11.8.2023

 

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Good morning. It's Wednesday, Nov. 8, and we're covering key elections across the US, a corruption probe in Portugal, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Election Day Results

US voters cast ballots yesterday in off-year general elections in several states, choosing state and local leaders and deciding on a number of referendums.

 

In Kentucky, a state won by former President Donald Trump twice, Gov. Andy Beshear (D) secured a second term after defeating challenger and state Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R). In Mississippi, Gov. Tate Reeves (R) won reelection against Brandon Presley (D), a state utility regulator and second cousin to the legendary Elvis Presley. 

 

Every seat in the General Assembly in Virginia was up for grabs. Democrats won full control of the statehouse, ending the prospect of a Republican trifecta under Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R).

 

In Ohio, voters passed a proposal to amend the state constitution to protect access to abortion services. Part of the proposal would establish the right to an abortion, contraception, and fertility treatment. Ohioans also voted in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana, making Ohio the 24th state to do so.

 

Rhode Island voters made history by electing Gabe Amo (D), the state's first Black congressman. In New York City, Yusef Salaam (D), who was one of five teens wrongfully convicted of attacking a jogger in New York City's Central Park in 1989 and exonerated in 2002, won a city council seat. Salaam was unopposed.

 

Separately, the third Republican primary debate will be held tonight in Miami (8 pm ET, NBC). Five candidates—former Govs. Nikki Haley (SC) and Chris Christie (NJ), Gov. Ron DeSantis (FL), Sen. Tim Scott (SC), and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy—are set to participate. 

 

Portugal PM Steps Down

Portugal's Socialist Prime Minister António Costa announced his resignation after eight years yesterday amid a broad corruption probe by the national police into several high-ranking officials. The country's president will meet with party leaders and his advisers today and tomorrow to decide whether to dissolve parliament or appoint a replacement from the ruling Socialist party.

 

His resignation followed police raids of reportedly 37 locations Tuesday, including the office of Costa's chief of staff, Vitor Escaria, two government ministries, and several residences. The probe reportedly stems from allegations Costa's administration conducted illicit multibillion-dollar deals over the country's sprawling lithium mine industry—a key element in batteries—as well as a planned hydrogen plant and several data centers in the country's south. Costa denied all wrongdoing.

 

The 62-year-old won an outright majority of seats in parliament last year, and was often touted as a likely candidate to succeed Charles Michel as the next European Council president. 

 

WeWork Bankruptcy 

WeWork, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal court this week, is working on a restructuring plan to reduce its debt and portfolio of office leases. The New York-based company said 92% of its lenders have agreed to convert $3B of secured debt into equity (see 101). WeWork is also seeking to terminate its dormant office leases. WeWork currently holds $18.7B in debt and $15B in assets. 

 

Backed by Japanese tech giant SoftBank, the company first warned it could go bankrupt in August as it struggled with hefty debt obligations and losses. The bankruptcy caps off a series of setbacks for WeWork, valued at $47B at its height in early 2019. WeWork first debuted in 2010, with cofounder Adam Neumann at the helm. Neumann was ousted as CEO in September 2019 after a failed initial public offering and amid reports of mismanagement. The company went public in 2021. See a visual of WeWork's rise and fall here.

 

WeWork's operational coworking spaces will remain open in the US and Canada. Its locations outside of those countries won't be affected by the bankruptcy proceedings.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> TV and film studios make concessions on AI in negotiations with the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists as the actors strike hits 117 days (More)

> UK government announces plan to regulate streaming services' use of "harmful material" in line with the country's public broadcasters (More)

> Prince William announces five winners for the Earthshot Prize, which provides $1.2M grants for companies and nonprofits for contributions to environmentalism (More)

 

Science & Technology

In partnership with Autonomix

> Top scientific journal Nature retracts high-profile March paper claiming room-temperature superconductivity (More) | Senate confirms Monica Bertagnolli as director of the National Institutes of Health (More)

> European Space Agency releases first images from its Euclid space telescope; mission will create the largest-ever 3D cosmic map over the next decade (More)

> Research links insulin resistance with increased risk of neurodegenerative disease; high-sugar diet impairs the productivity of brain cells tasked with removing toxic cellular debris from the brain (More)

From our partners: Micro medical breakthrough. Autonomix has created a first-in-class diagnostic tool that almost fits on the head of a pin. Paired with a catheter, their microchip can detect nerve signals that correspond with a wide range of disorders like hypertension, pain, heart problems, and more. Invest in Autonomix before their planned Nasdaq listing.*

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher (S&P 500 +0.3%, Dow +0.2%, Nasdaq +0.9%); S&P 500 notches seven-day winning streak as Nasdaq scores eight-day streak, both clinch longest wins since November 2021 (More) | Microsoft shares close at record high (More)

> Chinese fast fashion e-commerce business Shein reportedly targeting up to $90B valuation in potential US initial public offering (More

> Uber reports second-ever quarterly operating profit, but misses expectations on Q3 earnings and revenue (More

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signals Israel will likely assume responsibility for security within the Gaza Strip after the war ends, his first comments on potential long-term plans (More) | See updated map of operations (More) | US House votes to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D, MI-12) by a vote of 234-188 over her statements on the Israel-Hamas war (More)

> Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Second Amendment case challenging a federal law that prohibits people under domestic violence restraining orders from owning firearms (More) | See case background (More)

> England's King Charles III gives first King's Speech in seven decades, focuses policy priorities on criminal justice and clean energy initiatives (More)

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Etcetera
 

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

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