rate also fell from 4.8% to 4.6%. 

 

Analysts said the numbers reflected an improving job market, rebounding after a summer surge from the COVID-19 delta variant that left a number of industries in limbo, most notably the service sector. A reported 269,000 workers filed new unemployment claims last week, close to the prepandmic average near 250,000 (see data). 

 

The figures come amid a significant post-pandemic shift in the labor market—earlier data showed an estimated 4.3 million workers left their jobs in August. 

 

Separately, around 11% of employees are still working remotely, compared to close to 35% in May of last year.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Kenyan runners Peres Jepchirchir and Albert Korir win women's and men's New York City Marathon; Jepchirchir becomes first athlete to win NYC's marathon and Olympic gold medal in the same year (More)

 

> Marília Mendonça, popular Brazilian singer and Latin Grammy winner, dies in plane crash at age 26 (More) | Terence "Astro" Wilson, founding member of British reggae band UB40, dies at 64 (More)

 

> Canelo Álvarez defeats Caleb Plant by TKO in 11th round to win Plant's IBF belt and become undisputed super middleweight world champion (More)

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Science & Technology

> Pfizer's COVID-19 antiviral pill cuts the risk of hospitalization and death by almost 90%; unlike vaccines, treatment is meant for patients who already display symptoms (More) | See current US COVID-19 stats (More)

 

> Pompeii archaeologists uncover evidence of slave quarters, offering a rare insight into the ancient Roman city's social dynamics (More)

 

> Common multiple sclerosis drug shown to improve memory in mice with Alzheimer's; study may lead to treatment for those at high risk of the neurological disease (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets up Friday (S&P 500 +0.4%, Dow +0.6%, Nasdaq +0.2%) to fresh record highs on strong October employment figures (More)

 

> Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sees operating profit grow 18% in Q3 to $6.5B; company now has record $149B in cash (More)

 

> Tesla CEO Elon Musk polls Twitter followers asking if he should sell 10% of his Tesla shares worth over $20B, stating “I will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes.” (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Federal court suspends Biden administration's private sector COVID-19 mandates while legal challenges proceed; rules require employees at companies with more than 100 employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing by Jan. 4 (More)

 

> At least 99 people killed, dozens of others injured, in a vehicle collision that led to a fuel tanker explosion in the capital city of Sierra Leone (More)

 

> Gen. Colin Powell laid to rest, honored by former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and President Joe Biden (More)

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ETCETERA

 

The cost of everything is rising.

 

Humanity's first space tacos.

 

Snowliage is the new foliage.

 

Architect designs a pop-up synagogue. (w/video)

 

Scuba divers discover a 1,200-year-old canoe.

 

Annoyed parents build their own school scheduling app.

 

Restaurants are now grappling with a takeout container shortage

 

The world's best cheese revealed.

 

Clickbait: Astronauts in diapers.

 

Historybook: Astronomer Edmond Halley born (1656); X-rays are discovered (1895); Singer Minnie Riperton born (1947); Edward Brooke becomes first African American elected to US Senate since Reconstruction (1966); RIP "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek (2020). 

 

"Take your job seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously."

- Alex Trebek

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