10.5.2023

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Good morning. It's Thursday, Oct. 5, and we're covering the race to grab the House gavel, a surprise soccer announcement, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Race for Speaker Begins

Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R, LA-1) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R, OH-4) announced yesterday they are running for House speaker, setting up a showdown to replace Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-20), who this week became the first speaker in US history to be removed from office. 

 

Scalise, 57, and Jordan, 59, are considered the frontrunners in the race. Scalise, who was the second-highest-ranking Republican, was wounded in 2017 after a gunman opened fire during a congressional baseball practice and was more recently diagnosed with blood cancer. Jordan is a cofounder of the House Freedom Caucus and was first nominated for the speaker role in January by Republicans who opposed McCarthy, though he chose to support McCarthy at the time.

 

Republican Study Committee Chairman Kevin Hern (OK-1) is also considering running for speaker. Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R, MN-6), who is backing Scalise and was seen as a potential speaker candidate, is running for majority leader.  Contenders for speaker will make their case at a forum Tuesday, with an expected vote tentatively set for Wednesday.

 

World Cup 2030

The 2030 men's World Cup will be hosted across six countries on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, international soccer officials announced yesterday, the first time the global tournament will be played across three continents. The tournament will mark the World Cup's centennial anniversary, which began in 1930. 

 

Cohosts Spain and Portugal submitted a bid in 2020, with Morocco joining in March. The revelation of three South American countries—Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay—came as a surprise during yesterday's selection announcement. The deal allows the opening match to be played in Uruguay's Centenario Stadium, which hosted the inaugural World Cup final (in which Uruguay beat Argentina; see original footage). All six teams will be automatically entered into the 48-team tournament. 

 

The plan may help defray hosting costs for each country. Brazil (2014) and Russia (2018) spent more than $12B each to host the tournament, while Qatar (2022)—which required infrastructure development—spent $220B. See a deep dive into the economics here.

 

Healthcare Strike

Roughly 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers walked off the job early yesterday in the largest healthcare strike in US history. The walkout, which does not include doctors, is slated to last until Saturday, with executives claiming the system would remain open as thousands of temporary workers filled in.

 

Kaiser Permanente is one of the nation's largest nonprofit healthcare systems, offering both insurance coverage and treatment to its 13 million patients (how it works). Strike leaders claim management, which employs over 200,000 workers and 23,000 physicians, has failed to fully staff its 39 hospitals and hundreds of medical offices across eight states, leading to broad burnout. Workers—from nurses to pharmacists—are demanding a $25 per hour minimum wage, salary increases, strategies to deal with staff shortages, and more.

 

The strike is just the latest high-profile unionized labor activity this year, with walkouts from autoworkers, Hollywood actors and writers, UPS drivers, hospitality employees, and more. Track all strikes here.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> The 2023 MacArthur Foundation's "genius grant" recipients announced; winners of the $800K award include the sitting US poet laureate and a National Book Award winner (More)

> Actress Julia Ormond sues Disney and talent agency Creative Artists Agency for negligence over alleged 1995 sexual assault by former film exec Harvey Weinstein (More)

> Team USA edges Brazil and France to win its seventh consecutive team title at women's gymnastics world championship; Simone Biles now has 26 world championship medals including 20 gold medals (More)

 

Science & Technology

In partnership with LiquidPiston

> Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to three US researchers for their work on semiconductor nanocrystals, known as quantum dots; applications now range from solar cells to drug delivery (More) | Literature prize to be announced this morning at 5:45 am ET; see winners here (More)

> Last month marked the hottest September on record, according to early data; global averages during the month were 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1991-2020 average and more than 3 degrees above the estimated preindustrial baseline (More)

> "Electronic tongue" mimics how taste influences what we choose to eat; researchers say device may be an early step toward imparting emotional intelligence to AI (More)

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Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher (S&P 500 +0.8%, Dow +0.4%, Nasdaq +1.4%) as Treasury yields drop (More)

> Weekly mortgage applications for US home purchases fell to lowest weekly level since 1995, as rates near 8% (More)

> General Motors secures $6B line of credit, states UAW strike cost the automaker $200M in third quarter (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> US military announces it has transferred more than 1 million rounds of ammunition seized from Iran to Ukraine as part of efforts to help Ukraine in its counteroffensive against Russia (More) | See war updates (More

> Biden administration provides additional $9B in student loan debt relief for 125,000 borrowers as student loan payments resume this month (More)

> Iranian activists accuse morality police of putting a 16-year-old girl into a coma after a confrontation over dress code violation; alleged incident comes more than a year after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in the hands of morality police, sparking monthslong antigovernment protests (More

 

In-Depth

> The Killing That Tore a Town Apart

Boston Magazine | Gretchen Voss. Inside the simmering drama in a Massachusetts suburb over the 2022 murder of Boston police officer John O'Keefe and whether his girlfriend Karen Read is to blame or was framed. Read is set to go to trial in 2024. (Read)

 

> The Hunt for Treasure Beneath Hell Gate

Atlas Obscura | Joaquim Salles. Legend has it that beneath the treacherous currents of Hell Gate—a tidal channel off the coast of Astoria, Queens—lies a considerable sum of Revolutionary War-era gold from a ship that sunk in 1780. (Read)

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Identity Theft Affects 1 in 3 Americans

 

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Etcetera
 

Chicago named best big city for seventh year in a row.

 

It's that time of year again—cast your vote in Fat Bear Week

 

The most haunted places in the world.

 

... and a Halloween one-stop shop

 

The qualities that make someone a dog person.

 

How a Cheesecake Factory can indicate a mall’s financial health.

 

A transit split in England shows how roads have developed.

 

Over 100 years of coronation outfits go on display.

 

Clickbait: Songs that stop on "stop." (via YouTube)

 

Historybook: Harry Truman makes first US presidential television address from the White House (1947); Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson born (1958); Public Broadcasting Service launches (1970); Actress Kate Winslet born (1975); Steve Jobs dies (2011).

"Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith."

- Steve Jobs

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