12.6.2021

Bob Dole, Chris Cuomo, and the Year's Most-Streamed Songs Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Monday, Dec. 6, and we're covering the passing of a Senate icon, the firing of a prime-time TV host, and ... it's snowing in Hawaii. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

 

NEED TO KNOW

 

Bob Dole Dies

Former Kansas senator and Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole passed away yesterday at the age of 98. His passing comes after a February diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer.

 

Dole served in the US Army during World War II and was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down after being seriously wounded by a German shell. He was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star, and eventually largely recovered from his injuries—famously holding a pen in later life to mask permanent damage to his right arm.

 

His federal career began in 1961 in the House, after which he was elected to the Senate in 1968. He served as Senate minority leader for eight years—and majority leader for about three years—before announcing his candidacy for president in 1996. Dole ultimately lost to former President Bill Clinton in an election where third-party candidate Ross Perot took more than 8% of the vote. Emblematic of a political era where dealmaking and compromise were favored, Dole went on to help launch the Bipartisan Policy Center in 2007.

 

See Dole's life in photos here.

Chris Cuomo Fired

Television journalist Chris Cuomo was fired over the weekend from CNN after it was revealed he extensively aided his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), in his defense against sexual assault allegations.

 

Cuomo, who hosted "Cuomo Prime Time," previously said he offered only advice to his brother, who faced allegations from 11 women and ultimately resigned in August. The documents showed a much more intimate engagement, from helping to craft talking points to using contacts to gather information on his brother's accusers (find redacted materials here). Both the television host and the network received criticism earlier in the year after Cuomo said he wouldn't report on the emerging allegations, citing conflict of interest. 

 

The firing comes just days after Cuomo was hit with his own allegations of sexual harassment by a former colleague at a separate network.

College Football Playoff

The 2021-22 College Football Playoff has been set, with No. 1 Alabama facing No. 4 Cincinnati and No. 2 Michigan taking on No. 3 Georgia. Both semifinals will come back-to-back on New Year's Eve, at 3:30 pm ET and 7:30 pm ET, respectively.

 

Michigan becomes the first team to make the playoff after beginning the season unranked, while Cincinnati becomes the first program from a non-Power Five conference to make the bracket. Three of the four schools won their respective conference championships Saturday, with Alabama upsetting then No. 1 Georgia 41-24.

 

Lost in the day's news was a four-down goal-line stop by No. 9 Baylor that possibly prevented No. 5 Oklahoma State from reaching the playoff (watch here).

 

The rest of the bowl season lineup was also announced—see a full rundown here.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Miami's Art Basel wrapped up over the weekend; the event returned in person after being canceled in 2020 and showcased work from 4,000 artists (More

 

> Claude Humphrey, Pro Football Hall of Famer, dies at 77 (More) | English cricket legend Eileen Ash dies at 110 (More)

 

> Kennedy Center Honors presents artistic lifetime achievement awards to Bette Midler, Joni Mitchell, Motown founder Berry Gordy, opera singer Justino Diaz, and "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels (More)

From our partners: We aren't given many 21 month grace periods. Oil checks, doctor appointments, Tax Day ... time speeds by between them. But The Ascent found a new credit card offering 0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers—possibly the longest we've ever seen to avoid interest charges. Learn more about this five-star card today.

Science & Technology

> Omicron variant evades immunity built from prior COVID-19 infections more efficiently than other strains, preprint study shows; no evidence on interaction with vaccine-induced immunity or whether it leads to increased hospitalizations and deaths (More) | See original paper (More) | See US stats (More)

 

> Total solar eclipse plunges Antarctica into darkness, the first full eclipse in the region since 2003 (More) | See streaming video of the event here (More)

 

> Astronomers identify the smallest metal-based planet to date; the iron-rich GJ 367b is roughly 31 light-years away from Earth, and reaches around 2,700 degrees during its daytime (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets fall Friday (S&P 500 -0.8%, Dow -0.2%, Nasdaq -1.9%) as US economy added lower-than-expected 210,000 jobs in November; unemployment rate fell from 4.6% to 4.2% (More) | Cryptocurrency markets also fall; Bitcoin drops from $57K Friday to as low as $43K over the weekend before rebounding to near $50K (More)

 

> Didi—the “Uber of China”—plans to delist from the New York Stock Exchange, will list in Hong Kong; shares are down over 40% since June initial public offering (More)

 

> Shares of e-sign software provider DocuSign fall over 40% Friday after CEO says pandemic boom is slowing (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Hawaii hit with a rare blizzard, sees up to a foot of snow in some locations; storm expected to last through today (More) | Volcanic eruption kills at least 14 people in Indonesia (More)

 

> US intelligence suggests Russia is mobilizing military units in preparation for a potential invasion into eastern Ukraine in early 2022; Russia invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 from Ukraine (More)

 

> Parents of Michigan school shooter charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter; four people were killed and seven others injured during an attack at a Detroit suburb high school last week (More)

THE SEASON’S BEST STYLES

 

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ETCETERA

 

Stanford launches a virtual reality class.

 

The year's most-streamed songs.

 

The year's best jokes. (paywall, New Yorker)

 

Stunning drone footage from the Cumbre Vieja eruption.

 

The year's most-used emojis.

 

Astronauts celebrate with space tacos.

 

One of the pandemic's strangest marketing schemes.

 

Surgeon fined for amputating the wrong limb.

 

Clickbait: When the most important thing in life is butt scratches. (w/video)

 

Historybook: 13th Amendment of US Constitution is ratified, abolishing slavery (1865); Washington Monument completed (1884); Hollywood actress Agnes Moorehead born (1900); RIP folk music legend Lead Belly (1949); NASA photographs suggest presence of liquid on Mars (2006).

 

"Fear of life closes off more opportunities for us than fear of death ever does."

- Agnes Moorehead

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