11.7.2023

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Tuesday, Nov. 7, and we're covering the bankruptcy filing of a shared-office-space venture, testimony from a former president in a civil fraud trial, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Breaking:  WeWork, once valued at $47B at its peak, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New Jersey federal court. WeWork shares were halted Monday ahead of the filing. Read more here.

Gaza City Isolated

The Israeli military said yesterday its forces had completed encircling Gaza City after an overnight barrage of airstrikes, cutting off the populous city center from the rest of the Gaza Strip and effectively dividing the enclave into north and south regions (see map). The development comes ahead of Israel's imminent ground incursion as around 240 hostages remain in Hamas' captivity. Israel believes much of Hamas' infrastructure is located in the north. 

 

Israeli troops reportedly killed a Hamas commander and captured a Hamas compound, which included observation posts and training areas, after striking 450 aerial targets in Gaza since Sunday night, according to the Israeli military's Telegram channel (see here). The Israeli military also said it paused airstrikes for four hours to allow Palestinians to evacuate to southern Gaza through a one-way corridor. 

 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres renewed calls for a cease-fire yesterday as the death toll rose to over 10,000 Palestinians and over 1,400 Israelis, per reports from officials on each side. The UN also reported more than 100 healthcare facilities in Gaza have been hit by airstrikes as of Nov. 4.

 

See latest updates on the war here

 

Trump Takes the Stand

Former President Donald Trump testified yesterday for nearly four hours in a $250M civil fraud trial against him and his codefendants. The presiding judge previously ruled the Trump Organization overvalued its real estate assets and will now determine potential penalties.

 

The lawsuit, initiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James, alleges Trump and his codefendants repeatedly inflated his net worth by as much as $3.6B between 2011 and 2021 to secure favorable terms on commercial real estate loans and insurance policies—Trump’s net worth is estimated to be around $2.6B as of September. Trump maintains his innocence, arguing asset valuations are highly subjective. When pressed on the financial documents at the heart of the case, he responded he would sometimes give input on the statements but leaned on the disclaimers that absolved him of responsibility for inaccuracies. See takeaways from the testimony here.

 

The case poses a threat to Trump's New York business operations, with James seeking to ban him and his sons from conducting business in the state and to dissolve his companies. Trump's legal team intends to file a mistrial

 

Spinal Implant Breakthrough

The mobility of a man with advanced Parkinson's disease has been restored using an electrical implant placed on his lower spine, according to a study published yesterday. Experts caution the technology, if successful in expanded clinical trials, would not be commercially available for five to 10 years.

 

The patient, Marc Gauthier, was diagnosed with Parkinson's over 30 years ago. The disease led to significant mobility issues, where he reported falling up to six times a day. Two years ago, researchers inserted a neuroprosthetic device in his lower spine to send signals to areas of his body showing weakness. The procedure corrected Gauthier's irregular manner of walking and allowed him to go for miles at a time without falling.

 

Parkinson's is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the world, afflicting over 6 million individuals. The disease stems from the premature decay of dopamine-producing neurons in the midbrain (watch overview). Treatments typically involve mimicking dopamine in the relevant neural region, though their efficacy declines over time.

In partnership with EnergyX

The Next Gold Rush

 

The demand for lithium is fueling a modern-day gold rush. Lithium is essential for batteries in electric cars, storing renewable energy, and even smartphones. Demand for lithium is projected to soar 20x by 2040, creating a massive opportunity for investors. Elon Musk didn’t hold back when talking about the potential here: “Do you like minting money? Well, the lithium business is for you.” 

 

Enter EnergyX. Their patented LiTAS™ technology can extract up to 300% more lithium than traditional methods. They’ve already inked deals with top lithium producers, secured a partnership and strategic investment from General Motors, and earned a $5M Department of Energy grant

 

Now you can invest in EnergyX. This is a unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor just as EnergyX is set to unlock the US’s lithium supply. Click here to become an EnergyX shareholder and help transform the future of renewable energy.*

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Taylor Swift's “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” a rerecording of her 2014 album, becomes Swift's 13th album to top Billboard charts and is the biggest album debut by any artist since 2015 (More)

> US women's national soccer team taps former Chelsea FC manager Emma Hayes from Britain to be its next head coach (More) | Finalists announced for MLB MVP, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and Manager of the Year awards (More)

> Taraja Ramsess, actor and Marvel films stunt performer, dies along with three of his children in car accident at age 41 (More) | Evan Ellingson, former child actor known for "CSI: Miami," dies at 35 (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 credit card offering 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months—among the longest we've seen to avoid interest charges. Learn more about this card today.

