11.6.2023

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Monday, Nov. 6, and we're covering a surprise visit to the West Bank, a probe into New York City's mayor, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Blinken in Israel

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the West Bank yesterday, meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as the monthlong Israel-Hamas war in the nearby Gaza Strip continues to escalate. The pair reportedly discussed how to maintain stability in the West Bank—a reported 150 residents have been killed in clashes with security forces in recent weeks.

 

The talks came as a missile strike that killed at least 45 people at a refugee camp, according to Gaza's Ministry of Health.

 

Gaza and the West Bank, home to around 2.3 million and 3 million Palestinians, respectively, are separated by about 30 miles (see map). Abbas' Fatah party administers the Palestinian West Bank and has been in conflict with Hamas since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2006. 

 

Separately, Israeli forces have taken position around Gaza City for what appears to be an imminent, wider-spread ground invasion of the territory. The country has vowed to eliminate Hamas as a political and militant organization—though how to achieve that aim remains unclear

 

Around 240 civilians remain held hostage by Hamas, while the collective death toll has risen to over 1,400 Israelis and around 9,500 Palestinians, per officials from each side. See updates on the war here.

 

Eric Adams Probe

The FBI conducted a raid of the house of New York Mayor Eric Adams' top campaign organizer Thursday as part of a broader investigation into the mayor's campaign finances. The mayor himself is not implicated, and no charges have been brought against any individuals.

 

The raid came at the Brooklyn home of 25-year-old Brianna Suggs, Adams' campaign finance director, where the FBI confiscated boxes of files and several computers and phones. The warrants suggest the Adams campaign has received illegal contributions from foreign nationals using so-called straw donors—where illegal donations are funneled through legitimate supporters—via Turkey-linked construction firm KSK. Eleven KSK employees donated a total of nearly $14,000 in May 2021 to the Adams campaign, most of which was eligible for the city's small-donation public matching fund, where the city donates $8 for every $1 contributed.

 

The probe follows a separate case involving two Adams donors who pleaded guilty in July to charges related to a similar straw donor scheme; both are cooperating with a federal investigation. 

 

Hamburg Hostage Standoff

An 18-hour hostage situation at an airport in Hamburg, Germany, involving a young father and his 4-year-old daughter concluded peacefully Sunday afternoon local time. Flights from the northern port city resumed Sunday, though many remained delayed after all flights were grounded at the start of the incident.

 

The episode began Saturday evening around 10 pm local time when the 35-year-old Turkish man drove past a security gate and fired two shots into the air. He parked under a Turkish Airlines plane, where he remained for hours in negotiations with a police psychologist surrounded by dozens of officers. Officials later revealed the man was in a custody dispute with his wife, who had reported her daughter abducted Saturday. He was arrested, and the daughter returned to her mother. 

 

It's the second high-profile incident at the Hamburg airport in four months after climate activists glued themselves to the tarmac in July. 

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> The 2023-24 college basketball regular season begins today; see preview of men's season (More) | ...and full preview of women's season (More)

> Willie Nelson, Missy Elliott, and Sheryl Crow headline 2023 class inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (More) | Second woman accuses Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler of sexual assault (More)

> Ethiopia's Tamirat Tola sets record in winning NYC Marathon men's race; Kenyan Hellen Obiri wins women's title (More)

 

Science & Technology

In partnership with Autonomix

> Elon Musk's xAI, releases Grok limited beta testing, a generative AI large language model; Musk says the platform will have access to real-time data via X (formerly Twitter)(More)

> New study suggests defective cytoplasmic lattices—bundles of fibers that hold proteins important for embryonic development—linked to infertility; may provide routes for new treatment alternatives (More)

> Divers recover tens of thousands of ancient Roman coins at a site off the coast of Sardinia; trove believed to be from a fourth-century shipwreck (More)

From our partners: Nerves meet the Nasdaq. Autonomix has patented technology that can detect and target nerve signals at an accuracy never seen before. Their breakthrough could potentially unlock new treatments for everything from high blood pressure to pain, a $100B opportunity. Now, the team with almost $600M in exits is planning to list Autonomix on the Nasdaq. And you can invest in Autonomix ahead of their intended Nasdaq listing.*

 

Business & Markets

> Berkshire Hathaway reports 41% jump in year-over-year operating earnings in the third quarter, says it's sitting on $157B in cash (More)

> Federal Reserve says a technical issue with the Electronic Payments Network caused nationwide issues for bank customers processing direct deposits (More)

> Former Dow Jones CEO William Lewis named head of The Washington Post amid effort to reduce headcount by 10% and return to profitability; paper on track to lose $100M this year (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Former President Donald Trump set to testify in civil fraud trial today; case accuses the Trump Organization of manipulating real estate valuations for financial gain (More)

> Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) expected to endorse Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for president today (More) | New poll shows former President Trump leading President Joe Biden in five battleground states (More)

> Death toll in Friday earthquake in northwest Nepal rises to 157, thousands displaced (More) | Spain's Canary Islands see record migrants from west Africa, surpassing 32,000 this year (More) | Unrest in Senegal is driving a 50% increase in arrivals (More)

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Etcetera
 

Exploring a century of Disney's animation innovations.

 

See photos from Mexico City's Day of the Dead parade.

 

How Gen Z is transforming workplace communication

 

The bestselling vehicle in all 50 states.

 

Why it's difficult to pinpoint the center of the universe.

 

Starfish are just single, giant heads (per science).

 

Watch a humpback whale freed from a crab trap.

 

A collision sets off a trailer full of fireworks.

 

Clickbait: Wrong drink order leads to a terror alert.

 

Historybook: Basketball inventor Dr. James Naismith born (1861); Teddy Roosevelt travels to Panama and becomes first president to make diplomatic tour outside the US (1906); The UN formally condemns apartheid in South Africa (1962); Hollywood great Gene Tierney dies (1991).

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it."

- Nelson Mandela

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