A sweeping pilot strike brought British Airways to a grinding halt Monday and into today, resulting in the cancellation of roughly 1,700 flights and disrupting travel for over 195,000 passengers. It is the first threatened strike to come to fruition in the airline's history and comes two weeks after the company celebrated its 100th anniversary. Pilots are demanding higher pay, and though the company offered an 11.5% raise over three years, union leaders have argued for a bigger share in company profits, which increased 11.6% last year. Under the offer the highest-earning pilots would receive about $200,000 in base pay, with median pay rising to $123,000. The strike was pre-planned for 48 hours - flights are expected to resume as normal early tomorrow morning - but a second walkout is scheduled for September 27th. The crunch in available flights caused prices to spike over 2,100% for a number of British Airways' most popular routes.
Google Antitrust Probe.
Attorneys general from 50 US states and territories announced a sweeping probe into antitrust practices by technology giant Google, including its subsidiaries like YouTube. The investigation, a step short of a lawsuit, will focus on Google's dominance in online advertising, where the company holds about a 90% share of search engine advertising and close to a 40% share of all digital advertising. The probe will examine whether the company's stranglehold allows them to artificially set ad prices, and whether the giant could block competitors from advertising - including competitors of other companies owned by Google's parent Alphabet. The effort is in parallel to a federal probe launched by the Justice Department in July, and the massive bipartisan effort - California and Alabama were the only states who declined to join - is expected to give political heft to the review.
Google brought in roughly $116B in revenues from online advertising last year.
Brexit Window Narrows.
Embattled Prime Minister Boris Johnson suspended Britain's Parliament yesterday, following another series of setbacks that included the passage of a law prohibiting a break from the European Union without a deal in place. The statute requires the United Kingdom to request an extension of the October 31st deadline from EU leaders if a deal is not approved by Parliament by October 19th. The EU previously approved a package negotiated by former Prime Minister Theresa May - Parliament voted it down three times - and has rejected any modifications. Parliament will now break until October 14th, giving lawmakers a slim 5-day window to agree on a package palatable to the EU. Lawmakers also voted down Johnson's call for snap elections, a bid to replace rebellious conservative lawmakers. Capping the tumultuous day, the Speaker of the House of Commons announced his resignation.
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In The Know.
Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
> Team USA tops Brazil 89-73 to reach quarterfinals against France at basketball World Cup; win also clinched team's spot in 2020 Tokyo Olympics (More)
> Hailee Steinfeld tapped in lead role of Marvel's upcoming Hawkeye series for Disney+ (More)
> Football legend Lynn Swann resigns as USC athletic director in wake of college admissions bribery scandal (More) | Saints beat Texans 30-28, Raiders beat Broncos 24-16 in first Monday Night Football games of the season (More)
Science & Technology.
> Court rules third-party companies can pull data from publicly available social media profiles without violating anti-hacking laws (More)
> Model predicts 43 new forms of carbon that are as hard or harder than diamond; applications would include cutting, protective coatings, insulating films, and more (More)
> Researchers reconstruct 250-million-year history of Greater Adria, an ancient continent that now lies beneath Southern Europe (More) | ...and new study uncovers a severe mass extinction event 260 million years ago, bringing known total to six (More)
Business & Markets.
> Activist investor Elliott Management discloses $3.2B position in AT&T, criticizes strategy and urges company to shed assets; shares up 1.5% (More) > FDA warns e-cigarette giant Juul Labs for marketing products as safer than traditional cigarettes (More)
> Discount retailer Fred’s files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, to close all 568 stores in 15 southeastern US states (More) | ...and Amazon holding “Amazon Career Day” in six cities next week in hopes of filling 30k jobs by early next year (More)
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Politics & World Affairs.
>Election 2020: Ex-CIA agent Valerie Plame to run for Congress in New Mexico's 3rd district (More) | Voters head to polls in unexpectedly close special election in North Carolina's 9th congressional district; Trump took district by 12 points in 2016 election (More)
> Commerce Department Inspector General investigating whether weather officials were pressured to issue statement that Hurricane Dorian threatened Alabama (More) | What is "Sharpie-gate"? (More)
> Federal judge reinstates ban on prohibiting asylum requests if immigrants previously passed through third country before reaching US border (More) | ...and arrests at southern US border dropped to 64,000 last month, third consecutive month of decline (More)
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From Mind Control to Murder.
The Guardian | Stephen Kinzer. How a scientist, a secretive LSD trial, and a 1953 suicide blew open the door on some of the CIA's most covert - and nearly unbelievable - research programs. (Read)
The Planets, the Stars, and Brad Pitt.
NYT | Kyle Buchanan. Starring in two 2019 blockbusters - Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and the upcoming Ad Astra, 55-year-old Brad Pitt's brand is as strong as ever. Read as Pitt reflects on masculinity, getting sober, and his future on the silver screen. (Read, paywall)
Historybook: Sewing machine is invented (1846); Golfing legend Arnold Palmer born (1929); RIP Jane Wyman, actress and first wife of President Reagan (2007); Large Hadron Collider is tested for 1st time (2008); Hurricane Irma makes landfall in Florida, is responsible for 134 deaths and $65B in damage (2017).
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