11.5.2022

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Saturday, Nov. 5, and in this weekend edition, we're covering mass layoffs at Twitter, a record lottery prize up for grabs, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

You share, we listen. As always, send us feedback at [email protected].

One Big Headline
 

Twitter Cuts Begin

Sweeping job cuts at social media giant Twitter began yesterday, a move which came at the direction of new owner and CEO Elon Musk, who closed his acquisition of the company one week ago. Musk called the cuts necessary to improve Twitter's financial position, separately saying the company has seen a significant short-term revenue drop as advertising partners paused spending on the platform. 

 

The extent of the firings at the roughly 7,500-employee company wasn't specified, though earlier reports suggested up to half of the staff may be let go. A number of laid-off staff responded with a class-action lawsuit, alleging it violated both federal and California state laws by failing to provide adequate warning ahead of a mass firing (WARN Act 101). 

 

Reports suggest Musk has called on the remaining staff to develop plans to cut up to $1B in annual operating costs, including potential reductions in server and cloud services.

 

Historically, 10% of Twitter users have been responsible for more than 90% of tweets. See more vital statistics on the platform here.

Quick Hits
 

Powerball lottery jackpot hits a record high of $1.6B.

Despite million of tickets sold, none matched the six numbers pulled during Wednesday's drawing. The previous record high was almost $1.59B, which three players split in 2016. Tonight's drawing will be held at 10:59 pm ET. 

 

US economy adds 261,000 jobs in October.

The payroll figure is higher than the 205,000 jobs economists expected and lower than the 315,000 jobs added in September. The unemployment rate was 3.7%, up from 3.5% in September, while average hourly earnings rose 0.4% month-over-month.

 

Former President Donald Trump eyeing Nov. 14 campaign launch.

Reports suggest Trump aides are preparing for a 2024 presidential campaign launch a week after Tuesday's midterm elections, potentially to be followed by a series of public events. The launch has not been officially confirmed.

 

India wrestles with toxic smog, closes schools in capital. 

The 24-hour average air quality index, which measures the concentration of harmful pollutants in the air, crossed 470 Friday in the capital of New Delhi. Anything over 300 is classified as hazardous, per the global AQI rating system (see here). 

 

NASA rolls out Artemis 1 rocket to launch pad.

The Artemis 1 rocket arrived at the launch pad at Florida's Kennedy Space Center Friday and is set to blast off Nov. 14. It will be the agency's fourth attempt to launch the uncrewed spacecraft for a mission around the moon and back to Earth.   

 

Alex Jones trial moves to punitive damages phase.

The Infowars host may owe more in penalties as the punitive damages portion of his Connecticut trial began Friday after a jury last month ordered him to pay nearly $1B in compensatory damages. Jones has been held liable for spreading conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook school shooting.

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Humankind
 

UK teen finds retired police officer's stolen medal at bottom of river. (More)

 

Alabama woman sets aside part of every paycheck to give to strangers. (More

 

Pennsylvania students grow produce for community living in food desert. (More)

 

A 12-year-old trick-or-treater refills a home's empty bowl with her own candy. (More)

 

... and "House of 1,000 Pumpkins" raises money for cancer research. (More)

 

Decades later, a woman who was in a car accident meets her rescuer. (More)

 

Indian village takes digital break every day to help people talk to each other. (More

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Humankind(ness)
 

Today, we're sharing a story from reader Kerri N. in Sammamish, Washington.

 

"My daughter and her family live close by, and her 2-year-old son has kidney cancer. On the day of his big surgery to remove the largest tumors, my friend surprised me with a large chicken potpie around lunch time. The most surprising thing is that my daughter’s all-time favorite meal is chicken potpie, and I’d just asked her two hours earlier if she’d like to go out for lunch while her son was in surgery to help ease her worries. My friend had no idea this meal was my daughter’s all-time favorite. We had chicken potpie for lunch, the surgery went well, and we felt so seen and loved by this act of kindness."

 

What act(s) of kindness did you experience this week? Tell us here.

Etcetera
 

Bookkeeping

> US banks processed $1.2B in likely ransomware payments in 2021, report finds.

> Survey finds 79% of Americans say the economy is very important when deciding who to vote for in the 2022 congressional elections

 

Browse 

Mapping America's happiest places

> Looking back at retro futuristic cars

Elegant typograms explain complex systems—from the human body to viruses.

> The older people get, the less they fear aging

 

Listen 

> Prescription dinner: the science and economics behind medically tailored meals.


Watch 

> What causes body odor

> Portraits from the 19th century brought to life.

> The history of why ghosts are depicted wearing sheets.
> Bride dusts off written vows after waiting 15 years for wedding. (via Twitter)

 

Long Read 

> A brief history of the mortgage, starting from its roots in ancient Rome.

> An implant that turns brain waves into words.

> Inside the last Blockbuster on Earth.

 

Best of the Week: Your Thanksgiving dinner menu could be in trouble.

 

Historybook: "Gone with the Wind" actress Vivien Leigh born (1913); Writer Sinclair Lewis is first American to win Nobel Prize for literature (1930); Franklin D. Roosevelt is first and only US president elected to third term (1940); Saddam Hussein is sentenced to death (2006); Google unveils Android (2007).

"When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."

- Franklin D. Roosevelt

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