 

Science & Technology

> OpenAI holds first DevDay, debuts no-code tools to let developers build ChatGPT-powered apps and make them available via a newly created GPT Store (More);

Machine learning program detects chemistry papers written by ChatGPT with at least 98% accuracy (More)

> Astronomers detect a black hole at the earliest stage of growth observed to date; signal comes from just 470 million years after the Big Bang (More) | How does the James Webb Space Telescope look back in time? (More)

> Indonesia's Gunung Padang is the world's oldest known pyramid, with building starting at most 25,000 years ago; new study may help settle a yearslong debate over the origins of the cultural site (More

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close up (S&P 500 +0.2%, Dow +0.1%, Nasdaq +0.3%); Nasdaq notches longest seven-day winning streak since January (More

> Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd to step down as CEO of the dating app, will be replaced by Slack CEO Lidiane Jones Jan. 2 (More) | CEO of revamped Bed Bath & Beyond resigns after activist firm calls for ouster (More) | Disney taps PepsiCo finance chief as new chief financial officer (More)

> Tesla plans to build $27K electric vehicles at factory near Berlin, Germany (More) | Starbucks to raise wages for store workers by at least 3% in 2024 (More

 

Politics & World Affairs

> US attorney David Weiss to testify before House Judiciary Committee today; Weiss leads the investigation into the overseas business dealings of President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, and will be the first special counsel to testify amid a probe (More

> Voters across the US head to polls today to cast ballots in gubernatorial and statehouse races as well as consider measures on issues such as abortion and marijuana legalization (More

> Father of accused mass shooter who opened fire during a July 4, 2022, parade in a Chicago suburb pleads guilty to reckless conduct, will serve 60 days in jail (More)  | Four former police officers in Memphis, Tennessee, to face trial in August for state charges over January death of Tyre Nichols (More

 

In-Depth

> The Club No One Wants to Join

Men's Health | Gloria Liu. A support group for principals is providing emotional support to school leaders who have experienced gun violence in their schools, offering them solace and healing. (Read)

 

> Expanding American Football

NY Times | Ken Belson. A look at the NFL's expansion into Germany, which despite being a soccer-dominated country, has seen a surge in NFL popularity with 3.6 million avid fans. (Read)

In partnership with EnergyX

How GM Is Securing Its Lithium Supply

 

The world will need to produce 3.8 million tons of lithium per year by 2035 to meet the demand for electric vehicles. General Motors is turning to one startup to unlock US-based lithium supply: EnergyX. EnergyX’s patented LiTAS™ technology can extract up to 300% more lithium than traditional methods. 


GM led a $50 million funding round in EnergyX earlier this year, and EnergyX is now opening up the opportunity to join them to all investors. Don’t miss out: Become an EnergyX shareholder today.*

Please support our sponsors!

Etcetera
 

Geomagnetic storm triggers colorful auroras worldwide

 

See the winners of the Nature Conservancy's photo contest.

 

Why is the sky blue? (It's not from reflecting water.) 

 

America's most expensive ZIP codes.

 

Giant digital waterfall wows travelers at a Singapore airport.

 

Men charged over theft of golden toilet from Winston Churchill's birthplace

 

The most popular dog names across the US.

 

Anthropologist finds human skull in Florida thrift store.

 

Clickbait: China's most inconvenient convenience store

 

Historybook: Nobel Prize-winning physicist and chemist Marie Curie born (1867); Jeannette Rankin becomes first woman elected to US Congress (1916); Evangelist Billy Graham born (1918); Eleanor Roosevelt dies (1962); Magic Johnson announces HIV-positive diagnosis (1991).

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