Travel Ban Lifted, College Basketball, and Portugal's Text Ban Everything you need to know for today in five minutes

Good morning. It's Tuesday, Nov. 9, and we're covering reunions across America, college basketball's opening day, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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Travel Ban Lifted

Restrictions preventing travelers from dozens of countries from entering the US were largely lifted yesterday, roughly 18 months after being put in place in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Passengers must be fully vaccinated and must show proof of a negative test within three days before arrival. Unvaccinated international travelers under 18 years of age may enter with a negative test, while children under 2 years old don't require a test. 


The ban is estimated to have cost the US economy up to $300B and caused the loss of 1 million jobs in the tourism and hospitality sectors. Big city destinations like New York City, Chicago, Miami, and elsewhere were particularly hard hit.


The change allowed many families separated for nearly two years to reunite in person. See photos here.

College Basketball Tips Off

The 2021-22 college basketball season tips off today, with a handful of marquee matchups to get play started. Headline games include No. 3 Kansas facing Michigan State (7 pm ET, ESPN) and No. 10 Kentucky taking on No. 9 Duke (9:30 pm ET, ESPN). See the full schedule here.


Top-ranked Gonzaga, who fell to Baylor in last year's title game, begins the season as the favorite to win the championship. Vegas has No. 2 UCLA, No. 4 Villanova, and No. 6 Michigan, following Gonzaga at 12-1 odds each (or roughly an 8% chance). See full rankings here.


Hall-of-fame coach Mike Krzyzewski enters his final campaign at Duke after announcing his pending retirement over the summer. Krzyzewski's career record stands at 1,170–361, having become the first men's coach to pass the 1,000-win mark. 


On the women's side, No. 1 South Carolina tips off against No. 5 NC State (5 pm ET, ESPN). The Gamecocks are followed by No. 2 Connecticut, No. 3 Stanford, and No. 4 Maryland. See a season preview here, and the top 25 best players here.

Assassination Attempt in Iraq

At least one Iran-backed militia group carried out a drone attack that targeted Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi Sunday, according to anonymous Iraqi security officials yesterday. The sources said Iranian-made drones and explosives were used in the attack on al-Kadhimi at his Baghdad residence. Al-Kadhimi escaped with only a small cut from the attack; at least seven bodyguards were injured. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but sources say the powerful Kataib Hezbollah group was likely involved.


The attack comes after weeks of pro-Iran protests disputing the results of recent Iraqi elections; the groups lost dozens of seats in parliament they had controlled for years. The primary winner, Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, is a rival of the militias and opposes Iranian interference in Iraq. Sources say the attack may be a warning against attempts to marginalize the militia groups.


An Iranian general visited Iraq after the strike and maintained that Tehran had nothing to do with the attack.

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Rapper Travis Scott to refund all attendees from Astroworld Festival, won't perform at Las Vegas concert this weekend (More) | Scott to cover funeral costs for eight fans who died in the festival's stampede (More)


> State Farm pulls most of its ads featuring Aaron Rodgers but stands by him as brand ambassador (More) | 2021 champions Milwaukee Bucks become first NBA team to visit White House in nearly five years (More)


> Leonardo DiCaprio tapped to star in and produce MGM biopic film about cult leader Jim Jones (More)

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Science & Technology

> Astronaut Wang Yaping becomes the first Chinese woman to complete a spacewalk (More)


> Software developer Niantic, the maker of Pokémon Go, to release a platform to build real-world Metaverse apps (More) | What is the Metaverse? (More)


> Scientists genetically modify panther worms to allow them to glow in the dark; process will allow observation of how full-body regeneration unfolds in the worms (More)

Business & Markets

> Japanese tech giant SoftBank sees assets lose $54B in value in Q3 as result of Beijing’s crackdown on tech companies (More) | Shares of Tesla fall near 5% after CEO Elon Musk signals he may sell 10% of shares after the weekend’s Twitter poll (More)


> Shares of movie theater chain AMC up 8% as company delivers narrower-than-expected loss; 40 million guests attended films in Q3, up from 22 million last quarter (More)


> Consortium of private equity firms agrees to take security giant McAfee private in $14B deal (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Person injured by Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse admits he was pointing a gun at Rittenhouse when he was shot through the bicep; Rittenhouse is claiming self-defense in confrontation last August that left two dead (More)


> Select House Committee probing Jan. 6 events issues subpoenas for John Eastman, legal adviser to former President Donald Trump, and five other top aides (More)


> Satellite images suggest China built to-scale versions of US warships, placed in the desert of its western Xinjiang province; analysts believe the mock ships are being used for offensive training drills (More)



Bones in the Backyard

NYT | Ali Watkins, Nate Schweber. How police cracked the case of a missing World War I veteran more than four decades after he went missing. (Read, paywall)

Going the Distance

Irish Examiner | Cathal Dennehy. Inside the mind of Eliud Kipchoge, one of the greatest marathon runners of all time, who maintains a basic lifestyle despite being revered as a hero in Kenya. (Read)



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A fascinating visualization of London's COVID-19 rates.


Portugal bans after work texts from your boss.


Women are (significantly) outpacing men in new college degrees.


Watch a bear take a dip in a backyard pool.


Scientists identify a new species of deep-sea beaked whale.


Nimblewill Nomad becomes the Appalachian Trail's oldest through-hiker.


The Museum of Forgeries is running a unique giveaway.


What the internet-famous Salt Bae is really selling.


Clickbait: Naked man found in New York theater wall.


Historybook: Napoleon Bonaparte leads coup and becomes dictator of France (1799); Actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr born (1914); Astronomer Carl Sagan born (1934); First issue of Rolling Stone published (1967).


"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere."

- Carl Sagan

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